Older Cat Care

Senior pets are a breed of their own and need special care from your local veterinarian.

Veterinarian suggested tips for senior pets.

Aging doggies and cats have changing veterinary needs, mainly they require more frequent physical exams, more blood testing, frequent checking of blood pressure, and x- rays if needed.

At any age, physical checkups are necessary for our furry friends. Because animals age 4 to 6 years for every human year, a lot can change in that time. It’s recommended to bring Fido in for a checkup twice a year, once every six months. This is to catch any maladies or illnesses as soon as possible. Diseases are much more manageable when treated in the early stages. Aging pets are more susceptible to sicknesses, so staying up-to- date with the veterinarian is very important at this age.

Blood testing is done on a semiannual basis each time you bring your furry friend into the veterinarian and animal care clinic. These tests check for liver health, thyroid levels, blood sugar, cholesterol, kidney function, and many other signs of early disease or illnesses. Urine is also tested and analyzed to allow our veterinarians the best chance for an early detection of common health problems.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is prevalent in older animals, especially cats. We also see this disease in dogs, though it’s not as common. Our veterinarians recommend testing for high blood pressure once each year.

Certain breeds are more prone to heart disease, and should have chest x- rays to catch changes in the heart before clinical changes develop. Dog breeds that should go in for regular x-rays include breeds like Great Danes, Dobermans, Shepherds, Boxers, and many small breed dogs. The large breed dogs often do not show any signs of heart disease until very late in the disease.

Of course, keeping old Fido happy is important, so take extra care of your old boy in the best ways you know how! Feed senior pets foods that are adequate for their breed and age. Many of these over-the-counter senior foods have additional dietary supplements that can help older dogs or cats that have arthritis. As always, make sure your pets have a safe place that is specifically for them, and for your senior pets a quiet area to lie down. Be aware of any behaviors that may indicate your pet is in pain or distress, and take him or her into the vet for regular check-ups.

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