Senior Pet Care from our Veterinarians
A healthy, happy old age is something we all strive for -- and as a loving pet owner, you doubtless want your beloved companions to enjoy their golden years as well. There's no getting around the fact that pets get old faster than humans, but thanks to modern veterinary techniques and technologies, senior animals can now experience relatively good health and a high quality of life. Here at Town & Country Animal Hospital, our veterinarians provide important senior pet care services to help you help your beloved companion.
Since each year of a dog or cat's life counts for several years in the life of a human, most can be considered geriatric from the age of 7 onward, with large breeds aging faster than small ones. This period of an animal's life brings new health challenges, including increased risks of:
Congestive heart failure
Liver, kidney or other major organ disease
Cataracts, deafness and other sensory issues
Some of these ailments occur in clusters, with one spurring the inset of others. for instance, arthritis pain may cause your pet to become sedentary, which may allow obesity to develop -- which in turn may prompt hypertension, diabetes, cancer and other health problems. Some age-related disorders are specific to certain animals, such as a painful dental issue called tooth resorption that occurs in cats.
Proper senior pet care may require more frequent wellness exams that the annual exam required for most healthy adult animals. We need to run more frequent tests and evaluations to catch cancer, organ failure or other life-threatening illnesses in their earliest stages so we can provide effective treatment. A senior pet care exam may include laboratory tests to check for cancers, hormonal imbalances and high blood sugar. We also check blood pressure and other vital signs while examining the skin, eyes and ears for signs of age-related issues.
Since maintaining healthy diet and weight can minimize many age-related problems, we may also weigh your pet and recommend dietary changes or other measures to help him keep his weight at a healthy level. (If arthritis makes activity painful, we may prescribe nutritional supplements and/or anti-inflammatory medications to help him move around more easily.) Sudden weight loss, on the other hand, may signal the development of thyroid disease, kidney failure, cancer, diabetes or other treatable conditions.
Don't wait until your furry friend shows clear signs of distress or disability to ask our veterinarians about senior pet care. We can advise you when it's time to start scheduling more frequent wellness exams, dental evaluations and other age-related necessities. A proactive approach to senior pet care can help your pet make the transition into old age as gracefully and enjoyably as possible. Call Town & Country Animal Hospital at 352-840-7020 today to learn more or schedule a senior pet exam!