Small Talk - Spring 2018

Long Term Health 02 small talk Diseases such as diabetes , hypothyroidism and epilepsy can develop in young to middle aged dogs and with appropriate medication can live a normal life, while some diseases, such as arthritis or heart disease (which often develop in later life), can be effectively managed to give your pet a good quality of life. When your pet is diagnosed with a problem that requires long term medication, your vet will discuss with you the various medications and treatments that are available for that particular condition, for example a cat with an overactive thyroid could be treated with tablets, oral liquid, or in some cases a cream applied to the skin of the ear. We appreciate that medicating pets can be difficult, (giving a cat a pill can be quite challenging at times!) and that medication may need to be 2 or 3 times a day, or given by injection (e.g. insulin). Your practice team will be able to help talk you through this and give you the help and support that you need. Veterinary nurses are often very good with tips and tricks to help you medicate your pet, such as disguising tablets in tasty treats or strong-smelling foods. When your pet is prescribed with a long term medication it is important that your pet is checked regularly (your vets will discuss how frequent this needs to be) to make sure that the medication is working or if other medications may be required. We also need to make sure that nothing else has changed with your dog’s health. Sometimes blood tests will be required to make sure the level of medication is correct or that it is not having an effect on your pet’s kidneys or liver. By working with your practice team we can achieve the best outcome for your pet and give them the best quality of life we can. The importance of compliance with long term medication While we all hope that our pets are going to be healthy and live a long and happy life, unfortunately some of our four legged friends develop conditions that require long term medication, often life-long. Kate Lethbridge MRCVS, BVMBVS (Hons), BVMedSci (Hons) St Boniface Veterinary Clinic