Senior Pet Care from Our Veterinarian
As your dog or cat ages, they need loving attention now more than ever, from you and your veterinarian. At Animal Medical Center in Midlothian, VA, we provide compassionate care at all stages of your pet’s life, including those senior years.
When Does Your Pet Become a Senior?
Pets age the same way we do, just at a faster pace. Cats typically live longer than dogs, and small dogs have longer lifespans than larger dogs. So a large breed dog may be a senior at five, a small dog at nine, and a cat at age 11.
Illness in Your Senior Pet
Aging raises your pet’s risk of disease, just as it does in humans. Older pets become more likely to get conditions like diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and kidney and heart disease. Let your Midlothian veterinarian know about any changes you see in your dog or cat. Signs of problems to look for include:
- Increased thirst
- Loss of appetite
- Losing or gaining weight
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in urine or stool elimination
- Swelling or lumps
- Problems jumping or climbing stairs
- Being confused or disoriented
- Weakness, sudden collapse or seizures
- Bad breath, excessive drooling
Preventive Care from Your Veterinarian
Because of their increased risk, senior pets should have more frequent checkups, even if they’re in good health, to catch health problems early. A wellness exam by our veterinarian every six months is one of the best things you can do for your older pet’s health.
During the exam, our veterinarian will ask you about any changes you’ve seen in your pet, and look for signs of diseases common in older pets. Your pet may have bloodwork, urinalysis, blood pressure, and other testing performed by our vet, using the latest advances in technology.
Our team is committed to educating you about how to keep your senior pet comfortable and safe. Here are a few tips:
- Adapt to your pet’s declining agility - Ramps and area rugs can help arthritic dogs with getting in the car or preventing slips on hardwood floors. For cats, keep food, water and litter boxes (get one with lower sides) all on the same floor of your house.
- Keep your pet’s teeth healthy - With brushing, dental treat, and regular vet care. Dental disease can cause pain and lost teeth, affecting your pet’s ability to eat.
- Consult our veterinarian about special diets and supplements for older pets - Being at a healthy weight, and getting the proper balance of nutrients, will help to preserve their quality of life.
Call our Midlothian Veterinarian Today!
Our veterinarian is here to help your senior pet enjoy good health during those golden years. To schedule a checkup, call Animal Medical Center in Midlothian, VA at 804-639-3900.