Providing Senior Pets with the TLC They Deserve
It is always a bit surprising to suddenly realize that one of our pets is a senior. Where did the time go? There is a selection of fun free apps to help you calculate your pet's human equivalent age, but we think any pet over seven years of age deserves special attention.
The good news is that, just like people, pets are living longer and healthier lives. We want to make certain that the individuals in your animal family do, too.
We recommend your senior pet see us twice a year for examinations. We watch your senior pet more closely for signs of disease, since a number of age related disorders can arise insidiously and in a fairly short period of time. We may advise more frequent clinical laboratory testing to assess the function of major bodily organs and systems. Many diseases can be treated, managed, and even cured if identified early on.
Age related conditions we check for include:
As your senior pet's health and mobility declines, you may wish to adapt your home and routines to accommodate new limitations. It is also common for older animals to experience cognitive changes similar to dementia in humans. Suggestions for home care and TLC include:
If your cat or dog is experiencing other behavioral changes such as confusion or apparent cognitive changes, and we've ruled out other medical explanations, try to be patient and accepting. There are some useful treatments for geriatric cognitive disorder, so be sure to talk this over with your veterinarian. Other suggestions include:
Test your knowledge of senior pet care with AAHA's interactive spinner quiz.