When you have an older pet, it is recommended that they receive routine exams twice a year. Your cat or small dog is considered a senior around age 7, while a larger dog is a senior when they reach 5 or 6. Senior pets have medical needs that should be addressed. From pain management to disease diagnosing, your senior pet will benefit from going for an exam to check their overall health. If your pet is in pain, or not participating in the activities they once did, a visit to a veterinarian clinic can help. This will establish what is going on, and give your senior pet a better quality of life with the right care.
Senior Pets and Arthritis
Older pets can suffer from arthritis just like humans can. When your pet is struggling to climb stairs, get into the car, or up onto a bed, this can mean that they are having pain from arthritis. A veterinarian will check your pet over carefully and take x-Rays if necessary to see if there is arthritis present. Your pet can take medication to help manage the symptoms of arthritis and reduce the pain they are in. Arthritis can be managed, but the earlier it is discovered the less pain your pet will be in.
Typical Diseases of Older Pets
Beyond arthritis, senior pets are at risk for diabetes, dental problems, and certain types of cancer. When the illness is caught early, a veterinarian can provide treatment that can prolong the life of your pet. With diabetes, blood sugar levels can be managed with food, medication and observation. If your pet has dental issues, this can cause problems with their ability to eat and maintain weight. If your pet has any type of cancer, treatment may be curative or keep your pet comfortable.
When Your Pet's Behavior Changes
If your pet has a sudden change in behavior, it's important for your pet to get veterinarian care. Sudden fearfulness, or wincing in pain can indicate an injury that you can't see. When your pet isn't eating or has become lethargic, you may need to take your senior pet in for an emergency visit to make sure they get the care they need.
Your senior pet faces different challenges than when they are a puppy or kitten. Dietary needs, as well as problems with mobility may be evident. Talk to your veterinarian about options when it comes to the care of your older pet.