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Understanding the Evolving Nature of Senior Pet Care

Old age complicates health care for dogs and cats alike. Without senior pet care by a veterinarian, pet owners may struggle to keep their furry friend in good spirits and excellent health. Vets can perform regular wellness exams to diagnose and treat serious illnesses or help pet owners change care routines to meet their pet's needs.

older black lab waiting to be seen at TLC for PetsWellness Exams

As dogs and cats age, the chance of serious medical conditions developing increases. Since senior pets are less hardy than their younger counterparts are, it is important to have developing conditions diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Early diagnosis gives senior pets the best chance at making a full recovery. An ideal way to keep an eye out for developing conditions is by having senior pet wellness exams performed several times a year.

During these exams, vets perform a thorough visual and physical examination to identify problems in need of further diagnostic tests. Senior pet owners can help identify troublesome problems by providing the vet with a list of difficulties or symptoms exhibited by their pet since the last visit.  

Common Illnesses

Senior pets are susceptible to age and hereditary related disease processes, including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, arthritis, hip dysplasia, gum disease and cancer. Senior dogs and cats may also start to exhibit the first signs of kidney disease, including incontinence and increased rate of infections. As senior dogs and cats reach the end of their expected lifespan for their breed, vets often notice an increase in symptoms related to heart disease.

Most health conditions, and their associated symptoms, can often be controlled to give senior pets an improved life expectancy without sacrificing quality of life. Once the pet reaches the end of life, pet owners and their veterinarian can discuss humane and loving ways to help their dog or cat cross the rainbow bridge.

Changing Needs

Obesity is common in senior dogs and cats due to their slowed metabolism and decreased activity levels. Pet owners can work with their veterinarian to create a suitable feeding schedule for their aging dog or cat. Although the total amount of food given each day may decrease, the number of feedings will usually stay the same or even increase, depending on the pet's unique needs.

Pet owners of senior pets also need to address changes to their dog or cat's daily exercise requirements. Senior dogs and cats may only be able tolerate short bursts of activity rather than long exercise sessions. These animals still require the physical fitness, mental stimulation and attention received during playtime and training sessions.

Obtaining Senior Pet Care in Reisterstown

Dogs and cats require care from a veterinarian knowledgeable about the health needs of senior pets. Our veterinarians at TLC For Pets understand the best care practices required for supporting senior pets and their owners. Ongoing care for senior dogs and cats may include disease diagnosis and control to keep medical conditions from progressing to a serious state.

Call today to make an appointment! (410) 833-1717

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