Did you know that by the age of 7 years your pet is considered a senior? That applies to both dogs & cats. Many dogs and cats these days are now living well into their late teens and early twenties thanks to advancing medical knowledge and accessibility to Veterinary care.
Senior pets are susceptible to many of the same illnesses that humans suffer from, ie: Diabetes, Arthritis, Cognitive Disorder (Dementia), Loss of senses (hearing and sight). They can also suffer from many disease processes, ie: Dental, Heart, Kidney, Liver, Endocrine (Cushings).
This is why it’s critical for your senior pet to have yearly (or even twice yearly) wellness exams so we can catch these issues early and treat accordingly (to either stop or slow them down) Our goal is to help your pet live the longest and most comfortable life possible.
Keeping your senior pet active is super important but always remember that they are seniors and many can’t do the things they did when they were younger and/or they require more time to do those things. Arthritis is very real, and most pets are pretty stoic (meaning they trudge on through the pain anyway unbeknownst to you) Did you know that 95% of cats over 12 years of age suffer from some degree of arthritis? Gentle exercise is essential to keep body functions working normally (ie: Gastric system). It also helps maintain muscle tone (which naturally deteriorates as we all age) and helps to keep joints lubricated and working properly. Your senior fur-babies need more patience and understanding now than ever before.
Yearly blood work to check organ function (ie: Liver, Kidney…) is critical, so we can catch disease processes early. This can extend your pet’s life and keep him/her more comfortable as s/he ages.
If you notice any changes at all in your pet (ie: Appetite, Behavior, Energy, Bathroom habits, Skin & coat) it’s time to see the Doctor for a full work-up.
The issue may seem minor and insignificant to you but may indicate something very serious and life-threatening.
Written by: Mountain Road Animal Hospital