To help your senior pet maintain a high quality of life, you have to provide them with routine preventive care and early diagnosis during their golden years.
Diligent veterinary care can help you extend the life and good health of your senior pet as they age, so it's important that they attend routine wellness exams, even if they look healthy.
Our veterinarians are available to help geriatric cats and dogs in Los Angeles obtain optimal health by detecting and treating any arising health issues early, and provide them with proactive treatments while we can still easily and effectively manage them.
Because of the improved dietary options and higher quality of veterinary care available, companion pets are living longer today than they ever have before.
This is certainly news to be celebrated but, pet parents and veterinarians are now encountering more age-related conditions than they did in previous years.
Below is a list of conditions senior pets are typically prone to:
As your dog enters the golden years of its life, there are many joint and bone disorders they could develop that can cause them pain and discomfort. Some of the most common joint and bone disorders in geriatric dogs include arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduction in spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.
Having these issues diagnosed and managed early is essential for keeping your dog comfortable as they get older. Treatment for joint and bone issues in dogs could consist of reducing their levels of exercise, using analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, and surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints or reduce pain.
While osteoarthritis is generally a condition we attribute to older dogs, this painful condition could also affect the joints of your senior cat.
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 that's often seen in dogs is not frequently reported by cat owners.
It's very important to being your senior cat or dog to the vet for routine wellness exams as they age, to spot signs of cancer.
Having your geriatric pet come into the vet for routine checkups (even when they appear healthy) gives your veterinarian the opportunity to examine them for early signs of cancer and other diseases that typically respond better to treatment when found in its earlier stages.
Like people, heart disease can be a problem for geriatric dogs and cats.
Senior dogs ofen suffer from congestive heart failure, which happens when the heart isn't pumping blood efficiently, making fluid back up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While heart disease isn't seen as often in cats as in dogs, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is fairly common. This condition causes the walls of a cat’s heart to thicken, decreasing the heart’s ability to function properly.
Degeneration in the eyes and ears can cause varying degrees of deafness and blindness in older cats and dogs however, this is more common in dogs than in cats.
When these conditions are age-related they can develop slowly, allowing geriatric pets to adjust their behavior and making it harder for pet owners to see.
In senior cats, liver disease is common and can develop as a 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 lead to a handful of serious symptoms such as seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss.
If your geriatric pet is displaying any of the symptoms of liver disease mentioned above, they will require urgent veterinary care.
Dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age however, most dogs are diagnosed at approximately 7-10 years of age and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are over the age of 6.
Symptoms of diabetes in both cats and dogs can include excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections.
Obesity can increase the risk factor of diabetes for both cats and dogs.
As pets get older, their kidneys often start losing their function. In some situations, kidney disease can be caused by medications used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric cats and dogs.
While chronic kidney disease can't be cured, it can be managed with a combination of diet and medications.
Our Los Angeles vets frequently see geriatric cats and dogs experiencing urinary tract conditions and incontinence issues. Elderly pets are prone to accidents because the muscles controlling the bladder weaken, but it's important to remember that incontinence can be a symptom of bigger health problems such as a urinary tract infection and dementia.
If your senior pet is suffering from incontinence issues, it's important to take them to the vet for a thorough examination.
Our vets will give your senior cat or dog a thorough examination, ask about their home life in detail and conduct any tests that they might require to get additional insight into their overall physical condition and health.
Depending on the findings made in the test and exams, we'll recommend a treatment plan that could potentially consist of medications, activities, and dietary changes. All of these could potentially help improve your senior pet's comfort, health, and well-being.
Preventive care is an important part of helping your senior cat or dog live a fulfilled, happy and healthy life. It also provides our Los Angeles veterinarians with the opportunity to find diseases early.
Detecting diseases early will help maintain your furry companion's physical health and catch emerging health issues before they turn into long-term problems.
With routine physical examinations, your cat or dog will receive their best chance for quality long-term health.
Rancho Park Veterinary Clinic welcomes cats, dogs, and their people to our clinic! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Los Angeles companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's appointment.