Geriatric Care for Senior Dogs & Cats
Senior pets require routine preventive veterinary care and early diagnosis throughout their golden years to help them maintain a good quality of life as they age.
Diligent care can help extend your pet's life and good health as they age, so it's important that they attend regularly scheduled wellness exams, even if they seem healthy.
Our veterinarians are committed to assisting geriatric pets in Hermitage in achieving optimal health by identifying and treating emerging health issues early and initiating proactive treatment while they are still manageable.
Typical Health Problems
Companion cats and dogs are now living much longer than in the past due to better nutrition and veterinary care.
While this is certainly a cause for celebration, pet owners and veterinarians now face more age-related conditions.
Senior pets are prone to the following illnesses:
- Joint or bone disorders
There are a number of joint or bone disorders that can cause pain and discomfort in your dog as they get older. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduced spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders are among the most common joint and bone disorders seen by our veterinarians in geriatric pets.
It's critical to address these issues early on in order to keep your dog comfortable as they age. The use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints, and reduce pain, are all options for treating joint and bone issues in senior dogs.
While osteoarthritis is commonly associated with older dogs, it can also affect the joints of your senior cat.
Cats' osteoarthritis symptoms are more subtle than those of dogs. While cats' range of motion may be reduced, the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats are weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination, or defecation outside the litter pan, and inability to jump on and off objects. Cat owners are less likely to report lameness than dog owners.
Cancer is thought to kill approximately half of all pets in the United States. As a result, it is critical for your senior pet to have routine wellness exams as they age.
Bringing your geriatric pet in for routine checkups, even if they appear healthy, allows your veterinarian to look for early signs of cancer and other diseases that respond better to treatment when caught early.
- Heart Disease
As with humans, geriatric pets can develop heart disease.
Senior dogs frequently suffer from congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently, resulting in fluid buildup in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While cats are less likely than dogs to develop heart disease, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is relatively common. This condition thickens the walls of the cat's heart, impairing its ability to function efficiently.
- Blindness and hearing loss
Degeneration of the eyes and ears can cause deafness and blindness in older pets, more common in dogs than cats.
These conditions can develop slowly, allowing geriatric pets to adjust their behavior and oblivious pet owners.
- Liver disease
Liver disease is common in senior cats and can be caused by high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. Loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst are all signs of liver disease in cats.
Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss are all serious symptoms of liver disease in dogs.
Veterinary care is required if your geriatric dog or cat exhibits any of the symptoms of liver disease.
Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, the majority of dogs are diagnosed between the ages of 7 and 10 years old, and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are over the age of 6.
Excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections are all symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats.
Obesity increases the risk of diabetes in both cats and dogs.
- Kidney disease
As pets age, their kidneys begin to fail. In some cases, medications used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets can cause kidney disease.
While chronic kidney disease is incurable, it can be managed through a combination of diet and medication.
- Urinary tract disease
Our Hermitage vets frequently see geriatric cats and dogs with urinary tract issues. Incontinence in older pets is common as the muscles controlling the bladder weaken, but it can also be a sign of a larger health issue like a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your elderly pet has incontinence issues, take them to the vet for a thorough examination.
Veterinary Care for Seniors
Our veterinarians will examine your senior pet thoroughly, ask detailed questions about their home life, and perform any tests that may be necessary to gain additional insight into his or her overall physical health and condition.
We'll recommend a treatment plan based on the findings, which could include medications, activities, and dietary changes to help improve your senior pet's health, well-being, and comfort.
Routine Wellness Exams
Preventive care is critical to ensuring that your senior pet lives a long, happy, and fulfilled life. It also allows our veterinarians to detect diseases earlier.
Early disease detection will help preserve your pet's physical health and detect emerging health issues before they become long-term issues.
Regular physical examinations will give your pet the best chance of long-term health.