Special Care for Older Pets:
- Dogs approximately over age 8 and cats over age 9 are considered ‘geriatric’ pets
- A physical exam 2X per year
- Screening blood tests annually
- Special diets to control illness and obesity
- Nutritional support for arthritic joints
Pets can live long, productive lives and bring joy to their families. The doctors at the Delaware Valley Veterinary Hospital are dedicated to ensuring that your older pets receive specialized care designed to meet their changing needs. It may be hard to believe, but many animals as young as 8 years of age are considered to be seniors and require specialized care. Even if your pet does not look old, he or she desires extraordinary care from approximately age 8 and on.
It is crucial to catch any changes in your older pet’s health as early as possible. Early detection allows for early treatment which can significantly improve the quality of your older pet’s life. For this reason, we recommend twice per year physical examinations for your senior pets. During these examinations, a complete history of your pet’s health will be taken so as to uncover any signs of illness in your pet. The doctors will ask questions regarding appetite, sleeping, vocalizing, behavior, elimination, and play to make sure that your older pet is still acting and feeling well at home.
Common problems seen in aging pets include dental disease, orthopedic problems, obesity, and changes in behavior. The doctors can provide dental care, offer advice regarding arthritis, and even recommend special diets or supplements for your older pets. Behavior issues may be helped with a combination of training, medication, and even diet. Physical therapy and/or chiropractic may help pets with arthritis and other age-associated infirmities.
In addition, the doctors may suggest annual blood testing for your older pet. These screening tests check for illnesses that are common in older pets and can be treated with medications and diet. For example, older pets are more likely to suffer from heart trouble, kidney disease, thyroid problems, and diabetes than young pets. Screening tests can identify these problems early enough that mediations, foods, and life style changes can be recommended to limit the illnesses and help your pets feel better, longer.
Older pets need just a little bit of extra care to feel great. Remember: physical examinations 2X PER YEAR and geriatric blood profiles 1X per year for geriatric pets!