Case of the month 'Jet & Tilly'

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Willunga Vet Services
37 Main Rd
SA 5172

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8556 2075
8556 2654

Aldinga Vet Services
16 Heathersay Ave
Aldinga Beach
SA 5173

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8556 5498

Both Jet and Tilly are great mates and have enjoyed many a winter curled up in front of the fire together. Separated by only a couple of years, their feline antics have created laughter and at times angst – it’s sometimes hard to keep that hunting instinct at bay! However, by and by, their years have been pretty uneventful – filled with toy mice, cotton balls and soft beds!

Jet and Tilly get along really well but are completely different in their personalities. This is no surprise – Jet is a smaller, medium-haired “run-of-the-mill” cat, whilst Tilly has more pedigree in her breeding – she’s a right royal Burmese!

Their owners have been absolutely besotted and done as much as they can for them. Until recently, both Jet and Tilly were pretty well low maintenance family members when it came to health care, however, their more recent visits have thrown up a couple of curve balls. L

Jet is 8 years old and Tilly is 10. Tilly has been having regular Senior Check-ups every 6 months whilst until recently; Jet was having an Annual Health Check (but coming along for the ride with Tilly for moral support!). After Jet’s 7th birthday, he too has had a full Senior Health Check every 6 months since then. We initially performed an annual blood and urine test on both of them as part of their early Senior screening. This is quite routine and often becomes twice a year (6-monthly) once pets reach 10 years of age or if they develop health issues.

Unfortunately, both Jet and Tilly have developed different problems. This has proven to be some heartache for their owners, but the real upside is that the problems were detected early and we will be able to really limit the impact of these changes on their quality of life and their longevity.

Jet very recently developed some new habits – he became quite hungry and despite eating more and becoming more competitive with his food, his condition began to drop away. He was also a little sketchy and moody! At his last Senior Check-up, his blood test revealed a hyperactive thyroid. Thankfully he has great parents who have been diligent in their care – this disease will be controlled from now on with daily medication. Left uncontrolled, it would have led to sustained high blood pressure and potentially kidney failure, blindness and other changes that would have really reduced his quality of life. He’s actually putting up really well with his tablets and despite his owners initial concerns, they can now have some peace of mind knowing that they caught this disease early before too much damage had occurred (common in cats and often age related).

Tilly’s complaint is a more obvious senior problem – arthritis! She too has been on medication, but for a longer period of time. Her anti-inflammatories are keeping her mobile and happy but it does mean we need to monitor her kidney function closely. This is easy – it was actually already occurring as part of her 6-monthly Senior Check-ups via her blood and urine tests. These two lab tests (which we perform for a discounted fee of $95 as part of a Senior Health Check) are a great window into the body. They let us assess the state of the liver and kidneys, the red and white blood cell profile and numerous other organ systems (including the thyroid). Add this information to your (owner’s) historical observations and the physical findings during a Senior Check-up and we have a really powerful tool for analysing your pet’s overall health and the changes that occur over 6 months (which is actually 3.5 years in terms of actual body change internally).

Tilly is also having regular Cartrophen injections and has had a regular acupuncture treatment. Both cats are also on a Hills senior food.

Both Jet and Tilly are an example of great pet ownership – they are a very much-loved member of a close-knit family and their parents have been really responsible in their care, even more so now they’ve entered their Senior years.

We will always recommend 6-monthly Senior Check-ups for pets over the age of 7. This is the best way to ensure you have a great long-lived relationship with your pet.

If we neglect to mention this at any of your visits to Aldinga or Willunga, pull us up on it! Ask us about Senior Health!

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