Senior Pet Care
Special Care for Older Pets
- Dogs and cats over age seven are considered geriatric pets
- A physical exam twice per year
- Blood pressure checks with examinations
- Screening blood tests annually
- Special diets to control illness and obesity
- Nutritional support for arthritic joints
Pets can live long, productive lives and bring joy to their families. Our veterinarians are dedicated to ensuring that your older pets receive medical care specifically designed to meet their changing needs. It may be hard to believe, but many animals as young as seven years of age are considered to be seniors and require specialized care. Even if your pet does not look old, he or she deserves extraordinary care from approximately age seven and on.
It is crucial to catch any changes in your older pet’s health as early as possible. Early detection allows for early treatment which can significantly improve the quality of your senior pet’s life. For this reason, we recommend twice per year physical examinations. During these examinations, a complete history of your pet’s health will be taken so as to help uncover any signs of illness. The veterinarians will ask questions regarding appetite, sleeping, vocalizing, behavior, elimination, and play to make sure that your aging pet is still acting and feeling well at home. The veterinarian will then perform a comprehensive physical examination.
These twice yearly visits are essential to maintain the health of older pets, which age at an accelerated rate as compared to younger pets. We have all heard that dogs age approximately seven years for each person year but the fact is that older pets age even more rapidly than this. So seeing the veterinarian yearly is the equivalent of an older person visiting a doctor only once in a decade.
Common problems seen in older pets include dental disease, orthopedic problems, obesity, and changes in behavior. The veterinarians can provide dental care, offer advice regarding arthritis, and even recommend special diets or supplements. Behavior issues may be helped with a combination of training, medication, and even diet. Physical therapy and/or acupuncture may help pets with arthritis and other age-associated infirmities.
In addition, the doctors may suggest annual blood testing for your senior pet. These screening tests check for illnesses that are common in geriatric animals and can be treated with medications and diet. For example, older pets are more likely than younger pets to suffer from heart trouble, kidney disease, thyroid problems, and diabetes. Screening tests can identify these problems early enough that medications, foods, and life style changes can be recommended to limit the illnesses and help your pets feel better, longer.
Senior pets need just a little bit of extra care to feel great.
Remember... physical examinations TWO TIMES PER YEAR and geriatric blood profiles at least ONCE PER YEAR for older dogs and cats!