The field of veterinary medicine has changed and progressed, allowing a much greater life expectancy for your pet. Many pets are living well into the teens, with some cats reaching 20+ years. With our help, you can ensure your pet’s senior years are good ones.
Unfortunately, along with the increase in life span comes a greater potential of age-related illnesses. Recent studies indicate that 20% of cats and dogs over the age of seven years have serious undetected medical conditions. Older pets develop many of the same problems as seen in elderly humans:
- Heart disease
- Arthritis and degenerative joint disease
- Kidney or urinary tract disease
- Liver disease
- Dental disease
Comprehensive Senior Profiles: Wellness Care for Senior Pets
We recommend a senior wellness program for the early detection and treatment of disease for our older patients. A physical exam, blood pressure, ECG, laboratory testing, fecal testing for parasites, chest and abdominal X-rays, an eye exam with a retinal photograph, and a Schirmer test are part of an early detection system to help maintain and sustain a high quality of life for your aging pet. We perform all components of the profile in a single day, getting your pet back to the familiarity of home as soon as possible.
More than ever, you want to watch for any unusual symptoms in your pet. If you see changes, please don’t wait for a regularly scheduled exam and call us right away. Be alert for changes in weight, appetite, urination, or water intake. Other symptoms to act on include:
- Shortness of breath
- Decrease in activity
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Stiffness or limping
- Increased vocalization
- Significant behavioral changes (this can be aggression, confusion, or withdrawal)
Finally, we recommend additional home-based TLC for your pet. It may be time to buy a litter box with lower sides for your arthritic cat or an orthopedic bed. Older pets have great difficulty regulating their body temperature, so you will want to protect them from hot and cold extremes. Read more about keeping your old friend at their best from MSN and Prevention.
Please call us immediately if something in troubling about your senior pet’s health. Along with you, we are a part of your pet’s TLC team!