Posts Tagged ‘Elderly Pet Care’

5:19 8 March 2012

Detecting Pet Cancer

  Last night I spoke with yet another client who has recently lost her pet to cancer.  She had a lovely Golden Retriever who had a tumor on her heart.  Her dog had no symptoms whatsoever until she just collapsed.  She was only 7 years old.  In her honor she is having a Pet Headstone made to place above her grave in their backyard.
In doing some research about Pet Cancer, I learned that some 6 million dogs and 6 million cats a year are diagnosed with Cancer.  As humans we need to be ever vigilant and watch for signs so our pets can receive professional care and treatment.  There are now Pet Oncologists who specialize in pet cancer treatments, and pets can now receive Chemotherapy and Radiation.  Pets who once have had Cancer can be Cancer-free and go on  to live long, fulfilling lives due to new medical procedures that have become available in the past few years.  So what should we watch for in our pets to catch the symptoms early?  Here is a list of things that could be caused by Cancer and should be checked out immediately:

1.  Unexplained weight loss; 2. Loss of Appetite; 3. Abnormal swelling; 4. Bleeding; 5. Offensive odor; 6. Difficulty swallowing; 7. Lameness or stiffness; 8. Difficulty breathing; 9. Difficulty urinating or pooping; 10. Sores that don’t heal; 11. Hesitating to exercise; 12. Loss of stamina.  These symptoms can be cause by other illnesses as well, but should be checked by a Vet as soon as possible.  We need to prevent pain and suffering in our beloved furry friends by getting them professional attention just as soon as any of these symptoms appear.

12:20 7 March 2012

Cancer in Our Pets

  I opened my Pet Memorial Business 7 years ago because I understand what it is like to lose a beloved pet.  I have just lost another fur child, my 3rd dog to cancer.  These dogs were not related, they were all from different States, and all had different kinds of Cancer.  2 clients of mine also lost pets to Cancer the same week, one who bought a Pet Casket for her cat, and one who ordered a Pet Headstone for her dog.

I asked my Vet when my dog was diagnosed, why there are so many pets dying of Cancer.  She told me she sees a lot of Cancer in older pets now, it is getting all too common.  Her explanation was that the Vets have a much better way of diagnosing pets now.  She believes Cancer has always been present, but years ago no one knew why pet’s got sick and died.  Now they have pathologists that can test biopsies, there is better up-dated equipment, and people are seeking Veterinarian advice more often.

Losing a pet to Cancer is a heart breaking ordeal, and I think there is something more to Pet Cancer than just better diagnostics.  I’m not certain if it’s something in our environment – pollutants etc., if it is in the food we feed our pets – fertilizers and sprays etc. or maybe in the hormones in the meat that goes into their food.  One breeder friend of mine believes it may be linked to insecticides we have sprayed on our yards.

Whatever the cause of the numerous cases of Cancer in human and our beloved Pets, I hope someday a cause can be pinpointed and a cure found.

8:55 9 September 2010

Weight Loss Supplements

Currently there are no weight loss supplements available for cats.  There are some studies in dogs that show that the cautious use of some supplements can help obese dogs reduce weight and lower their cholesterol.  These studies were done on dog that were not helped by reduced-calorie diets alone.  These dogs did lose weight when given a naturally occurring hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA.  The DHEA levels decrease in animals as they age, very similar to other hormones in humans.  Replacing the DHEA in these dogs can increase fat metabolism and subsequent weight loss.

There are other supplement still presently being studied for dogs which include L-Carnitine, Garcinia Cambogia, and Chromium Picolinate.    Please do NOT self administer any of these supplements to your pet.  Always consult with your Vet before using any kind of herbal supplement on animals.  Together you can come up with a safe, effective weight loss plan for your furry friend.

Cat Headstones are a personal way to pay tribute to your lost feline friend.  With the Absolute Black Granite stones, you can include a photo, a tribute and dates.  These beautiful stone will last for generations with proper care.

