Geriatric Care for Senior Dogs & Cats
Senior pets require routine preventive veterinary care and early diagnosis throughout their golden years to help them maintain a good quality of life as they age.
Diligent care can help extend your pet's life and good health as they age, so it's important that they attend regularly scheduled wellness exams, even if they seem healthy.
Our veterinarians are here to help geriatric pets in Dallas achieve optimal health by identifying and treating emerging health issues early, and providing proactive treatment while they are still effectively and easily manageable.
Typical Health Problems
Companion cats and dogs are now living significantly longer than in the past, owing to improved dietary options and improved veterinary care.
While this is certainly something to celebrate, pet owners and veterinarians are now confronted with a greater number of age-related conditions than in the past.
Senior pets are frequently predisposed to the following ailments:
- Joint or bone disorders
There are a number of joint or bone disorders that can cause pain and discomfort in your dog as they get older. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduced spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders are among the most common joint and bone disorders seen by our veterinarians in geriatric pets.
It's critical to address these issues early on in order to keep your dog comfortable as they age. The use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints, and reduce pain, are all options for treating joint and bone issues in senior dogs.
While osteoarthritis is commonly associated with older dogs, it can also affect the joints of your senior cat.
Cats' osteoarthritis symptoms are more subtle than those of dogs. While cats' range of motion may be reduced, the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats are 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. Cat owners rarely report lameness, which is more common in dogs.
It is estimated that approximately 50% of all pets in the United States die of cancer. That is why it is critical for your senior pet to visit the veterinarian on a routine basis as they age.
Bringing your senior pet in for routine checkups, even if they appear to be healthy, allows your veterinarian to look for early signs of cancer and other diseases that respond better to treatment when detected early.
- Heart Disease
Like people, heart disease can be a problem for geriatric pets.
Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart fails to pump blood efficiently, causing fluid to build up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While cats are less likely than dogs to develop heart disease, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is fairly common. The walls of a cat's heart thicken as a result of this condition, reducing the heart's ability to function efficiently.
- Blindness and hearing loss
Degeneration of the eyes and ears in older pets can result in varying degrees of deafness and blindness, though this is more common in dogs than in cats.
When these conditions are caused by aging, they may appear gradually, allowing geriatric pets to adjust their behavior and making it difficult for pet owners to detect.
- Liver disease
Liver disease is common in senior cats and may be caused by high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. Loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and increased thirst are all symptoms of liver disease in cats.
Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss are all possible symptoms of liver disease in dogs.
If your senior dog or cat exhibits any of the symptoms of liver disease, immediate veterinary care is necessary.
Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, the majority of dogs diagnosed with diabetes are between the ages of 7 and 10, and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are older than 6 years.
Excessive thirst, increased appetite with weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections are all signs of diabetes in dogs and cats.
Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes in both cats and dogs.
- Kidney disease
The function of a pet's kidneys tends to deteriorate as they age. In some cases, medications used to treat other common conditions in geriatric pets can cause kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, but it can be managed through a combination of diet and medications.
- Urinary tract disease
Our Dallas veterinarians frequently see geriatric cats and dogs suffering from urinary tract infections and incontinence. While elderly pets may be more prone to accidents as the muscles that control the bladder weaken, it's critical to keep in mind that incontinence may be a sign of a more serious health problem, such as a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your senior pet has incontinence issues, it is critical to take him or her to the veterinarian for a thorough examination.
Veterinary Care for Seniors
Our veterinarians will examine your senior pet thoroughly, ask detailed questions about their home life, and perform any tests that may be necessary to gain additional insight into his or her overall physical health and condition.
We'll recommend a treatment plan based on the findings, which could include medications, activities, and dietary changes to help improve your senior pet's health, well-being, and comfort.
Routine Wellness Exams
Preventive care is critical to ensuring that your senior pet lives a long, happy, and fulfilled life. It also allows our veterinarians to detect diseases earlier.
Early disease detection will help preserve your pet's physical health and detect emerging health issues before they become long-term issues.
Regular physical examinations will give your pet the best chance of long-term health.