Your senior pet may seem to be slowing down, his or her hair is becoming white, and some days, moving seems to be a chore. These are all normal things we see at Trinity Pet Hospital in Laguna Hills. Animals age just as humans do and often have some of the same symptoms. This does not mean your animal’s life can't be full of fun. Our veterinarian can help you learn what changes you can make now to help increase the quality of your senior pet's life.
What Is Senior Wellness Care For Pets?
Wellness care involves regular veterinary examinations to ensure your pet stays healthy. These visits are especially important for senior animals, which may develop health problems as they age. Wellness care looks at weight management, physical condition, eye and ear health, dental health and other aspects that can help your aging pet maintain good health throughout life.
Understanding Your Aging Pet
The average human begins to slow down as they approach their senior years, so this is naturally expected within the animal kingdom. Considering that pets age faster than humans, your dog or cat typically enters this stage around the age of seven, and this can occur even earlier in larger breeds. Some things you may notice happening to your dog or cat around this time include:
- Gray hair development.
- Hearing difficulties.
- Loss of bowel and bladder control.
- Trouble moving or stiffness in the joints.
- Becoming less active overall.
- Eating smaller portions or less frequently.
- Weight gain.
However, not all potential changes in your senior pet will be quite as obvious, and a pet senior wellness vet in Laguna Hills can help identify any underlying issues through a comprehensive examination. Geriatric animals have an increased risk of developing issues very similar to humans as they age such as periodontal disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive issues, liver disease, cancer, heart disorders, and kidney failure.
The presence of even one of these health issues can exacerbate or create others. For example, an arthritic pet can become sedentary and gain weight which can lead to heart problems or diabetic development. Beyond physical changes, your pet may begin to develop cognitive problems such as dementia. They may appear to become temporarily confused and not seem to recognize you or other household pets, or they may forget where they’ve hidden toys or where the food bowl is. Cognitive issues aren’t very common, but if they surface, you should get advice from our Laguna Hills veterinarian right away.
Trinity Pet Hospital Can Help Your Aging Pet Flourish
Under the care of our compassionate vet in Laguna Hills, your cat or dog can enjoy their golden years to the fullest. We recommend that senior pets have at least two annual wellness exams due to their special needs. This allows us to keep a close eye on what may be ailing your aging pet so they can live a happier, healthier life. Proper health care can extend your pet’s longevity, so you can spend more time with them.
Benefits of Regular Vet Visits For Your Senior Pet
Your Laguna Hills veterinarian is your partner in helping your pet stay healthy throughout life. The vet can monitor weight and general condition to intervene if lifestyle changes are needed to help prevent illness in the later years. Your vet can also provide preventive care, such as vaccinations, flea & tick control and heartworm medication to prevent illness. Your senior pet may also get more frequent blood tests to ensure that internal organs, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys are functioning properly. These measures can help your aging pet to live longer, with better quality of life.
Why Senior Pets Need Closer Health Monitoring
As animals age, they may develop conditions that affect their comfort or physical condition. Arthritis is a common problem that affects the joints and normal movement. Heart, kidney and liver disorders can occur that affect your pet’s longevity. Good management can help to extend your pet’s lifespan. Weight problems can increase the risk of diseases that shorten your pet’s life. Senior wellness care can address and treat these problems, so your pet can enjoy his or her later years.
One of the most important things you can do for your senior dog or cat is to schedule yearly wellness exams. Pet Exams allow our veterinarian to get an idea of what is going on with your pet and diagnose any problems early on. A veterinary visit is the best way to catch early tumor growths or other issues that can quickly become problems for your furry companion.
Just like humans, animals are subject to joint pain caused by arthritis. Your pet may find it difficult to stand up from a resting position or jump up on a bed that is its favorite sleeping spot. He or she may not show as much enthusiasm about going for walks or playing. Our vet can determine what is going on and prescribe medication that can help ease the pain caused by arthritis. Our doctor can also suggest activities to help keep joints flexible and allow your furry friend to be comfortable enough for walks and playing. Activity may be slower, but it can still be an enjoyable, bonding time for the two of you.
Less activity means your pet will be likely to put weight on quicker. Senior animals don't need as much food in their diets because they expend less energy. Talking with our veterinarian about your animal and its current activities will help direct you to the best diet for his or her particular needs. A well-balanced diet can make a difference in your furry friend’s life.
Veterinary Care for Senior Pets in Laguna Hills, CA
At Trinity Pet Hospital, our veterinarian in Laguna Hills will exam your pet to see where he or she stands physically. You will then be advised about how to care for your elderly friend. Contact us today by calling 949-768-1314 to schedule a wellness exam for your animal. We are here to help you get through these wondrous years with your pet.