Senior Pet Care
Just as in people, as our pets age, their health needs change. The importance of close monitoring at home cannot be stressed enough. This is especially true with cats, who tend to hide their illness as long as possible, until it is in late stages of disease that may no longer be easily treated.
An important aspect of senior pet care is diet considerations. Nutritional needs change dramatically, so a senior diet should be fed. It is also important to feed a high-quality food, rather than the least expensive food available. If your pet is not being fed meals, it is important to begin that as early as possible so that you will be able to easily monitor how much your pet is eating.
The best way to treat age-related to disease is to identify it early. For this reason, senior pets should be examined at least twice yearly, and more often if they have a chronic disease process. Your veterinarian will track weight and body conditions and may even notice a problem with your pet before you recognize it at home.
Regular blood work with a urinalysis should be done to review certain values. This will be invaluable to assist your veterinarian in identifying problems early. Common elderly diseases can be monitored using bloodwork. A check on your pet’s kidneys and liver function as well as early signs of diabetes, cancer, and other potential problems will be identified using periodic bloodwork. In addition, thyroid diseases commonly affect elderly pets so a thyroid panel should be done annually to identify problems before your pet shows clinical signs.
Finally, almost every elderly pet has some aspect of arthritis. We want to make sure your senior pet is as comfortable as possible and prevent progression of this debilitating disease as early as possible.
If you have any questions about your senior pet’s care, please contact us today. One of our dedicated staff will help answer your questions or schedule a visit with our veterinarian.