Pets

Ask a vet: Health concerns for mature cats

Author: Canadian Living

Pets

Ask a vet: Health concerns for mature cats

This story was originally titled "Ask a Vet" in the September 2009 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

Question
: My 17-year-old cat has been acting out of sorts lately. Could he be suffering from dementia?

Dr. Marie McKibbin
: Your kitty is a senior citizen. Like all life stages, this one comes with its own set of health issues. Dementia ("cognitive dysfunction" as it is called in pets) is one of these problems. The list of signs is extensive, but includes confusion, restlessness, altered sleep patterns, house soiling and inactivity.

There are many age-related problems (arthritis) or diseases (diabetes) that can be mistaken for cognitive dysfunction. Since our pets can't tell us when they are unwell, a change in normal behaviour should always be investigated. Senior pets benefit from regular checkups. By identifying health issues in the early stages, vets can offer older pets the best treatment options for illness or behaviour problems.



Dr. Marie McKibbin practices at the Owen Sound Veterinary Clinic, Owen Sound, Ont.
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Pets

Ask a vet: Health concerns for mature cats

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