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June 2011

1. Living through the senior years
2. Is your pet suffering from Dementia?
3. Do you have an amazing senior pet?
4. Help save Australia’s wildlife
5. Cool cat facts

1. Living through the senior years

Is your pet slow to get up in the morning or lagging on walks? Are they sleeping more than usual or are a few grey hairs appearing around the muzzle? Have you put it down to 'just old age'? If this sounds familiar you should read on.

Our pets age very quickly and much can change in just a year. Most people don’t realise it but dogs and cats are classified as a senior when they reach 7 to 8 years of age. There may be obvious changes such as accidents around the house, hearing problems or stiff legs.

Beyond the changes you can see, there can be much more going on, such as a slowing metabolism, and changing nutritional requirements. It is easy to put any one of the following signs down to 'getting old', however any of these symptoms may indicate an underlying age related disease:

  • Changes in appetite or thirst

  • Increasing or decreasing weight
  • Loss of housetraining
  • Difficulty climbing stairs or getting into the car

  • A cough

  • New lumps

  • Bad breath

  • Changes in sleeping patterns

  • Occasional vomiting or diarrhoea

A regular health check with us is the key to picking up on any problems early and there is much we can do to help. Monitoring of your senior pet with blood and urine tests, blood pressure checks, eye checks, arthritis checks and weight checks are all important.

Call us to make an appointment for your senior pet to ensure you have many more happy and healthy years together.

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2. Is your pet suffering from Dementia?

Ageing takes a toll on your pet’s entire body, including the brain but did you know that our pets can suffer from dementia? The disease that affects dogs (known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) has many similarities to Alzheimer's disease in humans and the signs can be classified by the following:

D: Disorientation (dogs often end up stuck in a corner or go to the hinge side of the door to be let out)
I: Interaction (lack of interaction with family members or other pets)
S: Sleep pattern is disturbed
H: House training is lost
A: Activity levels decreased

While canine dementia has been recognised for some time, there is now increasing evidence that cats may suffer from senility too.

Signs may include: vocalising more or in an odd manner, failure to groom themselves, forget how to use a litter tray, appear agitated particularly at night when they should be sleeping.

The key point is that there are many other diseases that can lead to any of the signs of dementia so diagnosis involves a thorough assessment of your pet and elimination of other diseases.

There are prescription diets available that are rich in antioxidants to help slow the effects of dementia. To read other tips for any senior pet click here

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3. Do you have an amazing senior pet?

Do you have an amazing story about a senior pet that you would like to share? We are calling for any stories, photos and videos so we can make a special tribute page to our senior pets on our My Pet Stories website. We've got some Village Cinema movie passes up for grabs.

Mail your entries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Here’s something to get you inspired. Did you know that the oldest living cat in the world is an incredible 39 years? Her name is Lucy and she lives in South Wales. Lucy, a tabby is pictured below.

Lucy was born way back in 1972 meaning she has clocked up the equivalent of 172 human years! Lucy is apparently still fighting fit and has even been seen catching mice in the garden. You can read more about Lucy here

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4. Help save Australia’s wildlife

Did you know that Australia has the worst rate of mammal extinctions in the world? Or that more than 1,500 native animal and plant species are on the edge of distinction?

With this in mind, we would like to introduce you to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), an independent and not for profit organisation. AWC is dedicated to the effective conservation of all Australian animals and the habitats in which they live. AWC's network of 22 sanctuaries, covering nearly 3 million hectares (6.7 million acres), currently protects over 80% of Australia's mainland bird species and nearly 70% of our mammal species; more than any other non government organisation in Australia.

AWC manages its sanctuaries by implementing practical, on ground action (including feral animal control, fire management and weed eradication and threatened species translocations) to save wildlife. Keep an eye out for articles in upcoming newsletters where we will take a closer look at AWC's groundbreaking projects helping to save Australia's endagered animals from extinction.

In the meantime, June 5th 2011 is World Environment Day. Make a difference with a donation to AWC. With 90% of AWC's total expenditure invested in conservation programs, you can be confident that your support will make a difference where it counts the most; in the field.

To donate and to read more about the AWC visit www.australianwildlife.org

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5. Cool cat facts

  • Cats are the most popular pets in the world
  • A cat uses its whiskers as feelers for navigation and to determine the width of an opening before squeezing through
  • Scientists have discovered that a cat can be either right-pawed or left-pawed
  • Cats sleep on average 13-14 hours per day
  • A cat can jump up to seven times its height
  • The cat's clavicle, or collarbone, does not connect with other bones but is buried in the muscles of the shoulder region. This lack of a functioning collarbone allows them to fit through any opening the size of their head
  • Ailurophilia means the “love of cats"

Check out the cheekiest cat of all time here

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Sanford Vet clinic

42 Sanford St
Geraldton, WA 6530

PH: 9921 1797

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