Compared with a maintenance
ration the basic profile of a diet for a geriatric animal with heart disease should
* In the presence of increased diuresis
- low sodium
- high energy density
- increased water soluble vitamins*
- increased trace elements*
- increased potassium †
- high palatability
- high digestibility
- high biological value ingredients.
† Care if using potassium-sparing diuretics.
- high sodium intake (particularly snacks / tit-bits)
- excessive potassium intake (may cause hyperkalaemia)
- too rapid a weight-loss programme (>3% body weight loss/week for dogs; >
1% body weight loss/week for cats)
- poorly digestible / poor quality raw ingredients
- low biological value ingredients
- any nutritional excess, deficiency or imbalance.
Some animals will have hypoproteinaemia, in which case adequate high biological
value protein intake must be maintained, but at the same time excessive protein
should be avoided to minimise metabolic stress on liver and kidney particularly
if there is evidence of reduced function. Protein intake needs to be adjusted to
suit each individual.