Senior Care for Pets

A pet’s senior years are truly golden. Older animals tend to be happy because they are settled into a familiar routine and role in your life. Different breeds enter this phase at different times. When your pet reaches the advanced stages of life they will require new forms of care because their bodies are experiencing changes. We will need to make adjustments to their diet, exercise and healthcare practices. Our veterinarians can help you accommodate your pet’s transition. New habits for them is also a lifestyle change for your family. To learn more about how we can help you and your pet as they age, contact us at 780.444.1324.

What are some common problems pets develop in their older age?

Like humans, when pets reach old age they’re more susceptible to wear and tear. By keeping an eye on your pet, you should be able to recognize some of the changes mentioned below. They may show signs of:

  • Memory lapses or confusion
  • Hip dysplasia, which makes it uncomfortable for them to walk or run
  • Orthopedic problems in joints and bones (e.g. arthritis)
  • Hypothyroidism, which slows your pet down and leads to obesity and poor heart health
  • Eye problems, like cataracts and other issues, which impair vision and lead to blindness
  • Cancers
  • Declining kidney and bladder functions

    Many of these conditions can be identified through blood tests during their physical exams. In fact, as they age, we recommend their visits be semi-annual to increase chances of early detection. Solutions range from medication to surgery depending on the severity. Of course, our veterinarians can discuss other resources available, particularly devices to help animals with orthopedic problems. We can usually teach your pet new ways to work around any health issue.

    How can I help my pet as they get older?

    Over time, your cat or dog may need help with simple activities of daily living. Former pleasures, like jumping to catch a toy, should be avoided to prevent pain, injury and further deterioration. It’s important to treat your pet gently and not to push them beyond their abilities. Minor adjustments can help your pet continue functioning relatively normal for as long as possible. What they value most as they age is spending time with the ones they love. Show them lots of affection through touch and engage them in calm activities, like swimming and scavenger hunts.