There’s no question: Managing diabetes in pets requires a high level of commitment.
A patient’s life stage is one of the most relevant aspects of clinical practice because it guides risk assessment, a preventive healthcare plan, and appropriate treatment. A canine patient’s life stage also forms the basis for an ongoing dialog with the pet owner about a lifetime healthcare strategy for their pet.
To assist veterinary practices with utilizing the AAHA Senior Care Guidelines, AAHA offers the following list of resources.
Once the patient has been discharged, the anesthesia continuum comes full circle. Pet owners can benefit from receiving anesthetic discharge instructions , in addition to a surgical discharge form. This guides postoperative care by the pet owner and alleviates their concerns, addressing possible complications that could be encountered and outlining when the veterinary team should be contacted.
2020 AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines resources related to the guidelines for veterinary teams.
The pet owner begins the continuum of anesthesia with fasting the pet and administering medications as directed by the anesthesia team.
Veterinarians play a crucial role in protecting dogs, their families, and the public. Routine testing to screen healthy pets for zoonotic disease or shared disease (e.g., tick-borne illness) may allow early detection in people by acting as a sentinel for family health.
Safety hazards vary with the patient’s life stage and lifestyle as well as with impairments of mobility, hearing, or vision. Veterinary teams should guide the pet owner in identifying and evaluating the potential for hazards.
By three years of age, most dogs and cats have some level of periodontal disease. Not always apparent to pet owners, periodontal disease can cause oral pain, infection, inflammation, and other health problems, decreasing the quality of life for these pets. After a thorough and proper dental procedure, many pet owners report the emergence of a “whole new pet”—one who is happier, healthier, and more active.
These guidelines provide a working framework for enhancing the well-being of senior pet dogs and cats. Approaches to screening the medical status of senior pets are described in detail, with particular emphasis on establishing baseline data in healthy animals, the testing of clinically ill animals, and assessing senior pets prior to anesthesia and surgery.