Granby vet to present information about caring for aging pets
March 7, 2008
People in Grand County take great care of their pets. Animals are not just accessories, they are part of a healthy outdoor lifestyle, invited on snowshoeing, skiing and hiking excursions with their owners on a regular basis.
And like people, animals grow in wisdom as they grow older. But in order to live a full life, they sometimes require special care and attention as symptoms of old age start to creep up.
A healthy puppy from a few years ago may now be the qualifying recipient of a hip replacement. Or the kitten you used to know may now be an elderly cat in need of a tooth extraction.
Since there is a large population of older dogs and cats in the community, Granby veterinarian Dr. Susan Tasillo, DVM, has offered to conduct a program at the Granby Library to explore the problems and concerns of mature family pets.
Tasillo plans to discuss topics concerning diagnostic testing for early detection of diseases, weight management and diet, pet vitamins and supplements and the understanding of a pet’s physical limitations.
“For example, there are things pet owners can do to make things easier for arthritic pets,” Tasillo said, such as supplying steps to help a dog get into the family truck or car.
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Elderly pets sometimes need extra help in grooming, especially older cats who may not be able to twist as easily. Training cats young to get used to a grooming brush prepares a cat later in life to enjoy the act of being brushed, Tasillo said.
And proper dental care is especially important for mature animals. Dogs and cats are susceptible to gum disease and painful abscessed teeth, just as humans are.
Another sensitive topic when it comes to aging pets is that of euthanasia, which Tusillo says is “easier to talk about when not faced with it.” She plans to touch on the subject, she said, “because nearly every dog owner must face it eventually.”
Tasillo moved to Granby in June of 2005 from a partnership in a New Hampshire veterinary clinic.
“It was not rural as we know it in Grand County” she said, “but it wasn’t a city.”
Being a vet had always been a dream for Tasillo, who attended Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine. Even after years in practice, she says playing and being with her dogs is still one of her life’s great joys.
Tasillo is also a dog trainer and has shown dogs regularly in confirmation, tracking and obedience. Dogs are her greatest companions, and around the Granby Vet Clinic, a small friendly pack of dogs act as a welcoming committee to clients. Not to mention, they also serve as vet helpers, Tasillo said.
” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.