12:26 4 September 2010

Food Vs. Exercise

Insufficient exercise and excess calorie consumption is the major cause of obesity in our furry friends, but there are other factors you need to consider also.  Pet foods that have too much fat in them – even high quality pet foods – can rapidly add on the pounds.  Certain breeds of animals such as Labrador Retrievers, beagles, basset hounds and others gain weight easily.  Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism can also lead to weight gain.  Older animals, just like humans are more likely to gain weight, and also pets that have been spayed or neutered have a predisposition to gain weight more easily.

Your pet’s breed, age and reproductive status are NOT an excuse for uncontrolled weight gain, they simply influence your pet’s tendency to add pounds.  The bottom line for pet owners is that our pets eat too much and exercise too little.  It is up to you to make sure that your pet’s dietary needs meet their physical activity.  If your older dog has arthritis and does not like to exercise anymore, than it is up to you to intervene and help out with joint supplements and pain medications.  If you spayed cat tends to add some weight, then it is your job to adjust her exercise and dietary habits to suit her altered physiology.  As pet owners we control what they eat, when they exercise, and ultimately their weight. 

Searching for a Cat Casket?  There are many sizes and styles available to suit your cat’s personality and also your budget.

7:26 26 August 2010

Important Vet Lab Tests

As your pet ages, Veterinarian Lab tests become very important and should be conducted at least every 6 months for a healthy cat or dog.  Laboratory results help your vet to understand the status of your pet’s overall health, and the following 4 tests are recommended as a minimum:

1. Complete blood count.  This common test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets.  This information helps your vet to diagnose anemia, infections and leukemia.

2. Urinalysis.  The analysis of your pet’s urine is used to detect the presence of substances that usually don’t appear in urine such as protein, sugar, white blood cells or blood.  This test can help you vet diagnose urinary tract infections, diabetes, dehydration, kidney problems and many other conditions.

3. Blood-chemistry panel.  This measures electrolytes, enzymes and chemical elements such as calcium and phosphorus.  This will help your vet determine if many vital organs such as the kidneys, pancreas and liver are functioning properly. 

4. Parasite evaluation.  Microscopic examination of your pet’s feces can provide information about many diseases, difficulty with digestion, internal bleeding, and disorders of the pancreas.  Most importantly it can confirm the presence of intestinal parasites sich as roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm and giardia.

Don’t put off a bi-annual trip to the vet for your furry friend.  It can make the difference between healthy golden years together, or ones filled with pain and illness.  If you are looking for a Dog Cremation Urn, look for a personalized one and create a special pet memorial for your lost loved one.

11:34 25 August 2010

Sensory Changes with Age

Pets also experience sensory changes as they age.  These changes may be so subtle you may not notice them unless you are paying close attention.  With the Senior Years, also comes a general “slowing down” in animals.  As their major senses (sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing) begin to dull with age, you may find that your furry friend may have a slower response to external stimuli.  This loss of sensory perception is often a slow, progressive progress, and the best remedy for gradual sensory reduction is to keep your pet active.  Playing and working training exercises are an excellent way to keep your pet’s senses sharp. 

Pets may also be affected mentally as they age – just like humans they may begin to forget things and are susceptible to mental conditions.   They may also begin to confront age-related congnitive and behavior changes.  Most of these changes in your pet are rather subtle and can be addressed in a proactive manner.  Regular senior exams by your vet can catch and treat these problems before they become a problem and control your pet’s life. 

When looking for a Dog Urn or Cat Urn or any other Pet Urn, make sure you get one that is one cubic inch for every pound your pet weighs.

10:01 24 August 2010

When does “Senior” Start?

So when should you consider your pet a “Senior”?  There are endless varieties of senior foods, supplements, beds, etc.  So when does your pet qualify for this new title in life?
Usually smaller breeds of animals live longer than larger ones, and cats usually live longer than dogs.  The life span of your beloved companion animal will vary with each individual, so your veterinarian will be the best source of advice.  He/she will be able to determine what stage of life your furry friend is currently in and can help you and your pet transition into each one according to size, breed and age. 

