Geriatric Care for 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 veterinarian is here to help geriatric pets in Springfield 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
As a result of better dietary options and veterinary care, cats and dogs are living much longer now than in the past.
Pet owners and veterinarians must now contend with more age-related conditions than in the past, which is certainly worth celebrating.
The following conditions are more common in aging pets:
- Joint or bone disorders
As your dog reaches their senior years, a variety of joint and bone disorders can cause pain and discomfort. Our veterinarian sees a variety of joint and bone disorders in geriatric pets, including arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, decreased spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.
Addressing these issues early on is critical for your dog's comfort as they age. Joint and bone problems in senior dogs are treated in a variety of ways, from reducing exercise to administering analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications to performing surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints, or alleviate pain.
While we usually associate osteoarthritis with older dogs, it can also affect your senior cat's joints.
Osteoarthritis symptoms in cats are subtler than in dogs. 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 are all common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats. Cat owners rarely complain of lameness.
Cancer kills about half of all pets in the United States, according to estimates. As a result, it's critical for your senior pet to have regular wellness exams as they get older.
Bringing your geriatric pet in for routine checkups, even if they appear to be in good health, allows your veterinarian to look for early signs of cancer and other diseases that respond better to treatment when caught early.
- Heart Disease
Heart disease can be a problem for geriatric pets, just like it is for humans.
Senior dogs frequently suffer from congestive heart failure, which occurs when the heart does not efficiently pump blood, causing fluid to build up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While heart disease affects cats less than dogs, 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
Eye and ear degeneration can cause hearing loss and blindness in older animals, but this occurs more frequently in dogs than in cats.
Age-related conditions may manifest slowly, making it difficult for pet owners to notice changes in their elderly pets' behaviors.
- 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, most are diagnosed between the ages of 7 and 10.
Excessive thirst, increased appetite, weight loss, cloudy eyes, and recurring infections are all signs of diabetes in dogs and cats.
Obese cats and dogs are at Irish for diabetes.
- Kidney disease
The function of a pet's kidneys tends to deteriorate as they age. Medication used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets can sometimes cause kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease is not curable, but it can be managed with a combination of diet and medication.
- Urinary tract disease
Our Springfield veterinarian frequently sees geriatric cats and dogs with urinary tract disorders and incontinence issues. Elderly pets are more prone to accidents as the muscles that control the bladder weaken, but it's important to note that incontinence could be a symptom of a larger health problem, such as a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your senior pet has incontinence issues, it's critical that you take him or her to the vet for a thorough examination.
Veterinary Care for Seniors
Our veterinarian will conduct a complete physical examination of your senior pet, as well as any necessary tests to gain a better understanding of his or her overall physical health and condition.
A treatment plan will be recommended based on the results, which may include medications, activities, and dietary changes that can help improve the health, well-being, and comfort of your senior pet (or pets).
Routine Wellness Exams
Preventive care is critical for your senior pet's health, happiness, and fulfillment. Additionally, it enables our veterinarian to detect diseases early.
Early disease detection helps maintain your pet's physical health and identifies emerging health problems before they become long-term problems.
Regular physical examinations provide the best chance for your pet's long-term health.