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What To Expect During Your Pet’s Senior Years

What To Expect During Your Pet’s Senior Years

As your pet ages you’ll notice subtle changes. It’s important to understand normal aging versus abnormal changes in your pet’s health. 

Some of the expected changes will include: 

  • Sleeping more 
  • Graying coat, especially around the mouth 
  • Dental & gum disease (veterinary care required) 
  • Deterioration of hearing & vision 
  • Joint inflammation & discomfort (arthritis) 
  • Muscle shrinkage and body weakness 
  • Decreased skin’s elasticity 

Your pet will probably want more attention and need an increasing amount of reassurance. Take time to attend to your pet’s needs, particularly veterinary care and changing nutritional requirements, and you’ll have a positive influence on the quality and longevity of his life.

  • When Should My Pet Have His/Her First Senior Exam?
  • The Importance Of Regular Check-Ups
  • How Can You Help Extend The Life Of Your Pet?
  • How Does A Senior Exam Differ From A Normal Exam?
  • Your Best Friend Needs Extra Care in the Senior Years

Pets of five years and older are candidates. The frequency will be determined by your pet’s age and health status. We recommend a yearly exam, but since pets age faster than humans, a more frequent schedule may be needed.

Annual screening helps prevent serious medical problems. We highly recommend that your "best friend" have a complete physical every year. By establishing a baseline of normal values before the senior years, we can detect any changes that might indicate health problems.Your pet may appear healthy, yet some diseases are hard to detect, and often go unnoticed. Diagnosed early, most conditions can be completely reversed, or controlled./p>

Your pet’s nutritional needs change as he grows older; intestines lose the ability to absorb nutrients, and liver and kidneys process waste products less efficiently. Regular dental care, vaccinations, parasite control, and nutrition, are all important for good health. Dental disease is common as your pet ages. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and weaken the liver, kidneys, and heart.

A senior health screen exam involves sophisticated laboratory analysis of your pet’s bodily functions. Tests help diagnose blood disorders, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, infection, thyroid, and other hormonal problems before they become apparent. Radiographs can help diagnose heart disease, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

Does Your Pet... 

  • Exhibit stiffness, or lameness? 
  • Seem reluctant to rise or walk? 
  • Licks repeatedly at a joint? 
  • Whine or whimpers? 
  • Find climbing steps, or jumping difficult? 
  • Exhibit pain when touched? 

If your pet shows any of these symptoms, call us right away. He or she may be suffering from osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative joint disease. Pets can't tell you when they hurt. It's up to you to recognize the signs of chronic pain.