Senior Pets

Senior Pets, like senior people, require special consideration when it comes to their health care.  Common disease processes like liver and kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes and heart disease, do not have to limit your pet's quality and quantity of life!  The best outcome comes from early detection and prompt treatment/management of these diseases.

When does a pet become a "Senior"?

The general rule of thumb for dogs and cats is that they enter their senior years at around 7 or 8 years old. 

What symptoms in my aging pet might indicate disease?

  • Subtle things like drinking more water, may go undetected for a long time but can indicate a myriad of possible health problems.  Most owners don't bring their pet to the vet until they notice their pet having accidents in the house.  
  • Weight loss in an older pet despite normal appetite and activity is a big concern.  And while a healthy appetite is always good- a ravenous cat that is losing weight may be suffering from thyroid disease or diabetes.
  • Weight gain in a dog that has a normal or even reduced appetite may be a sign of an under active thyroid.
  • A dry cough that worsens at night is often the first sign of heart disease.  
  • Bad breath is not normal in dogs and cats and often gets worse as they age.  This could be due to progressing dental disease or kidney disease and definitely warrants a vet visit.


What do I do if my pet is experiencing some of these symptoms?

The first step in any Senior Wellness plan is a thorough exam with a veterinarian.  The vet will examine your pet from nose to tail assessing hydration, checking for dental disease, listening to his/her heart and lungs and palpating his/her internal organs.  

The next step is blood and urine testing to see how your pets internal organs are functioning.

A blood pressure check and eye pressure check screen for heart disease, endocrine disease and glaucoma.  

What is the benefit to doing these tests if my pet appears healthy and happy?  

If you have your Senior Wellness testing done on your pet and everything comes back perfect that's great news!  Now you and your veterinarian will have a complete profile of your pet when he/she is well and can use those values for comparison in the future if your pet gets sick.

If the veterinarian detected a problem in the tests that is also great news!  That means that you can begin treatment before your pet even starts feeling sick.  Detecting and treating some problems early (for example endocrine disease) can prevent other more serious diseases (like diabetes, heart and kidney disease) from occurring.



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