Senior Pet Wellness

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Senior Pet Wellness

Vital Preventive Care - Senior Pet Wellness - For Dogs and Cats 7 Years of Age and Older


Unfortunately our pets cannot stay young forever. As our dog and cat companions age, a new set of problems arises: arthritis, dental disease, cancer, vision and hearing loss, as well as degenerative diseases of the internal organs.


Cats

For cats, annual screening blood work is very important. Early detection of kidney and thyroid disease (both very common in older cats) can increase their quality and duration of life significantly. Common signs of kidney and thyroid problems include, but are not limited to, increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss and possibly having accidents around the house. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat see your veterinarian immediately. 

Dogs

Older dogs commonly develop lumps and bumps under the skin as they age. Many of these are begin fatty tumors called lipomas that are often treated with begin neglect. However the only way to distinguish a begin tumor from a malignant tumor is by examining the cells living within the tissue. Discuss the options for diagnosis with your veterinarian. Early diagnosis of a malignant tumor can save your dogs life. 

Both Dogs And Cats

Dental Disease
Almost every dog and cat older than seven years has significant dental disease. Although your pet may appear to be eating normally, only a thorough examination, often requiring dental radiographs, can determine the true condition of the teeth and gums. It is not uncommon for older dogs and cats to have multiple teeth extracted during a routine dental.

Arthritis
Dogs and cats no longer have to suffer with daily arthritis pain. If you suspect your pet has arthritis see your veterinarian to discuss diagnosis and treatment options. Treating arthritis pain can make your pet feel young again and greatly improve their quality of life.

Environmental Changes
Helping your old dog or cat does not always require a trip the vet. There are many simple changes you can make at home that will help your geriatric dog or cat. Provide area rugs, or runners to prevent slipping on hard surfaces. Make food and water bowls easily accessible, lowering them to ground level for cats. Increase the padding on bedding, and protect your pet from the elements if they spent a significant amount of time outdoors. 

Due to the increased risk of illness associated with old age, experts recommend that a healthy senior pet visit the vet twice a year for an exam. Discovering medical conditions in their early stages often means a better prognosis.

Christina Sierra Gebhart, DVM

Posted Thursday, September 17, 2015