When considering vet or mobile vet services, the age and mobility of your pet are big factors. Senior pets can have health care needs that differ from those of younger animals. Often times, the stress of going onto a vet clinic is harder on older pets. Larger dogs may have trouble getting into the car and keeping their footing on the slippery clinic floors. If your large dog is 6 years old or older, your cat or small dog is 8 years or older, your pet should be seen more regularly than a younger pet would.
Some things to look for:
- An increase in water consumption and/or urination
- Your pet begins to leak urine while resting
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Noticeable change of mood or strange behaviors
- Lumps, bumps and other skin problems
- Your dog or cat begins bumping into things or falling down more
- Stiffness or trouble getting up
If you notice any of these, then it might be time for you should schedule a veterinary examination to discuss these issues.
More information and factors to consider:
Senior pets should have weight checks and full physical exams every 6 months and bloodwork every 6-12 months. Physical exams and bloodwork can help identify problems early. Health issues are often not outwardly apparent and can have a significant impact on your pet’s health by the time there are obvious symptoms. Addressing problems early can help prolong your pet’s lifetime.
Another common disease associated with aging pets is arthritis. There are several safe options for pain management and pain control including holistic supplements. A simple blood test can determine if your pet is healthy enough for prescription pain medicine, if needed. In many cases, the addition of glucosamine to your pets diet, in conjunction with a prescription pain medication yields considerable pain relieving results.
Vision Loss and other Eye Problems
Deteriorating eyesight is part of the normal aging process for pets. Has your pet begun bumping into things, falling uncontrollably or displayed signs of eye discomfort? He may be suffering from vision loss or an eye disorder. There are, however, certain things you can do to help your dog or cat adjust. Consult with us or your regular veterinarian for tips on handling pets with vision loss and to rule out treatable eye diseases such as cataracts, dry eye syndrome, or other conditions.
Regular dental care is also very important, regardless of the age or species. Some younger animals will develop dental disease by their first year of age, although many pets may not develop dental disease until later in life. Regular oral examinations for signs of dental disease will prevent the prolonged, painful symptoms that may cause pets to refuse food, or become ill. The ongoing infection caused by dental tartar and gingivitis can enter the bloodstream and damage the heart, kidneys, and liver. Proper dental care includes teeth brushing, dental chews and prophylactic dental cleanings. Be sure to discuss these preventive measures with your veterinarian.
Sometimes we notice unusual or odd behaviors in elderly pets. These can be a sign of health problems or senility. Environment changes and supplements can help with these aging changes. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best way to help your pet.
Some older dogs have difficulty maintaining their weight and may need a diet with a higher calorie content or better palatability, while other dogs tend to gain weight and may need a diet for less active dogs. Neither being overweight or underweight is ideal for your dog. Overweight and obese dogs, for instance, have a higher incidence of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, even cancer.
Whole Pet Wellness – Mobile Vet Care for Your Aging Pet
Please feel free to contact us about any of the issues that we’ve mentioned here. We’re happy to come help you and your pet in the comfort and convenience of your own home.