Caring For Aging Dogs & Cats
Preventive and proactive care is key for ensuring that your pet will live a long, healthy, and happy life.
Comprehensive care as your pet ages is imperative to ensure they live pain-free. Following a schedule for routine wellness exams, even when they seem healthy can go a long way and will ensure that they receive diagnosis and treatment early on if any symptoms arise.
Our veterinarians in Monterey Park are passionate about helping your pets stay as healthy as possible. Monitoring for any signs and symptoms of conditions early will allow your vet to diagnose any potential conditions early and provide treatment when it is most effective.
Common Health Concerns
Our pets are living long and healthy lives thanks to modern technology and advanced diets. While this means that we can enjoy more time with our cherished pets, it also means that we must be more mindful of their overall health.
Pet owners will have more conditions to monitor as their pet ages, some of these conditions are:
- Joint or bone disorders
As your dog ages the risk of developing various types of joint and bone disorders increases. Some of these disorders that your senior pet may experience are arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduction in spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.
It is imperative to have these disorders treated and diagnosed as soon as the symptoms begin to arise. Some treatment options for joint and bone issues in senior dogs range from simply reducing levels of exercise, to the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, to surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints or reduce pain.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that can be common among senior dogs, and although not as common this uncomfortable condition can potentially affect your senior cat's joints.
Osteoarthritis symptoms may not be as noticeable in your cat as they would be in dogs. Your cat may be prone to experiencing a decreased range of motion as the most obvious and common symptom of this condition. Your senior cat may also suffer from symptoms that include weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation in undesirable areas, and inability to jump around as they normally would.
Approximately 50% of all animals within the US die due to various types of cancers, Diagnosing cancer early is key to ensuring that your pet has the best chance at recovery.
Routine wellness exams allow your vet to monitor for potential signs and symptoms as well as diagnose as early as possible in order to provide the best care possible with the highest possible rate of survival.
- Heart Disease
Heart disease is a condition that not only affects humans but will also affect animals.
In dogs heart disease is commonly seen as heart failure, which is a condition that occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently, causing fluid to back up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
Heart disease is less common in cats but they may experience a condition called Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is relatively common. If suffering from this condition the walls of your cat’s heart will thicken, and the heart will cease to function efficiently.
- Blindness and hearing loss
As your pet ages, you may witness symptoms related to many different types of conditions. One of the most common conditions seen in senior pets is blindness and hearing loss.
Unfortunately, these are slow-developing conditions and your pet may adjust to their condition as it worsens making it incredibly hard to detect.
- Liver disease
If you have a senior pet that is managing high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism they will be at a higher risk for liver disease. In cats, some of the most common signs of liver disease include loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst.
While dogs may encounter serious symptoms including seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss.
If you are noticing any potential signs of liver disease in your pet please contact your vet immediately.
Diabetes is a condition that can affect dogs of any age, but it most commonly affects dogs after approximately 7-10 years of age and cats typically once they are over the age of 6 years old.
The most common symptoms of diabetes in both cats and dogs are excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections.
If your pet is suffering from obesity they may have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
- Kidney disease
It is common for pets to experience disorders as they age and lose the function of their bladder. Occasionally kidney disease can be caused by various medications that your pet may be taking for other conditions.
Chronic kidney disease is unable to be cured but can be managed with proper care, diet and medications.
- Urinary tract disease
As our cats and dogs age, urinary tract conditions and incontinence issues become more apparent. As the muscles within the urinary tract weaken, accidents will become more frequent.
While that is typically the case it is important to note that urinary tract infection or dementia are also able to cause symptoms such as these and therefore your pet should be assessed if experiencing these symptoms.
Veterinary Care for Senior Pets
During your pet's visit with our vets, your pet will undergo a complete physical examination and your vet will discuss their home life and perform any diagnostic testing that may be required.
If any symptoms are noted during the examination then your vet will make recommendations for further testing as well as prescribe any medications or lifestyle changes that may be necessary.
Routine Wellness Exams
Our vets believe that preventive care is key to your pet living a full and healthy life. With preventive care, we are able to provide care for conditions at the very first symptom ensuring your pets continued health and happiness.
The sooner that conditions are diagnosed the easier and more effective the treatment will be, just as for younger pets, routine wellness exams ensure that your pet continues to thrive.
New Patients Welcome
Veterinary Healthcare Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Monterey Park companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.