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AAHA Senior Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

This paper provides 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. The management of pain and distress and the application of hospice and palliative care are addressed. Advice on ways to approach euthanasia and dealing with end-of-life issues is also provided.

Nutritional Assessment Guidelines (PDF)

The American Animal Hospital Association recommends these nutritional assessment guidelines because good nutrition enhances pets’ quality and quantity of life, and is integral to optimal animal care. Incorporating nutritional assessment into regular animal care is critical for maintaining pets’ health, as well as their response to disease and injury. It requires little to no additional time or cost.

Weight Management Algorithm (PDF)

Take a full dietary history and perform a physical exam. That exam should include a nutritional assessment with body condition score (BCS) and/or muscle condition score (MCS). Explain what you are doing as you do it. Record the nutritional assessment and BCS/MCS in the medical record.

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