Senior Pet Wellness Veterinarian
As your pet approaches middle age and beyond, they are at a higher risk for health problems, including diabetes, kidney disease, hypothyroidism (in dogs), and hyperthyroidism (in cats). However, while aging is inevitable, these diseases can often 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 an advantage. This is because 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 once per year, at minimum. However, due to the increased risk of illnesses in senior pets, we often recommend more frequent check-ups as your pet ages. One of the most important parts of these examinations, particularly for senior pets, is blood tests. These provide your veterinarian with vital 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 illness. These tests can be run at any time, and results for them come back quickly. At World of Animals at Bensalem, we offer senior wellness packages every November & December to ensure this testing’s affordability so that all our patients aged seven 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:
-Increased thirst or urination
-Loss of control over bladder
-Diarrhea or constipation
-Gaining or losing weight
-Changes in behavior
-Changes in appetite, both increases, and decreases
-Lumps, or changes in skin color within an area
-Bad smelling breath
-Excessive panting or intolerance of exertion
Veterinarian for Senior Pet Wellness
If you become aware of any of these signs in your pet, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Clear communication and a consistent pattern of preventative care, including proper diet, veterinary care, and exercise, are key to ensuring that your pet ages with grace and stays with you and your family for a long time.