Routine preventive care and early diagnosis are important to helping our senior pets maintain a good quality of life through their golden years.
Diligent care can help extend your pet's life and good health as they age, so it's important that they attend regularly scheduled wellness exams, even if they seem healthy.
Our veterinarians are here to help geriatric pets in Brodheadsville achieve optimal health by diagnosing and treating potential health issues early, and providing proactive treatment while we can still effectively and easily manage them.
Improvements in dietary options and veterinary care mean that our pet cats and dogs are living far longer today than they did in the past.
While this is certainly something to be celebrated, pet owners and veterinarians now face more age-related conditions than they used to.
Senior pets are typically prone to the following conditions:
As your dog ages, there are a number of joint or bone disorders that can result in pain and discomfort. Some common joint and bone disorders in geriatric pets that our veterinarians see include arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduction in spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.
Early detection and treatment are essential for keeping your senior dog comfortable as they live out their older years. Treatments for joint and bone disorders in senior dogs can range from reducing levels of exercise to the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, to procedures like surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints or reduce pain.
Although we usually think of older dogs when it comes to osteoarthritis, this is a painful condition that can also affect the joints of your senior cat.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in cats tend to be more subtle than those in dogs. While cats can experience decreased range of motion, the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats include weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation outside the litterbox, and difficulty jumping on and off objects. The lameness typically seen in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis is not commonly reported by cat owners.
It is believed that about 50% of pets in the U.S. die from various forms of cancer, which is why it's so important to take your senior cat or dog to the vet for routine wellness exams as they age.
Bringing your geriatric pet in for routine checkups even when they seem healthy gives your veterinarian the chance to detect early signs of cancer and other diseases that respond better to treatment when caught as soon as possible.
Like people, heart disease can be a problem for aging pets.
Senior dogs can commonly suffer from congestive heart failure, which is when the heart pumps blood inefficiently, causing fluid backup in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While heart disease is less common in senior cats than in dogs, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is relatively common. This condition causes the thickening of a cat's heart muscles, decreasing the heart’s ability to function efficiently.
Degeneration in the eyes and ears can lead to varying degrees of deafness and blindness in older pets, although this is more common in dogs than in cats.
When these conditions are caused by aging they may come on slowly, which allows geriatric pets to adjust their behavior. This can make it more difficult for pet owners to notice.
Unfortunately, liver disease is commonly seen in senior cats and may be the result of high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of liver disease in cats include appetite loss, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst.
Liver disease in dogs can cause a number of other conditions including seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss.
If your geriatric dog or cat displays any symptoms of liver disease, it is essential to get them veterinary care as soon as possible.
Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, most dogs are diagnosed between 7-10 years of age and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are over 6 years old.
Symptoms of diabetes in both dogs and cats include excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections.
Obesity can be a risk factor for diabetes in cats and dogs.
Our pets' kidneys tend to lose their function as they age. Sometimes, kidney disease can be caused by medications used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets.
While chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, it can be managed with a combination of diet and medications.
Our Brodheadsville vets often see geriatric cats and dogs with urinary tract conditions and incontinence issues. Older pets can experience an increase in accidents as the bladder muscles weaken, but it's important to note that incontinence could be a sign of a bigger health issue such as a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your senior pet experiences incontinence issues it's important to take your geriatric dog or cat to the vet for a thorough examination.
As part of your pet's geriatric care, our vet will examine your cat or dog, ask about their home life in detail and carry out tests that may be required to receive additional insight into their general physical health and condition.
Based on the findings, we'll recommend a treatment plan that can include medication, specific activities, and dietary changes that may help improve your senior pet's health, well-being, and comfort.
Preventive care is essential to helping your senior pet live out their years with you as happy, healthy, and fulfilled as possible. It also gives our veterinarians the opportunity to monitor your pet's health and detect diseases early.
Early detection of disease will help preserve your pet's physical health and catch emerging health issues before they develop into long-term problems.
With regular physical examinations, your pet will have the best chance at quality long-term health.
At Brodheadsville Veterinary Clinic, we are always accepting new patients. Our veterinarians' experience and passion for animal medicine makes all the difference to your pet's care. Contact us today to schedule your pet's first appointment!