VET’S VIEW: Take your older cat for a check-up

IT often amuses me to see the sort of advertisements that Google and Facebook think are relevant based on their profile of me.

I’ve learnt neither to be worried by the ones that suggest I’ve reached a certain age, nor tempted by the ones that want me to pretend I haven’t!

However, two things made me think recently.

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Firstly, my financial advisor pulled out his tables and told me what my life expectancy was, according to the actuaries, and then my doctors invited me to have a health check, which they were doing to all their patients in a particular age bracket.

We get used to having check-ups ourselves, but what about our animals?

Many practices offer pet health checks, either as part of a vaccination consultation or as a stand-alone item and this month in our practice we are focussing on older cats.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, cats are often very adept at hiding their symptoms, so it’s not always easy to spot when they are ill, and secondly there are a number of problems, which if spotted and treated early, will make a significant difference to your pet’s quality of life.

These include conditions such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, kidney failure and thyroid disease, and a check-up which includes measuring blood pressure (not always easy in a cat!) and testing a urine sample (ask your surgery for advice on how to collect one) can help to pick up the early warning signs.

Many surgeries will offer a variety of other clinics, too, for example to help you manage your pet’s weight or to monitor conditions like diabetes.

Often these clinics will be lead by veterinary nurses, who form a vital part of the practice and we have a great team here at Northdale.

In fact, I might just leave them to get on with it while I go and check out those adverts again!