Early Intervention Is Key to Senior Pet Health
In veterinary medicine, the age of your pet is not determined by just a number. The age of our animals is in part determined by their species, breed, health history, and lifestyle. In general terms, 8 years of age is when you should start thinking of your pet as senior.
Even though your pet may seem healthy well into his or her senior years, there are many problems common to senior pets that may not present symptoms until your pet becomes seriously ill. Good preventive care and senior care recommendations made by your veterinarian will help identify problems earlier and enhance your senior pet’s quality of life.
The American Animal Hospital Association states that consistent veterinary examinations are the most important step to increase the longevity of your pet’s lifespan. At Frontier Village Veterinary Clinic, we sincerely believe that this is especially true for senior pets, and that is why we highly recommend physical examinations for seniors twice yearly. Our cats and dogs typically age approximately seven years for every one of our years and that means significant health changes can occur rapidly. The earlier those changes are caught, the better the chance for a positive outcome.
Make an appointment right away if you notice the following:
- Difficulty with mobility: lying down, standing up, stairs, limping, less play activity
- Inexplicable weight loss or weight gain
- Excessive drinking and/or urination
- Loss of appetite
- Behavioral changes
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Ear odors, redness, scratching, or head shaking
The more you know about the health of your senior pet the better. Explore our handout on senior pets and ask our knowledgeable veterinarians and staff about all the ways you can make your pet’s older years his or her best.