Senior Pet Care at Short Pump Animal Hospital
Proud parents of aging pets face unique challenges. Just like a human, a pet's age can hit them all at once. One day your dog is an ungainly adolescent, tripping over his own feet with joy when you walk through the door, and the next, he's a tired, slow-moving senior who requires special care. At Short Pump Animal Hospital in Glen Allen, Virginia, we specialize in senior pet care. Here's what you need to know to keep your aging pet happy, healthy and comfortable.
How Old is Old When It Comes to Pets?
Depending upon the size and species of your furry friend, the answer to this question varies by a year or two. Dogs generally begin to enter "old age" after the age of 7. A 7-year-old cat is roughly 54 in human years, whereas a 7-year-old dog is between 44 and 56. This is the stage where healthy pets may begin to feel the effects of aging.
Veterinarian Concerns for Senior Pets
Senior pets are prone to many health issues, including those that affect joints, bones, cardiac system, kidneys, liver, and urinary tract. Many dog breeds are susceptible to cancer as they grow older, with mixed breeds and golden retrievers topping the list. Common health concerns in older dogs include:
- Arthritis - symptoms include lethargy, lameness, and licking and chewing in painful areas.
- Gum disease - watch for blood in the water dish, loose teeth, or bad breath.
- Diabetes - signs include excessive thirst, frequent urination, dandruff, and depression.
- Blindness - look for clumsiness, disorientation or if your dog is easy to startle.
- Kidney disease - dogs suffer from diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.
- Cancer - may begin with odd lumps or swelling, bad odor, and sores that won't heal properly.
- Dementia - manifests as anxiety or aggression, staring, repetition, or the inability to sleep.
The list looks the same for senior cats, with the common addition of heart disease. If your pet has passed into his elderly years, it's more important now than ever to keep up on regularly scheduled veterinarian appointments. Conditions such as cancer may be treatable if discovered early on. If your aging pet is suffering from the onset of dementia, you need to know so you can make accommodations to his routine.
Call Short Pump Animal Hospital Today
If you need a veterinarian who specializes in senior pet care on the West End, give Short Pump Animal Hospital in Glen Allen, Virginia a call. We care about aging pets and their loving families, and we'll see that your senior pet gets the specialized care he needs.