In recent years, great strides have been made in recognizing the special needs and requirements of our “senior citizen” dogs and cats. Our veterinarian is equipped with the knowledge and diagnostic tools to identify age related problems and formulate realistic strategies to help our pets to live longer and healthier lives. If your dog is seven to nine years of age or older (depending on breed) or your cat is ten years of age or older, it is now in its geriatric years. We will be happy to discuss with you our recommendations for geriatric testing and geriatric diets.
By taking the time to learn more about the special needs of your senior-aged pet, you’ve taken the first step toward providing the best care for your friend in its golden years. At the The Pet Hospital of Woodstock, we’re proud of the special interest we take in geriatric medicine and care of chronic disease.
Pets in their senior years—those of about six years of age and older—begin to go through a gradual reduction of their physical capabilities. However, this process can be slowed and managed through proper veterinary care thereby offering your beloved pet an extended period of vitality and good health. Additionally, preventative care tailored to your pet’s age, lifestyle, risk factors and other elements can help prevent common diseases or detect them at early and easily treatable stages.
There is also an important role for you to play as your pet’s primary caregiver. While you cannot control age related decline, you can influence your pet’s activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior veterinary care, and daily nutrition. With your veterinarian’s help, you can manage these factors in order to prolong your pet’s good health, vitality, and increase his or her wellbeing, even as your pet’s pace slows a bit.
The best time to begin your pet’s senior care program and recognize the need for a little extra TLC is well before age related conditions begin to set in. We at Animal & Bird Hospital of Del Mar recommend regular senior wellness exams, which should include a specialized lab work to detect the early signs of disease processes. Dental care at this point in life becomes even more important as well. We recommend routine dental exams and cleanings for all pets, but especially those in their senior years. Diet and weight gain are also important issues to keep an eye on. When you bring your pet in for a senior wellness visit your veterinarian will evaluate his or her weight and offer recommendations based on what we see.