Mike Davies will discuss how approximately 40% of dogs attending first-opinion veterinary practices in the UK are aged over 7 years. There are breed differences, but this is the age at which age-related changes are occurring in tissues and age-related diseases start to appear. There have been many advances in Geroscience and in this presentation he will discuss common age-related problems and recent developments in the early detection, diagnosis, and management of age-related disease, with practical advice on how to manage an elderly canine population in practice including geriatric screening programmes.

Sam Taylor, an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Feline Medicine will discuss how with advances in medical care and nutrition, cats are living longer, and senior and super senior cats are regularly seen in clinics. With age comes illness, and chronic kidney disease and osteoarthritis for example become common as the years go by. Many conditions can be well managed giving these golden oldies an excellent quality of life. However, there are barriers to healthcare for this age group, and early diagnosis of the disease is preferable before cats have lost body condition and are harder to treat. Running both a Cat Friendly, and ‘senior-friendly’ clinic can optimize the care of our feline OAPs, and overcome barriers to visiting the clinic.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how to advise owners on changing the home environment to make it suitable for senior cats
  • Understand the importance of helping owners medicate their cats for chronic illness
  • Describe how to overcome barriers to clinic visits for older cats and their owner including Cat Friendly Clinic principles for older cats
  • List common health conditions identified in senior and super senior cats
  • Explain normal ageing changes in senior cats
  • Appreciate recent developments in the management ageing and age-related diseases.
  • Understand the basic principles of managing elderly patients
  • Understand the importance of screening and early diagnosis
  • Understand the common age-related diseases in dogs
  • Understand the significance of ageing changes in tissues

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