Senior Pet Wellness Veterinarian
As your pet approaches middle age and the years beyond, he or she is at a higher risk for a host of health problems including diabetes, kidney disease, hypothyroidism (in dogs), and hyperthyroidism (in cats). However, while aging is inevitable, these diseases can be detected and treated early, allowing your pet to live a long and healthy life.
What complicates the process of early detection is the fact that dogs and cats are both inclined to hide disease by instinct. For animals in nature, this is actually an advantage; predators tend to prey upon sick animals, so appearing healthy is a good way to avoid becoming a meal. However, we keep our pets safe from predators, so this disguising of diseases only serves to make the diagnosis and treatment of their illnesses more difficult. That is why routine Check-Ups are so critical to your pet’s well-being.
Under normal circumstances, we recommend that cats and dogs come in for examinations at least once every year. However, due to the increased risk of illnesses in senior pets, we often recommend more frequent checkups as your pet ages. One of the most crucial parts of these examinations, particularly for senior pets, is blood tests. These provide your veterinarian with information about their patient’s health from within, where diseases have no way of hiding and are among the main ways for us to detect asymptomatic illnesses. These tests can be run at any time and get results back quickly. At World of Animals at Bensalem, we offer Senior wellness Packages every November & December to ensure the affordability of this testing, so that all our patients aged 7 and older have enjoyed the benefits of early detection.
There are also times in which dogs and cats cannot hide their symptoms. Some signs of disease to be watchful for include:
-Changes in appetite, both increases, and decreases
-Gaining or losing weight
-Changes in behavior
-Increased thirst or urination
-Loss of control over bladder
-Diarrhea or constipation
-Lumps, or changes in skin color within an area
-Bad smelling breath
-Excessive panting or intolerance of exertion
If you notice any of these signs in your pet, please notify your veterinarian as soon as possible. Clear communication and a consistent pattern of preventative care, including proper diet, veterinary care, and exercise is the key to ensuring that your pet ages with grace, and stays with you and your family for a long time.