Enfield Veterinary Hospital
94 Coronation Parade
Enfield, NSW, 2136

Phone: 02 9747 3999
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To All the Friends of Enfield Vet and their Pets,

This month's newsletter focuses mostly on the care of our senior pets.

Winter is often a really good time to think about the needs of our old friends as a lot of their problems become more apparent in the colder months - things like arthritis, mobility issues and incontinence.

There are lots of treatments available for many of the conditions that afflict our pets as they age which can make them much more comfortable for many years and really enhance their overall quality of life. For dogs, anywhere over 8-10 years (depending on size) is the start of what we would consider elderly. Dogs at this age or older (and cats over 10-12 years) should have a check-up at least every year so that we can be sure that their general health is in order and that we are not missing any issues that could be causing them pain or discomfort.

On the subject of elderly pets, we currently have an older Ridgeback X, called Rex, looking for a new home. He is with us after having been abandoned by his owners and we are trying to find him a new home. If anyone knows of someone who might like to welcome a healthy and loving elderly pet into their home please contact us  and arrange a time to come and visit Rex. He has been with us now for around 2 months and we would like to get him a new family asap (even though we will all miss him).

In staff news we welcome a new nurse, Angela. She comes to us with a wealth of experience from another vet hospital in the Inner West and she is also a local to the area. We welcome her on board and hopefully she will get to meet you all over the next few months.

As always, please feel free to call us on 9747 3999 to discuss any of the content in the newsletter - we are here to help with your veterinary problems in any way we can.

Until Next Month,

The Team at Enfield Vet Hospital

Contents of this newsletter

01  Is your pet over the hill?

02  Three common senior pet questions

03  Top reasons to adopt a senior pet over a puppy or kitten

04  Heating up the fleas

05  Look into my eyes

01 Is your pet over the hill?

The thought might not have even crossed your mind … but could your pet be starting to show his age?

Most people are not aware that cats and dogs are generally considered ‘senior’ after the age of about 8 years. Whilst the majority of our furry friends are well off showing ANY signs of slowing down at this age, there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Obvious changes might include grey hairs around the muzzle, the occasional accident around the house, hearing loss or stiff legs. Beyond the changes you can see, there can be a slowing metabolism and changing nutritional requirements.

So if you have a senior pet, it's important to arrange more regular check ups with us. We will watch for trends in your pet's weight, check they don't have sore joints and examine them for new lumps or bumps. A thorough dental check, eye check and heart check is also important for a senior pet.

We may also suggest blood tests, urine tests and blood pressure measurements to make sure that, internally, all is going along nicely.

If you have a senior pet call us and arrange a check up today - we can help your pet live a longer and healthier life.

02 Three common senior pet questions

1. Can my pet get dementia?

Yes - we now know that, like humans, dogs and cats can suffer from dementia. Common signs include becoming lost in usually familiar surroundings, loss of toilet training, trouble finding doors and stairways, sleep disturbances at night, separation anxiety and staring at walls. We can help you support your pet through this - just ask us for more information.

2. Can I still exercise my pet as he gets older?

Yes - consistency is the key and this will help keep him mobile and lean. Don’t overdo it and avoid repetitive exercise such as throwing the ball twenty times over as this can place added stress on joints. We can advise you on an exercise regime for your senior pet. 

3. Do I need to change my pet’s diet as he gets older? 

Yes - senior pets need a well balanced diet that is generally lower in calories, but still has adequate protein, fat and fibre. Some pets will require diets high in essential fatty acids for arthritis support. We are the best place to seek advice when it comes to a senior diet. 

If you have any questions about your senior pet we are always here to provide you with the best possible advice. 

03 Top reasons to adopt a senior pet over a puppy or kitten

If you're looking to add a new addition to your family you're probably considering a cute, cuddly little puppy or kitten. But if you're wanting a true companion (and possibly less work!) then a senior pet might be the better option.

Here are some good reasons why a senior pet can be a good choice:

1. Senior pets are mostly toilet trained which means you have more time to play with your new friend

2. You know what you are getting when it comes to size, coat length and temperament

3. Senior pets are generally more mellow, relaxed and independent 

4. You are saving a life and giving a pet a second chance - and you'll be surprised how most pets seem to know it!

We can point you in the right direction when it comes to adopting a senior pet - ask us for our recommendations. 

04 Heating up the fleas

Fleas love winter. Why? Because their eggs love a warm house to hatch in!

If you've suddenly noticed your dog is itching or your cat is over grooming or, heaven forbid, you have itchy ankles, it could be FLEAS!

Flea eggs require a warm temperature to hatch so if you've turned the heating on to keep warm you might have turned on flea hatching too. 

That's why it's super important to apply flea treatment all year round.

Ask us for the most suitable flea prevention for your pet. 

05 Look into my eyes

We finally know why you love your dog like a child. Scientists have shown that when you look into your dog's eyes, it triggers a spike in the "love hormone" oxytocin in both humans and the dog. This is the same mechanism that helps mothers bond with their newborn babies.

The study, conducted at The University of Japan, suggests that the dog literally 'hijacked' the parent-child bonding mechanism.  

You can read more here.