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12/12/2011 Study highlights some problems

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Vets are concerned that owners of pets are not able to recognise the signs of aging in their animals. Vets rely on information regarding abnormal signs in animals from pet owners but found that many are unable to give proper facts regarding the clinical signs associated with serious age related disorders.

There are eight clinical signs and analysts came to the conclusion that owners do not recognise their importance and did not seek veterinary attention quickly enough. There were almost 700 respondents to an online survey, some criticised this as it may not include those less literate, and 14 per cent would not recognise if red blood cells were present in the animal’s urine; 24 per cent would not if their animal lost its appetite.

The survey pointed out that 27 per cent would know if their pet lost weight or had excessive thirst; 38 per cent would not recognise if their pet suffered stiffness in its hind legs. Around 45 per cent could not be sure if their animal was obese and 47 would not know if their pet was showing signs of reluctance to exercise; and 48 per cent would not if their animal had bad breath.

Mr Davies, who conducted the survey for the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and the University of Nottingham said “This survey shows that vets cannot rely on clients to seek attention when they notice abnormal signs in their pets, as many do not recognise the importance of the signs “Practices should improve client education about the signs of age-related disease and consider implementing screening programmes to identify animals with unrecognised problems.”

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