Beginning at around age 7, your pet enters his/her senior years. Often, pets begin to develop diseases common to their senior human counterparts, such as diabetes, heart disease, endocrine disease and cancer. These diseases can go unnoticed in their early stages; therefore, preventive healthcare is very important. When pets reach their senior years, their nutritional needs also change. That’s why the right food and regular checkups make all the difference to keep them healthy and happy longer.
Common diseases among senior pets
- Kidney disease
- Dental disease
- Heart disease
- Obesity or weight loss
- Skin disease
- Thyroid disease
Watch for these signs:
- Just not acting himself/herself
- Interacting less often with family
- Responding less often or less enthusiastically
- Showing changes in behaviour/activity level
- Having difficulty climbing stairs
- Having difficulty jumping
- Exhibiting increased stiffness or limping
- Drinking more often
- Urinating more often
- Changing eating patterns
- Noticeably gaining or losing weight
- Losing housetraining habits
- Changing sleeping patterns
- Becoming confused or disoriented
- Changing hair coat, skin or new lumps or bumps
- Scratching more often
- Exhibiting bad breath/red or swollen gums
- Showing tremors or shaking
How to keep your older pet healthy and happy
- Work closely with us to evaluate your pet’s general health and to monitor the physical effects aging has had on his or her mind and body.
- Schedule routine checkups
- Speak up for your pet. Tell us about any changes you’ve observed, including: weight, appetite or elimination, behaviour, skin and coat and mobility.
- Ask us about nutrition and exercise and the role they play in your pet’s health
- Ask us about testing options that can identify health risks before they become evident, including: routine blood testing, urinalysis, hormone testing, electrocardiograph (ECG) and x-rays.
- Ask for annual screenings for life-threatening disease, including: FIV/Feline leukemia, heartworm infection, and tick-borne diseases such as canine Lyme disease and E. canis.
- Ask us about the latest advances in veterinary pharmaceuticals that could impact the health of your pet.