Category Archives: melissa brookshire

Doc, How Long Will My Dog or Cat Live?


By Dr. Melissa Brookshire, DVM

This is a common question asked in veterinary practices every day. We all know that most pets don’t live as long as humans, but we want to know if we will have 10 good years, 15 good years or even longer with our special pet.

A 34-year old cat? Wow! While this number may sound extreme, the average life span of 15 years for a cat far exceeds the 4-6 years that was typical just 30 years ago. Dogs also are living longer now too, with significant variability in the average lifespan based on breed size.

In the Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice – Geriatrics, an article by Dr. Dottie LaFlamme says that 40% of dogs and 30% of cats in the United States are 6 years or older. Thirty years ago, we would not even be talking about this population because dogs and cats were simply not living that long.

So why are our pets living longer than ever before? Dr. Johnny Hoskins, in Geriatrics & Gerontology of the Dog and Cat, attributes the increased lifespan of our pet dogs and cats to veterinary research and care, and improvement in diet.

Did you know that the feline requirement for dietary taurine was not even identified until the 1980s? Research into the ideal diet for dogs and cats has identified beneficial nutrients that many premium pet foods now contain. Antioxidants, joint care supplements, probiotics, prebiotics and many others, are new ingredients that improve your pet’s well-being.

So, what can you do to help your pet live a longer, healthier life? Besides regular check-ups and preventive care at your veterinarian, your pet’s diet and body condition are two of the most important factors for longevity. A 14-year study done with a group of Labrador Retrievers showed a 1.8 year advantage for dogs that were maintained in lean body condition over dogs that were slightly overweight. The Labs were not allowed to be obese, as many pets are. Obesity has an even more detrimental impact on overall health and longevity, leading to chronic diseases that are difficult to manage.

Feeding your pet a premium food with high quality beneficial nutrients and keeping him in lean body condition will provide him with the nutritional advantage he needs to be happy and stay healthy.

Read more articles by Dr. Melissa Brookshire

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Top 10 Reasons Pets Go To The Vet

Did you take your pet to the vet last year? If so, you are in good company. More than 75% of pet owning households take their pets to the vet every year. About 1/4 of pet-owning households go to the vet four or more times per year. Routine veterinary checkups and vaccinations are the most common reason that pets go to the vet each year.
I have 3 dogs – Frog, Hank and Sophie. I was curious about the most common reasons that pets go to the vet so I did some checking and what I found was pretty interesting.
According to the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company, their policyholders visited the vet in 2008 for various reasons. They made a top ten list for dogs and cats, not including routine veterinary care. The top reason for dogs was ear infections and the top reason for cats was lower urinary tract diseases.
So, how did my own dogs fare according to the veterinary top ten? Well, one of my three dogs did have an ear infection, number 1 on the list. I did not fare so well with numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 on the list: 4. gastritis/vomiting, 5. enteritis/diarrhea, 6. urinary tract infections and 7. benign skin tumors.
My old lady Beagle, Frog, was the queen of 4, 6 and 7. She had to be treated for persistent vomiting (caused by number 6, urinary tract infection) and also had a benign skin tumor removed from her leg.
My big yellow Lab Hank was treated for 4 & 5 due to consumption of the stuffing from his bed. Oops!
The newest addition, our stray Lab mix Sophie did the best. She did have to get her vaccinations and get spayed, but (knock on wood) , has not been treated for any illness since she came to live with us.
Check out the full top ten lists for dogs and cats on VPI’s website.
Top Canine Claims Top Feline Claims
1.  Ear Infections 1.  Lower Urinary Tract Disease
2.  Skin Allergies 2.  Gastritis/Stomach Upsets
3.  Pyoderma/Hot Spots 3.  Chronic Renal Failure
4.  Gastritis/Vomiting 4.  Enteritis/Diarrhea
5.  Enteritis/Diarrhea 5.  Diabetes Mellitus
6.  Urinary Tract Infections 6.  Skin Allergies
7.  Benign Skin Tumors 7.  Hyperthyroidism
8.  Osteoarthritis 8.  Ear Infections
9.  Eye Inflammation 9.  Upper Respiratory Virus
10. Hypothyroidism 10. Eye Inflammation

 

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.