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The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Vet Clinic with Liam Moriarty

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Vet Liam Moriarty

Old Dog Problems:

. Arthritis
. Cancer
. Deteriorating Eye Sight and hearing
. Dental problems
. Heart disease - next week so might leave out this week.

Older Cat problems:

. Weight loss.
. Drinking and urinating excessively.
. Arthritis - cats get arthritis too - signs to look out for.
. Tumours/lumps and bumps
. Dental problems


. Obesity
. Arthritis
. Dental Problems
. Eye problems

How to be your own vet at home ..

There are two things your vet will do when he sees your older pet:

1. She or he will examine your pet from head to tail.
2. She or he will ask lots of questions - this is crucial and these questions can help you identify problems in your pet...

. Does your pet exercise well? can indicate arthritis, heart disease

. Appetite and thirst, increase appetite can be a sign of diabetes or Cushings disease (hormonal problem) increased thirst can be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease. Decreased appetite can often mean dental problems

. Behavioural changes - old cats get thyroid conditions that can cause dramatic behaviour changes, arthritic cats can be grumpy, rabbits not using litter box can be arthritic, failing sight or hearing can cause behaviour changes.

. Any symptoms at home like coughing or intermittent vomiting

Remember old age is not a disease - if your animal is behaving differently there may be something wrong and there may be lots of things you can do to help.

Food - you are what you eat. Dogs, cats and rabbits are living longer now due to better nutrition. Will bring some different foods and supplements which can help older pets.

Cancer - prevention is better than cure. Neutering can prevent cancer in male and female dogs as well as in female rabbits. Check your pets for lumps and bumps.

Around the house - your pet may have changing needs so you may need to change their environment.

Bedding, crucial - take a look at where its positioned, make sure it is soft and comfortable, big beds for old arthritic dogs and cats so that they don't have to curl up too tight.

Flooring - slippery floors are a nightmare for arthritic dogs, cats and rabbits.

Cat flaps - make sure they are easy to use for older cats - not too stiff or if cat used to come in a window might not be able for that any more, give him a step.
What about a ramp for the car for dogs.

Rabbits - make sure that food and water are easy to reach.

If your dog is blind - don't move furniture about keep things the same. I would walk him along the same route every day. Leave different textured mats before steps etc - he will feel them under his feet and this way he will know his way about. Make sure he has a tag on his collar saying " I am blind" and also with his address on it.
Same for cats and deaf dogs. Also invest in a few stair gates to help them from getting injured

Grooming - older pets may not be able to groom themselves so well and fur can become matted causing skin problems.

An annual trip to the vet for an older pet is the equivalent of a trip to the doctor every 7 years - a very good idea...however you must get value for money, insist that your vet checks teeth, eyes and ears, listens to heart and lungs, weighs your pet and comments on its weight. Examines any lumps and bumps and takes notes! If you have noted any changes in your pets behaviour let the vet know - it might be important!

Robin: the dog - Golden Retriever - 7 (49 human years) - had her since she was a pup

Special foods:

Joint food - for dogs with arthritis - J-D - dry food, like dog biscuits
Food for weight loss - R-D - dry dog food, biscuity type of food
Bags of dried dog and cat foods for older dogs and older cats - different nutritionally

Over the counter supplements:

Arthri-aid - joints aids for dogs and cats, food supplement - liquid - (Irish)
Omega 8 - a skin supplement for cats and dogs - liquid (Irish)
Senior Aid - multi-vit. - liquid (Irish company)

Grooming Aids:

Soft grooming for cats - Zoom Groom - massages and grooms cats
Regular grooming brushes and combs
Nail clipper
Pet shampoo
Dog bed

Liam Moriarty Veterinary Surgeon
Hermitage Veterinary Clinic Lucan
Old Bawn Veterinary Clinic Tallaght