Monday, October 29, 2012

Senior Pet Awareness

With more than 18 million senior dogs, and 22 million senior cats, it is important to help build greater awareness of the special care and changing needs that aging animals require. As a veterinarian I encourage owners of pets ages 7 and older to visit their veterinarians more frequently for senior care checkups.  More medical attention is required for senior pets, and detecting diseases early on is the key to a longer healthier life.

1.     Take your senior pet to the veterinarian for a checkup at least every six months.  This is important in monitoring changes in his or her health.
2.     During your senior pet's regular checkups, regular blood and urine testing can help identify diseases in their earliest and most treatable stages.
3.     Look, listen and feel for bumps, signs of pain, or behavioral changes. Disorientation, changes in sleep or loss of house-training, weight fluctuation, increase in thirst and/or urination, or any change in your pet’s normal behavior could be a sign of a health problem.

4.     Speak with your veterinarian regarding nutritional needs for aging pets.

      5.     Your pet’s gums and teeth can be indications of health problems- dental or otherwise.
6.     Maintaining a familiar routine with your animal is an easy way to minimize stress in their life, in addition to providing exercise for weight control and muscles tone.

7.     Give your pet the love and attention you have always provided.

Establish a senior care program with your veterinarian to improve their healthcare and life expectancy. Love and affection, combined with regular veterinary checkups can help keep your furry companion content in their later years of life.
About the Author

Dr. Alison Birken, owner of Victoria ParkAnimal Hospital, specializes in all general medicine and surgery for dogs and cats. Victoria Park Animal Hospital offers the most state of the art equipment and facilities, in addition to bathing and grooming services.

Victoria Park Animal Hospital
626 North Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
(954) 617-8724



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Costume Contest!!

Halloween is only 4 weeks away!
VPAH is hosting a pet costume contest, judged by our staff and Dr. Birken.

Post pictures on our face book page, Please include, pets name, age and a short description.   Don’t forget to share this with friends and family on facebook

Entries will be accepted until Friday, October 26th.  Winners will be announced on Facebook.

The Winner will receive a free bath, free exam and some fun goodies!!

Visit Us On Facebook!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

When To Take Your Pet To The Vet

Our pets may get sick or feel a little sluggish from time to time, but may get better on their own. However, there are many symptoms that a pet may show that should never be overlooked and require vet care. As a pet parent it may be difficult to know which ones these are sometimes. Following is a list of some symptoms to watch for that should always be checked out by your veterinarian:

  • Unexplained weight loss (even if gradual)
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Excessive liquid/bloody or recurrent diarrhea
  • Sudden inability to get up (may be with or without heavy breathing)
  • Labored/rapid breathing (increased movement/effort in abdomen would be seen) *Does not include normal panting*
  • A cat that is panting
  • Completely non-weight bearing on a leg
  • Pale or blue/purple mucous membranes (look at the non-pigmented part of the gums/inside of lip)
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Loss of appetite with one or more of any other symptoms from list
  • Loss of appetite for more than 24 hours, or decline in appetite over days to weeks
  • Blood in urine
  • Sudden onset of urinary accidents in house/urinating frequently
  • Difficulty passing urine (vocalizing while straining especially in cats)
  • Decline in energy that doesn’t resolve in 24 hours. *If coupled with one or more other symptoms from list, bring in sooner*
  • Inability to get comfortable. Possibly whimpering or crying out, either when touched, moving, or trying to lie down.
If your pet is not their usual self, it’s never a bad idea to have them checked out. You can either call to speak with a Vet Tech to discuss symptoms or schedule an exam. The Vet will need some information about their eating habits, energy level, drinking habits, and how their stools look to help determine what’s wrong.