The Importance of the Nutritional Assessment for a Senior Pet
Nutrition plays a key role in both health and disease, and, as a growing number of pets presented to clinicians become senior, it is important that vets are able to perform a confident and comprehensive nutritional assessment and provide appropriate dietary advice. The nutritional assessment contains three key components: the diet, the patient, and the owner. A screening evaluation should be performed on every patient, and if any nutrition-related risk factors are identified an extended evaluation should be undertaken. An understanding of how the metabolic and physiological effects of ageing can alter the nutritional needs of ageing pets, in conjunction with a thorough evaluation of the individual patient, is essential before making any dietary recommendation for a senior pet. Particular focus will be given in this article to body condition scoring, muscle condition scoring and cognitive decline, and the importance of assessing these in the senior patient. Any dietary adjustments recommended as a result of the nutritional assessment should take into account both the needs of the patient and any client preferences, and owners should have clear expectations and support from veterinary practices to aid long-term compliance and the likelihood of a successful outcome.
All our Tutored Online CPD Courses are written and taught by an expert in the relevant field. The tutor for this course is:
Ellie Groves BA(Hons) VetMB MRCVS