Comox Vet

What We Need to Know About Caring for Our Senior Cats


Generally, cats over 7-10 years of age should be considered seniors, and as they age, changes in the body occur as well. For instance, in one study, roughly 90% of cats over the age of 12 years were noted to have radiographic evidence of arthritis! Needless to say, with arthritis comes pain and mobility issues. If your older cat has become less active and is now reluctant to jump on counters and couch tops - it may be less that he/she has become obedient, and more that they are in pain due to arthritis.

Dental disease can also pose a problem for our senior cats. This can be painful, even causing your cat to have difficulty eating or even avoiding eating. Talk about discomfort! This is no way to live.😿

Weight loss is not only attributed to dental disease, but our senior cats can also suffer from kidney disease, thyroid disease, liver disease, heart disease   and other conditions that may result in weight loss.

On the other hand, some senior cats may have the opposite problem. Some cats will become less active with age, essentially becoming couch potatoes, and will gain weight as a result! 
What can you do to help your senior cat?

Come in and receive 20% off your Senior Pet Exam this month only. This is for pets over 10 years of age. We're here to help!

From the desk of Dr. Stacey Gastis

Dr. Stacey, help! My dog drinks a LOT of salt water every time we go to the beach!

I know I watched Clara my Newfoundland drink up half of Comox Bay last week and she was just out of reach watching me the whole time daring me to stop her. She won! Later that night the catharsis began - and in our home no less. She won again!

Apart from the intestinal issues and the vomiting a big intake of salt can really hurt doggies. While there is no specific amount per kg of pet that will tip the balance, you really need to watch for signs of salt toxicity. The early sign is vomiting, nature’s way of preventing further toxin absorption. This is a good thing and probably prevents trips to our hospital. Signs of more serious toxicity include in-coordination, staggering, depression, tremors and seizures. 

If you see signs beyond vomiting then call us right away. Don’t wait till morning. We've got our emergency line available 24/7 (250) 339-6555

Treatment can take up to 2 days in the hospital because too rapid a correction with IV fluids causes irreversible brain damage.

 Homemade play dough ingestion will cause this as well.

Next time, I told Clara I’ll be going in to get her!

Itchy Scratchy Cats and Dogs

Skin problems are one of the most common reasons why people bring in their cats and dogs to see us.  It's easy to imagine that our itchy cats and dogs have a decreased quality of life and can even feel quite miserable due to their discomfort, so we aim to diagnose and establish a treatment plan as quickly (and cost-effectively) as possible. The underlying causes of your pet's itchiness can vary widely, and should be properly diagnosed by a veterinarian.

Some signs you might notice in your itchy pet include: 

  • Ear infections
  • Redness of the skin
  • Wounds associated with scratching (“hot spots”)
  • Secondary infections
  • Hair loss
  • Gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting and diarrhea (associated with adverse food reactions)

What are the most common causes of skin problems?

Flea allergies, atopic (environmental allergies), adverse food reactions, and skin infections are common culprits.

If your pet seems to be continuously itching and scratching, bring them in for their Itchy Scratchy exam. We can help you uncover the cause, and find them some relief!

This month only, we're offering 20% off our Itchy Scratchy pet exams. Call us today. (250) 339-6555

Ditch the itch and the prednisone!

The magic itch pill Apoquel has arrived in Canada. If your pet suffers from chronic environmental allergies, we can now add this tool to help rid the itch and accompanying red skin, paws, and ears. 

Even better? We may be able to throw away the prednisone and frustration. It works at the level of the allergy immune system and stops the release of inflammation and itch chemicals produced by the body. Pets who have recurring issues, flare-ups during pollen season or year round dust mite allergies can really benefit from this new medicine.

Call us to make an appointment to switch medicines.