In order to help your pet maintain their quality of life as they continue to age, our veterinary team should provide your companion routine preventive care and early diagnosis throughout their golden years.
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 veterinary team is here to assist geriatric pets in the Sacramento area achieve their optimal health by identifying and treating emerging health issues early and providing your pet with proactive treatment while any health conditions they do develop are easily managed.
Because of improvements in veterinary care and dietary options, our companion dogs and cat now live far longer than they ever have in the past.
While this is certainly something worth celebrating, pet owners and vets now also face far more age-related conditions than they did in the past too. Senior pets are typically prone to the following conditions:
As your dog reaches their golden years, there are a number of joint or bone disorders that can result in pain and discomfort. Some of the most common joint and bone disorders in geriatric pets that our veterinarians see include arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduction in spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.
Addressing these issues as early as possible is critical to keeping your pup comfortable as they age. Treatment for bone and joint health issues in senior dogs can range from simple reduction of exercise to the use of analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs, surgeries to remove diseases tissues and stabilization of joints.
While osteoarthritis is typically a condition we think of in older dogs, this painful condition can also affect your senior cat's joints.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in cats are more subtle than those in dogs. While cats can experience a decrease in range of motion, the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats include 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. Lameness typically seen in dogs is not commonly reported by cat owners.
It is believed that approximately 50% of all pets in the US die from cancers. That's why it's important for your senior pet to visit the vet for routine wellness exams as they age.
Bringing your aging pet in for routine checkups even when they seem perfectly healthy allows your vet to examine them for early signs of cancer and other diseases which respond best to treatment in their earliest stages.
Like people, heart disease can be a problem for geriatric pets.
Senior dogs commonly suffer from congestive heart failure, which occurs when the heart isn't pumping blood efficiently, causing fluid to back up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While heart disease is seen less in cats than in dogs, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is relatively common. This condition causes the walls of a cat’s heart to thicken, decreasing the heart’s ability to function efficiently.
Degeneration in the eyes and ears can lead to varying degrees of deafness and blindness in older pets, although this is more common in dogs than in cats.
When these conditions are related to your pet's age, they may come on quite slowly and make it much more difficult for owners to detect differences in their pet's behavior and capabilities.
In senior cats, liver disease is common and may be the result of high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of liver disease in cats include loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst.
Liver disease in dogs can cause a number of serious symptoms including seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss.
If your geriatric dog or cat is displaying any of the symptoms of liver disease, veterinary care is essential.
Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, most dogs are diagnosed at approximately 7-10 years of age and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are over 6 years of age.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats include excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections.
Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes in both cats and dogs.
As pets age, their kidneys tend to lose their function. In some cases, kidney disease can be caused by medications used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets.
While chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, it can be managed with a combination of diet and medications.
Our Sacramento vets often see geriatric cats and dogs with urinary tract conditions and incontinence issues. Elderly pets can be prone to accidents as the muscles controlling the bladder weaken, but it's important to note that incontinence could be a sign of a bigger health issue, such as a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your senior pet is experiencing incontinence issues, it's important that you take your geriatric cat or dog to the vet for a comprehensive examination.
Our vets will thoroughly examine your senior pet, ask about their home life in detail and perform any tests that may be required to receive additional insight into his or her general physical health and condition.
Based on the findings from our tests, we will recommend a treatment plan that can potentially include medications, dietary changes and activities that may help to improve your senior pet's health, well-being and comfort throughout their life.
Preventive care is essential to helping your senior pet live a healthy, happy and fulfilled life. It also gives our veterinarians the opportunity to detect diseases early.
Early detection of disease will help preserve your pet's physical health and catch emerging health issues before they develop into long-term problems.
With regular physical examinations, our Sacramento veterinarians will be able to provide your geriatric pet with a long and comfortable life.
Looking for a vet in Sacramento? South Sacramento Pet Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about animal healthcare. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.
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