As your pet ages and approaches his or her senior years, many changes begin taking place and some health issues may go unnoticed. We recommend annual exams throughout a pet’s life and especially during their senior years. Thanks to modern medicine, pets are now living longer than ever!
Life spans vary with each individual pet and are based on many factors. Your pet’s breed and size are factors which can’t be controlled but do provide an indicator of your pet’s expected lifespan. One factor you can control is early detection of disease and illness through routine examinations and blood work.
Common Senior Diseases
The most common diseases in senior pets include obesity, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, endocrine disease, tumors and cancer, memory loss, depression, and neuroses. Prevention through early detection of disease is usually less expensive than treatment.
If your cat or dog is suddenly having accidents, it may be due to diabetes or kidney failure and best to treat early on. Your veterinarian may perform tests to identify and monitor existing health problems. At the end of the exam, the veterinarian will recommend changes that would benefit your pet, such as a change in diet. You and your pet will leave the exam room with a good understanding of his or her most current health status.
If your cat or dog has arthritis or other forms of chronic pain, there may not be obvious signs that they are experiencing pain. Your veterinarian assesses the cause of pain and recommends a pain management plan so your pet can live a more comfortable, better quality of life with you and your family.
Weight Gain / Weight Loss
Your aging pet may experience weight fluctuations, either weight gain or weight loss, which may indicate a more serious condition. Your veterinarian will ask questions about your pet’s lifestyle and may wish to perform diagnostic tests to help determine the cause of their recent weight gain or weight loss. Medication, a change in diet, or further testing may be the treatment plan.
Follow-up Exams and Monitoring
Our pets are only with us a short time in our lives. We watch them age quickly, and often we are the ones saying goodbye first. If you and your family are thinking about euthanasia for your pet, this article about euthanasia may be helpful to you. At Park Place Veterinary Hospital, offer this end of life service when you and your pet are ready.
Tues: 8:30am – 1pm, 2pm – 7pm
Wed: 8:30am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm
Thurs: 8:30am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm
Fri: 8:30am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm