Are you familiar with the many changes in health that your dog, cat, or exotic pet will experience as he or she ages? You might find that it’s difficult to recognize these changes since the signs of aging develop slowly and are easy for pet owners to miss. Over time, these subtle changes in your pet’s health may progress, leading to advanced stages of illnesses. At Tails-A-Waggin Animal Hospital, we believe it is critical to intervene and catch health issues early by offering proactive, preventative senior pet care.
How do you know if your pet is considered a “senior”?
Your pet can be considered a “senior” between 6 and 8 years of age depending on several factors, such as his or her lifestyle history, breed, medical history, etc. While many pets appear healthy in their senior years, remember that many pets become skilled at hiding illness and pain. Specialized senior care exams and diagnostic testing can help us determine problems early enough to begin treatment options.
Some common age related issues include:
- Changes in your pet’s nutritional requirements.
- Dental disease resulting in pain, a decreased appetite, or possible infection.
- Changes in your pet’s weight.
- Noticeable orthopedic problems associated with osteoarthritis.
- Changes in or loss of hearing and/or eyesight.
- Behavioral changes.
- Fluctuating bowel or urinary habits.
- Evident development of lumps and bumps, and/or other skin/coat changes.
What should you do if your pet has reached his or her “senior” years?
We recommend semi-annual senior care exams that include an in-depth analysis of your pet’s overall health. During these exams, we perform senior care diagnostic testing and begin a dialogue about the factors that may be influencing your pet’s aging process, any observed symptoms and concerns about your pet that you may have.
In general, your pet’s senior care exam will focus on:
- A comprehensive senior pet physical exam.
- An in-depth consultation concerning your pet’s medical history and symptoms.
- Comprehensive diagnostic testing if needed, such as blood work, urine and fecal analysis, x-rays, blood and eye pressure, and hearing.
Early medical detection and treatment of diseases in your senior dog, cat, or exotic pet can only be accomplished through regular examinations and screening tests. Tails-A-Waggin Animal Hospital’s senior wellness exams are designed to provide you and your pet with the best possible quality of life during his or her senior years.