Your pet has stood by you for years, your playmate and your companion. However, around the age of 7, he starts declining, not wanting to run around as much, changing eating habits, and more.
Just like with humans, as your pets age, their bodies begin to fail, presenting problems that need to be addressed in order to make sure they live their life to the fullest. By knowing what is going on in your pets’ life, you can understand how to treat their conditions, seeking pet care when they need it and making them more comfortable. You can expect the following changes to occur as this transition occurs:
Decrease in Activity
A decrease that happens both mentally and physically, senior pets begin to become less playful, less excitable and, in general, more sedate. This is can be caused by a number of conditions, but the most common is that the pets can no longer sense the things that would normally excite them (they can’t hear their name or can’t see their favorite ball). Another cause can be attributed to pain. While they may be perfectly aware of their surroundings, elderly pets tend to have conditions like arthritis, which makes it too painful for them to stand, much less jump around like they did before.
Especially in dogs, circulatory issues like heart disease can create problems which dampen quality of life. The good news is the symptoms of these issues are easy to spot and can be improved with pet care lifestyle changes. If you notice that your pet has a hard time breathing, pants after little activity, coughs more than usual, and suffers easily from fatigue, than the cause is usually a problem with the circulatory system.
Also similar to many problems faced by humans as they age, pets tend to gradually lose their vision. Whether this is due to cataracts, glaucoma or just a general weakening of the optic nerves, losing their sight can make life extremely difficult for pets. In order to prevent a total loss, we diagnose and treat visual problems as they come, so it is important to get frequent geriatric pet care.
Problems with Digestion and Oral Health
Poor oral health results in so much more than bad breath. Periodontal disease, which is caused by the mouth’s inability to handle bacteria, can spread far beyond the teeth, affecting the heart and the overall health of your pet. That’s just the start, as bad teeth for pets can translate into eating less, poor nutrition and all of the problems that follow.
These are just a few of the problems that pets face as they grow older, but the list goes on. Because of this, our veterinarian at the leading animal hospital in Jupiter takes special precaution, with extra pet care and understanding when it comes to your senior pet. Talk to our veterinarian today about your pets’ problems, and we’d be happy to help!