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Senior Cats & Dogs

Health preserving info for your Senior Cat or Dog!

Senior Cat & Dog Info

This Pet Pick collates a series of articles that relate to older Cats/Dogs and their care. Included is information on old age diseases with Cats/Dogs, nutrition and other items of importance.


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Your Pet's Symptoms

  • Lameness, stiffness, difficulty rising or climbing stairs 
  • Limping or holding foot up 
  • Hip, joint and back pain 
  • Weak hind legs 
  • Pain with movement

Possible Causes

  • Arthritis 
  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Older pets 
  • Previous injury

Dr Cam gives Welfare Focused Information about your Senior Pet!

1. Caring for your Old Mate

2. Health Enhancers

3. Pets and Euthanasia

4. My pet Has Cancer

5. Eye Diseases in pets – a Thing to Watch

6. Arthritic diseases in dogs and cats

7. Brain Strain - Members Only

8. On Deaf Ears

9. Portly Pets

10. Ten Tooth Truths

11. Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats

12. Chronic Renal Diseases in Pets

Specific Info for Dogs

Senior DogsCushing's Disease in Dogs

Senior DogsWhat Causes a Dog to Limp?

Old Dogs with Old Brains - Podcast

Specific Info for Cats

Senior CatsA Wee problem with cats 

Senior CatsNo Bored Cats                       

Senior CatsKeeping cats content

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Health Enhancers

If you don't own a pet then don't read this article!

What follows is secret pet owner's businessGirlp and Pup and is not for viewing by non-pet owners.

You see, those of us who are pet-enhanced, know things that pet-depleted folk don't.  As committed pet owners, we know that patting a pet and watching its antics are good for us. We know that we have better cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol than those that are not touched by pet ownership.

So, if a non-pet owner clutches his or her chest in front of you and turns an unattractive blue colour, forget the nitrite tablets - put a cat under their tongue and they are sure to recover!

Nevertheless, we must not be greedy and should ethically share the benefits of pet ownership with those that don't have ready access to pets and we can do our bit by becoming involved with Pets as Therapy.

What is Pets as Therapy

Pets as Therapy (PAT) is a program where volunteers with the pets visit nursing homes, retirement villages and other residential care facilities with the prime purpose of bringing fun, joy, and both physical and mental stimulation to the residents.

Puppy_SeminarUsually the volunteers are trained and accredited and several organisations, including Guide Dogs for the Blind, provide such services.

The benefits we get from pet ownership have long been recognised and presumably, much of these benefits also relate to people in nursing homes and in other caring institutions when they are in regular contact with pets.

Without doubt, when animals visiting residential care facilities, they help the residents feel less lonely and less depressed and provide a welcome change from the daily routine.

A visiting therapy pet refreshes residents' relationships with animals and reminds them of past pleasures and evokes happy memories.

Many residents become more active and responsive both during and after visiting with animals. The animals offer entertainment or are a welcome distraction from pain and infirmity the residents may be suffering.

Some residents of nursing homes often talk with dogs and share their thoughts, feelings and memories - such sharing often being difficult with fellow residents and staff.

With regular visits of PAT animals, the residents have something they can look forward to. The petting of an animal encourages the use of hands and arms, and stimulates stretching and turning.

Further, when people are institutionalised, it is often difficult for them to talk to one another and to share feelings. A visiting pet acts as an item of common interest and provides a focus for conversation in much the same way that patrons of veterinary surgeries are much more conversational in their vet's waiting room than people in the waiting room of their doctor's surgery.

What Makes a Good Therapy Dog?

If you are considering that you would like to participate in a PAT program with your dog, your dog must be a suitable candidate.

Foremost, it must be social and friendly without being over-exuberant. Calm and serene dogs are ideal. Aggression of any type should be absent and it should not be fearful.  Your dog should also be well trained and responsive to commands.

Size is important. Very small dogs are probably not robust enough and very large dogs could be too cumbersome in a ward situation. Adorable Puppy And Young Girl .jpg

Naturally, the dogs must be healthy and responsibly maintained with all regular health-care tasks, such as worming and vaccinations, up to date.

Many organisations seeking to start a PAT program are having candidate canines temperament tested to ensure such dogs are suitable for inclusion into the program.

However, it is not only dogs that are used for therapy. Swimming with dolphins has been used to elicit communication in autistic children and finches have been used successfully to facilitate social interactions and attendance of patients in group sessions in mental hospitals. 

Horse riding has been used widely as a way for disabled people of all ages to improve their posture, balance and coordination. Horse riding for disabled people strengthens muscles, maintains and improves circulation and enhances mobility.

Even an aquarium of fish in a dentist's waiting room reduces anxiety in patients waiting for dental surgery.

If you would like further information about pets as therapy in Queensland or you would like to volunteer, scan the internet and  for details but you could also contact Guide Dogs Queensland on 073261 7555 and ask about their VISPAT program