As our pets age, they require additional care to stay healthy and active. Common health conditions affecting older pets include heart disease, diabetes, thyroid imbalance, and cancer. Older pets may also not hear or see as well as they once did, and their mobility may be limited due to arthritis or other health concerns. Our senior pet care services are designed to help your pets age gracefully so they can enjoy their golden years.
Pet Wellness Care Helps Pets Age Gracefully
The age at which a pet is considered to be a “senior” varies based on the pet’s size and breed. For example, large breed dogs like labs may require senior care as early as six or seven years of age. Smaller breed, however, have a longer life expectancy and may not need senior care until they are eight or nine years old. Cats have a very long life expectancy and typically do not require senior care until reaching at least 10 years of age.
As your pet ages, you may notice your pet is not as active as he or she once was. Jumping, running and even walking may be slower. Your pet’s vision or hearing may worsen. What you cannot see, however, are the age-related changes taking place inside your pet’s body. This is why as semi-annual wellness exam is so important. These exams help our veterinarians stay abreast of any critical changes to your pet’s health.
Keeping your pet up to date on vaccinations is also critical for senior wellness care. Older pets have weaker immune systems and may have a more difficult time battling disease. Vaccinations help reduce the risk your pet will contract a deadly disease like rabies, parvo or distemper.
Since many pets are also masters at hiding the early symptoms of disease, diagnostic lab work performed during the wellness exam will give our veterinary team a “snapshot” of your pet’s internal health. Changes in blood cell counts, for example, could indicate the presence of disease, such as cancer or a thyroid imbalance. The earlier our team is able to diagnose these issues, the more we can do to treat your pet and minimize the impact on your pet’s health.
In addition to checking your pet’s vital signs and blood levels, our veterinarians will also discuss your pet’s diet. Due to changes in nutritional needs and activity level, as pets age, it is important to adjust their diet. Dogs that were very active when they were younger may gain weight if they continue to receive the same diet. Conversely, some cats can evolve into picky eaters as they age and lose weight. Our veterinarians will make dietary recommendations to ensure your pet is receiving a balanced diet.
Cedar Mill Veterinary Hospital has been providing senior pet wellness care to the Cedar Mill community since 1979. Schedule an appointment for your pet today and experience first-hand the difference that our compassionate care can make for the senior pets in your life! Call 503-644-3101.