How to Keep Your Senior Pet Happy & Healthy

Pets are living longer due to advances in health care, diagnostics, and earlier intervention. Even so, the key to loving our “elderly” pets is located not merely in raising their life span but also in helping them enjoy their later years to the fullest. The same as people, cats and dogs can be vulnerable to incapacitating health ailments as they grow older. 

In earlier times, simply because quite a few health conditions were not recognized before the pet was in the advanced phases, veterinarians can do nothing more than make a pet’s golden years a tad bit more comfy by caring for the symptoms of age-related health problems. If the pet was lucky, the issues could progress gradually. Most pet owners just accepted the fact their budding buddies were just able to survive a relatively brief life, get older, and pass on. Yet breakthroughs in technical progress in modern veterinary medication, surgery, diagnostics, and nutrition, not just do pets endure longer but their quality of life has increased enormously as well.

1 example follows human medicine in the development and use of this new generation of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. Since our elderly pets often develop arthritis and joint disorder, these newer medications help alleviate the aches and pains of several senior pets while keeping undesirable side effects to a minimum. Chondroitin and glucosamine supplements also appear to help elderly dogs with their arthritis. Advanced veterinary technology includes MRIs, cat scans, radiation therapies, chemotherapy, innovative surgery with laser scalpels, laparoscopy, hip replacements, orthodontics, root canals, crowns, plus even more. Physical treatment, water heaters, and even acupuncture might help pets recover from surgeries and gain freedom faster. A growing number of veterinarians are pursuing specialization practices to deal with the requirements of those pets whose owners want the very best therapy available.

Several age-related problems will nevertheless be seen as unavoidable, however, the attitudes of both veterinarians and pet owners have shifted. The belief now is that the simple fact that “age isn’t a disease”, and veterinary medicine is adding greater emphasis on senior pet health through preventative health programs.

The sooner we could detect an issue, the more inclined we could manage or even correct the problem. Advances in oncology now make chemotherapy and radiation therapy almost a normal course of treatment for pets that do have cancer. Diabetes can be managed with nourishment and specific diets and heart disease also has newer drugs available to help the heart pump better. Cats with renal failure can benefit from many of the newer drugs discharged and fluid therapy to assist them to reduce the build-up toxins that their kidneys can no longer flush out. You can find even drugs which may help with cognitive dysfunction in dogs. These dogs appear to have “missing” or complain for no reason. Some specialists can even remove cataracts so that your pet won’t go blind.

At what age is a pet considered a senior? Ordinarily, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. Life spans vary with individuals, and pets, like people, grow older at different speeds, some more gracefully than others. A few smaller breeds of dogs, such as Bones, are considered geriatric in the beginning. Large and giant breeds like Labrador retrievers and rottweilers are believed elders as soon as seven years of age. Cats, particularly if they’re kept in the home, frequently live to their early twenties and don’t reach their golden years before their teens.

As pets age, these exams tend to be more crucial than ever, since, with individuals, quick detection is essential for disease and difficult intervention. Younger pets require regular examinations once or twice annually. However, since cats and dogs approach middle age, these examinations should be more common because each year in a pet’s life is equal to 5-7 people years. Check this page to learn more.

To discover potential health problems sooner, veterinarians recommend routine laboratory work, electrocardiograms, blood pressure monitoring, and x-rays to detect early ailments like thyroid, kidney, liver, heart, and liver disease. With early detection, pets together with organ function requirements can be treated with prescription medication along with specific doctor prescribed grade diets which do not just prolong their life span but the quality of their lives. From time to time, health conditions may even be reversed.

In general, quite a few early warning signs your family pet could be having an issue are:

  • drinking more water than usual and urination
  • urinary incontinence or with accidents from the house
  • recurring projecting up
  • horrible breath, drooling, or difficulty eating
  • excessive panting or tires more quickly when exercised
  • lumps, bumps, nodules, or alterations in areas of skin color, bumps that bleed or are ulcerated
  • change in desire – eating less or more than normal
  • changes in behavior such as “spacing out” or increased whining
  • abnormal bowel habits – nausea or constipation
  • changes in body fat – reducing or gaining weight

Watch pets carefully and convey any strange behavioral or physical difficulties to your vet without delay. Veterinarians also recommend purchasing pet insurance so that if problems are found in your pet, you’ll have the ability to pay for the advanced therapies that are available. Speak to your veterinarian and produce a specific senior wellness plan for your pet’s unique needs for your prized pooch or kitty can enjoy getting old gracefully.

Is your pet undergoing any behaviors or symptoms you are concerned about? Contact us right away, or even the after-hours emergency animal hospitals listed above.

Our reliable and compassionate staff at Santa Barbara Pet Hospital offers veterinary care for pets in most emergencies. Animals are our passion, we take pride in providing quality health care when your pet needs it all.

In Montecito Pet Hospital, it is possible to find urgent veterinary care for your cat or dog during our regular clinic hours. Visit their pet pharmacy for more details.