We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.
Cats are a very popular pet, and are considered family members by many owners. Unfortunately, many senior cats do not receive appropriate preventative health care. Our goal at the Mission Ridge Animal Hospital is to deliver consistent high quality care to senior cats. We promote longevity and strive to improve the quality of life of senior cats.
What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How to spot signs of ageing?
A convenient way to view older cats is to classify them as “middle-aged” (7-10 years), “senior” (11-14 years) and “geriatric” (15+ years). Typical changes noted as cats age include: decreased skin elasticity, decreased hearing/vision/sense of smell, loss of lean muscle mass, moving more slowly (arthritis), constipation, dental disease, more easily stressed, and changes in behaviour.
My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?
Part of the normal aging process is the redistribution of fat and the loss of lean muscle mass. It is important to ensure that your aging feline is receiving enough protein in his/her diet, as there may be a decrease in absorption. Many disease processes can also account for weight loss, such as: kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and cancer. A thorough exam, blood work and urine analysis is strongly recommended for all older cats that are losing weight.
How can I care for my senior cat?
A senior cat wellness visit will provide you with a tailored plan on how to care for your individual cat. Nutrition and weight management will be discussed, as well as maintaining a predictable routine with a quiet, safe sleeping area. You might need to change the access to food, water and litter. Senior cats may also need more help with grooming. The vast majority of senior cats benefit from the addition of omega three fatty acids and other joint support products.
What are some common health issues?
Kidney disease is very common in aging cats, as is hyperthyroidism (an increase in production of thyroid hormone), pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, dental disease, arthritis, cognitive dysfunction (behavioural changes) and cancer. Many of these conditions are associated with weight loss, an increase in water consumption and urination, vomiting, a change in appetite and diarrhea.
Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?
Behavioural issues can arise secondary to pain or discomfort. This is why a thorough physical exam, and quite often a complete blood and urine analysis are necessary to pinpoint the site/cause of discomfort. It is also common to do a trial on a pain control medication to see if the behaviour improves. Cats can also manifest behavioural issues due to the natural changes in the brain associated with aging.
Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.
The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:
1. We are currently operating a "closed-door" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 780-458-3833. We will take a history of your pet from outside of your car, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan.
2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.
3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Saturdays 9:00 - 2:00 pm and closed on Sundays.
4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment from your vehicle. We do have our online store available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the Online Store button.
5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.
6. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.
Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.
Your dedicated team at Mission Ridge Animal Hospital