Feb 28 2015

Senior Pets

Senior dogs and changes with age:

Senior dogs are the best. They know you well, you know them well, they are smart and seasoned and worth their weight in gold. They’re also worth special care to keep them well and happy for as long as possible.

In dogs, orthopedic issues such as arthritis and hip dysplasia are very common especially in medium to large breed dogs. Decrease eye sight and marble glow in their eyes are also very common in older dogs. Senior dogs are the most prone dogs to cancers, so have any lumps or other symptoms checked promptly. Many cancers can be cured if caught early. Sometimes treatment can provide a normal lifespan or nearly so. Usually there are ways to relieve pain and other symptoms at least for a while. Any way you look at it, you need to know as early in the course of the cancer as possible. Heart, kidney and dental disease, hypothyroidism could also be concerning disease in older dogs.

Senior cats and changes with age:

A cat’s health changes with age. Physical and mental changes occur, just as they do with people. Older cats sleep more than they did when young and they usually sleep more deeply. They may not be able to jump quite as high. However, it’s a mistake to assume that slowing down is just age. It’s entirely possible that there’s a treatable medical condition behind not wanting to play or to be petted. If you see a sudden slow down, it’s definitely time to see the veterinarian. But remember, even a gradual change can be caused by a medical issue. Hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, arthritis, dental disease, hypertension and intestinal cancer are the most common diseases of older cats.

When is Time to visit the veterinarian?

Majority of the senior pet’s disease and problems are preventable if they are being diagnosed on time, not when patient has shown the symptoms for a while. If your pet’s eating, drinking, bathroom and grooming habits have changed; it is the time to visit the veterinarian’s office. If your pet is acting arthritic and slow or if you notice an unusual lump or odor, then your pet is overdue for a visit. If your cat is losing weight despite a good appetite, she or he could suffer from hyperthyroidism, kidney failure or intestinal disease. A simple blood work and x-rays can help to diagnose and prevent majority of these disease. Blood work and regular checkups are recommended when your pet turns 7 years old. (In large breed dogs, when they turn 5)

What is new?

With today’s technology we can help our pets to have a painless and comfortable senior stage. Anti-inflammatory medications, joint diets (veterinary formulated and researched), acupuncture, and laser therapy are few therapeutic methods to resolve arthritis pain in older pets.  Nowadays we can control most of the old age diseases with special diets prescribed by veterinarians.

ddaley | From Dr. Nassi's Desk

2 thoughts on “Senior Pets”

  1. Amie Callon says:

    Hi Dr. Nassi,

    I have two wonderful dogs who have both struggled with a variety of issues recently. The latest is: my 10.5 year old chihuahua mix has a torn CCL – diagnosed last night after x-rays. I was told he may need surgery or it may heal on it’s own. They gave him pain meds, said to keep him off his leg, and sent us on our way. I do not know what the best course of action is. My other dog, a 6.5 year old Papillon Chihuahua mix, was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease this year, following upper and lower endoscopy. She also has recurring UTIs and yesterday her bloodwork showed something indicating low thyroid levels and they will now run another test to try and determine whether it may be hypothyroidism. I am very concerned about both of them.
    I keep searching and searching for the highest quality care – I do not care what the cost is – and I cannot seem to find someone who appears to possess both genuine care plus significant, effective knowledge & experience, and a real desire to help.
    If you believe you may be able to help us, or have any suggestions please let me know. I am very grateful for any help I can get.

  2. Tameeza says:

    Thank you Dr. Nassi! You were so kind about my older dog and I’m impressed with your practice. You’re our new vet! So pleased.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *