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The Madera Tribune

Caring for older pets

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webmaster | 09/28/13

Samantha loves to voice her complaints with a hiss and swat of the paws. She is a beautiful 17-year-old, much loved, calico kitty. At home, she is in charge. Her humans merely catering to her wishes and whims.

She came to the Madera Veterinary Center about two months ago after her family noticed she was losing weight and not eating much. Blood work revealed early kidney disease, which is treatable in the short term. The only trouble is that Samantha decided she does not like taking medication, the extra fluids for kidney dieresis, or eating the diet that is most beneficial for treating kidney disease. More on Samantha in a bit.

I can’t begin to explain how much I love meeting and interacting with older pets. There is just something great about the dignified lab with white in his muzzle, or the grumpy old tabby cat that still likes to get into scuffles protecting his house. Senior pets have an unidentifiable grace that brings their guardians both joy and sadness as natural aging progresses. The good news is that our pets are now living longer thanks to devoted owners, modern veterinary medicine, and great nutrition.

As our pets age, ailments such as periodontal disease, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, and cancer can emerge. Fortunately, veterinary medicine and dentistry has kept pace with the best human practices. Think of your veterinarian as a dentist, gerontologist, dermatologist, oncologist, and internist all in one...


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