Autumn begins officially today, September 22. The Fall season brings to mind our older canine and feline citizens who are not yet considered “geriatric” nor are they youngsters. They are healthy but on the downhill side of life. Magic, my gorgeous two-year-old German shepherd dog still acts like a pup. But I remember his predecessor during his golden years. And my Seren(dipity) cat is eleven--oh my gosh, that can’t be right! But it is. She’s a senior citizen kitty, still quite healthy, but Autumn reminds me that it’s likely more than half her life has passed. Do you have Autumn pets? If they’re healthy, rejoice but remain vigilant. More health challenges happen during babyhood and old age. If you catch things quickly, they often can be treated and managed. Smokey, at age 18 or thereabouts. She lived to be over twenty years old, and even in the autumn of her life, enjoyed special times with her family. Remember that for both older dogs and cats, the risk for diabetes, kidney problems, and heart concerns increase with age. Aging cats can often develop hyperthyroidism. And cancer strikes older pets much more frequently than youngsters. The best way to protect your Autumn pets is to be very aware of what’s considered normal for them. Then when anything changes, have the veterinarian check them asap. Twice yearly exams also can be very helpful for our older pets because things change so quickly in six months. Meanwhile, cherish your Autumn fur-kids. When they ask for a walk, or lap-cuddle, give in more often than not. Because one day, we’ll all wake up to realize that they’re gone, and it’s too late.
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