Due to advances in veterinary medicine, cats and dogs are now living longer than ever! Because of this, certain age-related medical conditions are now more common than they were in the past. Senior pets require health exams at least once a year, and some geriatric dogs and cats require more frequent exams. Senior pets also require unique diets and exercise routines. At our hospital, we want to help your feline or canine companion enjoy as many years as possible by your side.
When is my cat or dog considered a senior?
The species and breed can determine when your cat or dog is considered a senior. Cats are considered seniors when they are 8 years and older. For dogs, they can be considered seniors as early as 7 years old. When your feline or canine friend enters their senior years you will notice the following physical changes:
- More grey hairs
- Poor hearing or vision
- Less active/responsive
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss/gain
- Dull fur or hair
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Increased/decreased thirst and urination
What health issues do senior cats and dogs usually have?
Physical changes are just one of the effects of aging for your cat or dog. Most times senior pets become vulnerable to health problems as their body slows down. This is why it is extremely important to keep up with scheduled veterinary exams during their golden years. Here are some illnesses that senior patients often get diagnosed with:
- Hip dysplasia
- Periodontal disease
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease