Geriatric nutrition.

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In recent decades, veterinary medicine has become more successful in prolonging the healthy, useful lives of pets. As a result, the practitioner spends a greater part of each practice day caring for the geriatric animal, both healthy and unhealthy. Because of their longevity, older pets are typically regular family members, with owners who seek the finest health care possible for their pets. The practice of geriatric medicine most properly should begin not when the dog or cat reaches some specific "golden" age, but rather when the wiggly, robust puppy or kitten receives its first examination. Like all parts of a sound preventive program, geriatric nutrition best follows from a well-considered juvenile and adult nutrition program. Furthermore, once it becomes senior, the "well" geriatric is as much a candidate for a diet designed especially to accommodate old age changes as is his unhealthy contemporary. In fact, evidence suggests that appropriate dietary management of the healthy, but often subclinical, patient may help postpone the signs of dysfunction and increase quality and length of life. A knowledge of the most significant nutrients and the impact of each on aging systems is now, and will become increasingly more, important to the progressive, skillful veterinarian.




Markham, R. W., & Hodgkins, E. M. (1989). Geriatric nutrition. The Veterinary Clinics of North America. Small Animal Practice.

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