Helping Your Pet Enjoy Healthy & Happy Golden Years
The doctor and staff here at Big Bend Animal Hospital want your pet to live a long, healthy, and happy life. Many health issues may occur in our aging pets. Dental issues, thyroid disease, kidney problems, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis are just some of the common health concerns we often see in senior pets. The sooner we can detect these the earlier we can intervene.
A complete, yearly health exam is crucial in catching these concerns early on.
How to Tell If Your Pet Is a “Senior”
Pets are generally considered “seniors” at around six years of age. However, depending on the size and breed of your pet, they may age quicker.
As pets move into different phases of life, they experience changes that are very similar to aging humans. Diseases and conditions that are common to older people also affect our furry family members, including:
- Hypertension or hypotension
- Kidney, heart, and liver disease
- Thyroid conditions
- Hormonal problems
- Loss of sensory perception
This wide range of ailments makes wellness care vital for your pet. We recommend pets ages 6 and older undergo a complete physical examination to include blood work and associated laboratory tests to obtain a baseline in order to offer a comparison in future years. Senior pets should be seen twice a year for early detection of these diseases results in faster treatment and better overall health and well-being for your pet. Our veterinarian provides complete veterinary medical care for senior pets.
Signs To Watch For
Signs of old age in your pet may be symptoms of more serious problems. When it comes to your pet’s health care, you are his or her most important partner.
Please let us know if your older dog or cat begins to exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- Stiffness or limping
- Difficulty climbing stairs or jumping
- Difficulty breathing or changes in breathing patterns
- Tremors or shaking
- Excessive scratching or changes to skin or coat
- Drastic weight change (either weight loss or gain)
- Difficulty seeing or hearing
- Changes in urination/defecation habits
- Confusion or disorientation
- Decreased responsiveness
Regular pet wellness exams are the key to keeping your senior pet healthy. All pet exams at Big Bend Animal Hospital include a thorough physical evaluation of your pet. Our veterinarians and staff will provide you with valuable information about keeping your senior pet healthy. Changes in diet and lifestyle, as well as physical therapy for chronic conditions such as arthritis, can help improve your pet’s quality of life. We look forward to helping you and your best friend enjoy many more years together.