oregon, specialty, vet clinic, portland

Why Losing a Dog Can Be Harder Than Losing a Relative

Article by Natasha Feduik | Found on PetMD
I was 20 years old when I got my first dog. Of course, there were family dogs growing up, but this was my dog. I was living on my own for the first time, and he was mine to care for, love, and teach. It was like having a child. He relied on me for his basic life needs, like feeding, walking, and love. I relied on him for emotional support, entertainment, and love.
Though unlike a child who would grow up, move out, and start a life of his own, my dog was always going to be by my side, needing me as much as I needed him. We did everything together—we were inseparable. Read more

pet neurology, beaverton

5 Signs of Dog Dementia

Article by Katherine Tolford | Found on Pet MD
While your beloved senior dog can’t really forget where he put his car keys, it turns out that he is capable of experiencing “senior moments.” If your dog forgets the route on your daily walk or if he’s not enjoying the things he once did, like chasing after his favorite toy or greeting you at the door, he could be suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), or the doggy version of Alzheimer’s.
Canine cognitive dysfunction can occur for a number of reasons, like an accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain. This creates a build-up of plaque, which eventually damages nerves and results in the loss of brain function, which can affect your dog’s memory, motor functions and learned behaviors. Read more

Congestive Heart Failure in Cats

Article By Dr. Mike Paul, DVM | Featured on Pet Health Network
How does my cat’s heart work?
Your heart, your cat’s heart, all hearts, regardless of their size are basically muscular pumps that function to provide continual flow of adequate amounts of oxygenated blood and nutrition to every tissue in the body (the heart itself included) and then to return carbon dioxide-laden blood back to the lungs to exchange the carbon dioxide for oxygen. Then the cycle repeats — over and over again every moment of every day.
The demands on the heart vary naturally based on activity level and the amount of oxygen in the environment. More exertion, more carbon dioxide, or less oxygen and the heart has to beat faster to accomplish its goal. Internal issues also affect the heart’s productivity. If there is more resistance to the forward flow of blood (from narrowing or blockage of blood vessels, or increased blood pressure) then the heart has to work harder. Likewise there is backward movement of blood due to leaky heart valves then the heart has to work harder. Thickened heart walls leave less space inside the ventricle(s) for blood to accumulate so less blood will be pumped with the next beat. Conversely, if the heart muscle walls become too stretched and thin then they can’t effectively push all the stored blood forward. Read more

Teach Your Senior Dog to Use a Ramp or Stairs

Article by Mikkel Becker | Featured on GreyMuzzle.org
It’s important to practice obedience work and tricks with senior pets, but it is also essential to train your canine to cope with the aging process. This involves both lifestyle changes and the use of portable stairs and ramps, which help geriatric pets get on and off elevated areas safely and easi
ly.
Stairs are useful when placed next to stationary resting areas, such as the bed or couch. Ramps are portable and can fold up, which makes them ideal for getting in and out of the car. Choose ramps and stairs with an anti-skid surface, which gives your dog’s paws something to grip and makes him less likely to slip or jump off the edge. Read more

Orthopedic Beds for Senior Cats

Article by Jennifer Kvamme | Featured on PetMD

HEALTH BENEFITS OF ORTHOPEDIC CAT BEDS

Everyone deserves a good night’s rest, even your cat. Being able to rest comfortably is particularly important for cats that are getting up there in years, or for those that are recovering from surgery, illness or injury. As cats become older their bodies tend to lose muscle tone, circulation to the extremities is diminished, and healing slows down. At this point in his life, providing your cat with a soft, warm, cushioned place to lie down when the mood strikes is very important to his well-being.
Read more

Anesthesia and Surgery: Four Senior Dog Success Stories

Article written by Dr. Phil Zeltzmann, DVM, DACVS, CVJ | Found on PetHealthNetwork

Kelly Serfas, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Bethlehem, PA, contributed to this article.
Two of the most frequent comments veterinarians hear about senior dogs who need surgery are:

  • “That’s a lot of money for a 12-year-old”
  • “I’m concerned about the risks of anesthesia

As I always say, “age is not a disease.” What matters is the overall health of the patient, not the age. There are 14-year-old dogs who are healthier than 8-year-olds. When properly done, the risk of anesthesia is not significantly greater in seniors.
Keep in mind, when a senior dog requires anesthesia, it’s not for the fun of it. It is for a good medical reason, such as cleaning dirty teeth, or fixing a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), or removing a tumor. In any of these situations, the reason we recommend anesthesia and surgery is to improve the dog’s quality of life. So, instead of focusing on the dog’s age, which is just a number, we should focus on the health of the patient and the risks involved. In addition, we need to discuss how to decrease or manage the risks. Read more

Does Your Aging Pet Need a New Diet and Lifestyle?

Article Found on PetMD

How Diet and Exercise Can Make Your Senior Pet Live Longer

The connection between diet, exercise and weight has long been understood for pets. Just as important, however, is the role those three factors play in the health of our pets as they age. Let’s take a look at how to keep each properly in check and targeted towards the needs of your senior pet. Read more