Pets, clients and senior moments

Pets, clients and senior moments

Seeing more senior pets? That's great. But it's important to teach clients to be on the lookout for signs of aging and corresponding behavioral changes.
source-image
Apr 29, 2011
By dvm360.com staff

We all know that pets are living longer thanks to better veterinary care, but do your clients realize that, just like people, aging cats and dogs need special care? According to Purdue veterinarians, improvements in veterinary care, diagnostics, and earlier intervention make it possible for clients to enjoy their pets longer, but the key to that enjoyment is helping pets enjoy their later years to the fullest.

Dogs and cats are prone to debilitating ailments as they age, such as kidney failure, heart disease, arthritis, dental disease, cancer, and cognitive dysfunction. It’s important that you encourage clients to visit for regular exams—this may mean more frequent exams than when the pet was younger. Depending on the pet’s health risks or symptoms, these exams may include blood work, blood pressure checks, radiographs, or electrocardiograms.

Educate clients about these early warning signs that a senior pet may be having problems. Clients should call you right away if they notice:

> Increased thirst and urination
> Loss of bladder control or noncompliance with house training.
> Repeated vomiting
> Bad breath, drooling, or changes in appetite
> Excessive panting or exercise intolerance
> Lumps or changes in areas of skin color
> Change in appetite such as eating more or less than usual
> Changes in behavior such as disorientation or excessive whining
> Unusual bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation
> Gaining or losing weight

Catching problems early is often the best way to prevent them from becoming more serious. It’s up to you to utilize your medical expertise—and client education skills—to do just that.

Hot topics on dvm360

Dog of Dallas Ebola patient will not be euthanized, authorities say

Health officials have quarantined and will monitor dog and amid concerns surrounding deadly virus.

Video: How to perform a belt-loop gastropexy

Prevent GDV in your at-risk patients with this simple technique.

Stretch your skills to earn more in veterinary practice

Finding new tasks could be the key to generating more income for your practice—and boosting your pay.

Veterinary community stunned by Sophia Yin's unexpected death

Prominent veterinary behaviorist died of suicide Sept. 28.

Study shows sustained salary slump for veterinary support staff

Since 2009, technicians paid by the hour have experienced a bump in pay, but pay for other team members has stayed stagnant, according to data from the 2014 Firstline Career Path Study. Here’s a look at changes in team pay from 2009 to 2013.