FELINE SENIOR CARE GUIDELINES

 

 

Course Overview

More cats are living into old age than ever before, and the strong bond owners have with their elderly companions gives veterinarians the opportunity to provide optimal care for these patients. With the current knowledge base in feline medicine and the commitment of owners toward their older pets, veterinarians can extend and improve the quality of life for senior cats. Many, if not most, geriatric cats have multiple medical conditions, and managing them is where the art and science of veterinary practice meet.

Challenging it may be, but also incredibly rewarding when the veterinary team and owner working together see the tremendous impact on the cat's life. Many cats live for years with good management of multiple chronic medical conditions. The veterinary practice team plays a pivotal role in the health and wellbeing of cats as they age. It is crucial that every practice sets up feline aging protocols regarding physical examination, diagnostic recommendations, medical management, and client education. Each person on the practice team has a role to play in the delivery of those protocols. Every interaction with the owner of a senior cat should be geared towards offering the very best care possible, allowing the owner to make a well-informed decision as to the level of care desired.

Providing excellent care of the senior cat benefits not only the cat and its owner but the practice as well. The American Association of Feline Practitioners has developed a set of general guidelines for the care of the aging cat. The guidelines are an excellent foundation for the development of senior cat protocols. The guidelines form the core of this course. Combined with additional components, this course will help train every member of the practice team. "Old age is not a disease" may be an oft repeated phrase, but it is still an important message of the AAFP senior guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE: This course contains flash based Articulate presentations. iPhones and iPads are not natively flash compatible but if a flash compatible browser has been installed on the iPad the presentations will play correctly. This link Flash on iPads provides information on flash compatible browsers. The presentations may also be viewed on a Mac.

 

Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 2 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

This is an non-interactive online course that meets RACE requirements; program number 57-30279.

Some states require state level approval and do not accept RACE without it. We are approved providers for the following states. Note that the Florida Medical Board does not recognize technicians and therefore only addresses veterinarian CE requirements.

 

Content Authors

The AAFP Senior Care Guidelines report, on which this course is based, was reviewed and approved by the Guidelines Committee and the Board of Directors of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

Authors:
Jeanne Pittari, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice) - wrote the course examination and reviewed and approved the course presentations
Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)
Gerard Beekman, DVM
Danielle Gunn-Moore, BVM&S, PhD, MACVSc, MRCVS, RCVS Specialist in Feline Medicine
David Polzin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM-SAIM
Joseph Taboada, DVM, DACVIM-SAIM
Helen Tuzio, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)
Debra Zoran, DVM, PhD, DACVIM-DAIM.

 

Course Content

This course provides information pertaining to the medical management of the aging cat.

 

Course Focus and Learning Objective

This course is appropriate for all members of the veterinary practice team although it contains information and terminology that may be unfamiliar to those not veterinary technicians or veterinarians.

After completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Discuss general age classifications, general age related changes and the differing medical needs of the older cat
  • Explain the importance of timely wellness visits
  • Outline the components of a thorough senior cat physical examination and the right questions to ask owners
  • Establish preliminary wellness visit physical exam protocols
  • Name the components of the Minimum Database recommendations and explain how to evaluate the results
  • Explain the importance of nutrition and the impact of weight related issues
  • Discuss dental and anesthetic considerations for the senior cat
  • Outline the monitoring and management of common senior cat diseases and conditions
  • Identify the general factors in complex disease management
  • Describe quality of life considerations
  • Educate other team members and clients regarding the special needs and considerations of the senior cat

 

Course Completion Requirements

  • Examination: Students must pass the examination with a score of 80% or better

  • Course Survey: Students must submit the course survey


Upon submission of the final completion requirement the student will automatically be marked as completed and the course completion email will be sent out. The student will have immediate access to the certificate.

 

Participant Feedback

...it provided information that is sorely needed for our ageing feline patients. especially useful is the quality of life information as that area is challenging to present to pet owner...

...The Attachments will help the hospital staff in diagnosing and help with treatment of metabolic disorders in senior cats.

...The most beneficial part of this course to me was learning how important it is to teach owners how to care for their elderly pet and how to better manage their illnesses.

...The sections on osteoarthritis and cognitive dysfunction (symptoms) and the complexity of diagnosing hyperthyroidism as opposed to other possible diseases.

...As a Vet Tech, the examination material was helpful in preparing a room for our doctors. The summary of senior illnesses and recommended course of action was very interesting.

...Our clinic has many clients that prolong the life of their pets beyond what would be considered humane to most people. I like the discussion of life quality section and questionnaire scale provided.

...We do a fair amount of BP testing in our hospital, this course gave me some "updated" techniques when performing a BP check. I will definitely print out a copy of the Senior Guidelines for our practice.

...The whole course was great, I furthered my knowledge so therefore am furthering the clients knowledge as well, to help them keep their senior pets happy and healthy.

...The information on complex diseases was most helpful. I did not realize how some of the common senior cat diseases mask symptoms of other diseases.

...[I liked] the biochemistry and endocrine aspects and multiple disease conditions.

...Having the notes was nice so that I could look through them again. Liked the search option. Liked the clicking on different things in the slides and the picture of the cats with all the diseases that older cats are prone to getting.

...learning about changing the feeding amounts and how to set up your house environment will help me when owners face having to care for a senior cat.

...outlined the components of a thorough senior cat physical examination and the right questions to ask owners.

...the information on systemic diseases common in older cats as well as anesthesia parameters. I also like the information of measuring QOL.

...The reasons why to monitor feline patients so frequently was explained in such a way that would be very easy to translate to an owner. I can use this information at work.

...We are using this course as part of a staff training program so I believe this course provides a level of knowledge appropriate for many team members from receptionist to technicians and help get everyone on similar ground in this area.

 

Pricing

Price: FREE


Students who do not access the course for 30 consecutive days will be processed as incomplete. However, students may re-enroll at any time.