Meadows Vet News


Senior Petizens Month

It is important to remember, pets age much faster than people do, and their rate of aging depends not only on the species type but also on the size of the breed. Cats are generally less than 10kg and are considered senior citizens after the age of 8. Dog breeds, however, display a wide variety of weights. The greater the weight of the breed, the sooner they reach their golden years. The table below gives a good indication of the human to pet age relationship as it has been proven that the old thought of one human year to seven pets’ years is not accurate when comparing physiological changes.

As dogs and cats age much faster than we do, health problems progress much more rapidly. Australian pets are living longer than ever, and are increasingly suffering from many of the same chronic diseases that affect humans such as:

  • Arthritis

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney failure

  • Dental disease

  • Liver and intestinal disorders

  • Behavioural issues relating to senility

  • Vision problems

Early detection is the key, and fortunately there are many ways we can diagnose and treat these conditions and improve the quality of your pet’s life.


Horses also tend to have more trouble handling cold weather as they grow older so practicing proper winter horse care is important. It’s not uncommon for horses in their 20s or beyond to have difficulty holding their weight, staying warm and/or moving around during the winter. The two areas of winter horse care that can have the biggest influence on the health of older horses are feeding and rugging. Giving a horse access to a large amount of hay will help to keep him warm. For horses unable to consume enough long-stem hay, consider adding beet pulp to the diet. This is an easily digested fibre source that can help meet the horse's energy needs. For other hard keepers, you might need to supplement the diet with vegetable oil to increase calorie intake.


Check out our website or give us a ring on 08 8388 3455  if you would like to know more!