Keep in mind that some breeds of dogs are considered “Senior” between ages 10-13, but giant breeds can reach that as early as 5.  Recognizing the “golden years” as a pet owner is very important.  We need to be cognisant of our friends starting to slow down a bit, and watch for the signs of arthritis and other age-related disorders.  Scheduling regular vet exams is one of the most important things we can do to keep our pets in top condition.  Especially as our pets age, these exams become even more important than ever.  The AAHA recommends that healthy senior dogs and cats  have a check up every 6 months – which is equivalent to every 5-7 human years.  Client education and complete laboratory testing to make sure all of your pet’s body systems are functioning properly are the key to Senior health exams.

Pet Memorial Stones are a way you can pay tribute to your loved one.  You can have them laser etched with a photo, dates and personal tribute and they last for generations.

9:36 28 July 2010

Treatment Choices for Pain

There are a large variety of pain medications on the market available for pets.  You and Veterinarian can determine which is best for your furry best friend.  Many drugs now come in many different, easily administers forms such as liquids, skin patches and gels.  It gives us as pet owners more options than just the pill that is almost impossible to get your pet to swallow!

Basically there are two main kinds of pet pain killers – the Anti-inflammatory or the steriods, and the Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS).  The steroids are  used to decrease inflammation and to decrease pain, but are not generally prescribed to be used for prolonged periods.  They can have adverse side effects.  The NSAIDS or non-steriod forms of pain killers are most often used to treat orthopedic-related pain with fewer side effects.  There are also several other classes of pain medications available so it is important to consult with your Vet about which one is right for your pet.  Together you can determine the right pain medication and treatment plan to give your loved one a more comfortable life.

When searching for the perfect Pet Urn, be sure to find one that fits the personality and size of your beloved pet.  You will need one cubit inch for every pound your pet weighs.

12:31 27 July 2010

Pet Pain and Massage

There is an art to pet massage.  Many people swear by it and there are even classes you can take to learn how if you are interested.  I know locally in our small town there is even a Equine Massage Therapist who also teaches classes on how to massage horses.  But there is also a simple way you can massage your pet at home, just for relaxing and bonding between you and your pet.  It is nothing more that organized petting, but can help soothe your pet and help you to observe any unusual lumps, bumps, scrapes and bruises on his/her body.  Just make sure you are gentle and that you do not apply pressure over the spinal area.  Start at one end of your pet and gently, softly massage the muscles and joints while you talk to your pet in a very soothing voice.  You may also trying singing to your pet in a soft tone, to help them relax and understand that this massage time is a good time together.  Help your pet lay quietly and enjoy this bonding time, don’t scold or raise your voice if he/she doesn’t understand what you expect of him/her at first.  Gradually make this a routine thing you may do once a week or even once a day.  Animals are creatures of habit and can better indentify with a task if is repeated at the same time of day.  They tend to have internal clocks and may respond to something better if it is done at the same time – say in the evening before bed.  Help make this a postive experience by rewarding your pet at first with a treat, so they will identify the massage with something good.  As you both get better at it – you massaging, your pet holding still for it, you can make it a fun time to enjoy together.  If your pet shows any sign of discomfort, discontinue the massage immediately and seek the advice of your Veterinarian.  

Pet Burial Stones last for generations and will bring you and your loved ones a lifetime of fond memories.

9:06 21 July 2010

Pets 10 Commandments

 A PET’S TEN COMMANDMENTS  1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.  2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.  3. Place your trust in me.. It is crucial for my well-being.  4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.  5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.  6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.  7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.  8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.  9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.  10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.  Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them.  Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God’s critters.  We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!    (Thank you to the anonymous author who posted this online) To find a large selection of beautiful Dog Caskets, visit Treasured Friend Memorials.