Veterinary Care For Your Geriatric Pet

In order to help your pet maintain a good quality of life as they continue to age, your senior pet will require regularly scheduled routine preventive care and early diagnosis to ensure their health throughout their golden years.

Keeping Aging Pets Healthy

When is your pet considered geriatric? Generally, cats and small dogs are considered seniors at 9 years old and geriatric at 14 years. Medium to large-breed dogs are seniors at 6 years old and geriatric at 10 years.

Understanding the aging process for cats and dogs enables our veterinarians to help owners anticipate certain health changes in their pets. Our goal with geriatric care is to smooth your pet's transition into old age and manage the conditions they might develop during this time.

Signs of Aging 

Age is not a disease! With appropriate care, pets can age gracefully and retain a good quality of life well into their golden years.

 

Some changes associated with old age may include:

  • Decrease in energy levels

  • A change in habits (including play preferences, eating, drinking, or grooming)

  • Longer and more frequent naps

  • Mild weight loss (in particular muscle loss)

  • A change in coat texture and colour

  • Changing senses (hearing, vision, taste, or smell)

  • Altered behaviours such as abnormal sleep cycle, pacing, vocalizing

However, some of these changes can also denote underlying disease that could be identified and treated, thus allowing your pet to stay comfortable and live longer. If you observe these or other signs in your pet, it may be time to consult your veterinarian to ensure your senior pet's needs are met.

Common age-related health concerns that deserve treatment include arthritis, dental disease, incontinence, cognitive dysfunction, renal or cardiac problems, cutaneous or internal growths, and other issues.

How can I care for my senior pet? 

Our team can create a plan for your senior pet that includes regular wellness examinations and bloodwork as well as special nutritional plans, exercise routine, and accommodations that your pet may need in and outside of your house. Our clinic can also provide treatment for conditions associated with aging.