Many of the same health problems that affect us, including hearing loss, also affect our pets. Fortunately, most pets adapt very well to the disability with a little help from their owners.View Article
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Just like us, our pets ages often determine their health needs. Senior pets especially need careful health care. Whether your beloved companion is as spry as ever or taking it slower, the proper care will keep them feeling their best.
Older pets often have less energy, develop arthritis, gain weight, or have trouble seeing or hearing. These are common symptoms of aging, but there are things you can do to make their lives easier.
Unfortunately, senior pets also are susceptible to more serious health conditions. These include cancers, kidney or liver disease, arthritis, periodontal diseases, skin diseases, and metabolic or endocrine issues. Older pets also have trouble fighting off common infections and parasites. Tooth decay and loss is common for older pets, especially those that have not had proper dental care. This may lead to trouble eating or decreased appetite, causing unhealthy weight loss. Lack of exercise, however, may cause weight gain, which puts older pets at greater risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Even if your senior pet is in the best of health, there are things you can do to make sure he or she continues to live well.
Slowing down doesn't mean stop! Even older pets need exercise. Take your dog for a short walk around the block or the yard. Tempt your cat with a favorite toy. Even if it's for a few minutes at a time, make sure they stay active. This not only helps them maintain a healthy weight, but also provides stimulation that encourages their mental health.
Don't make things too hard. Yes, you should offer mental and physical stimulation to your older pets, but you also can make sure their lives are comfortable. Cats and dogs with arthritis may appreciate softer bedding. Ramps can help them navigate stairs, while rugs can help them maintain their footing on hard or slippery floors.
Watch their diet. For a healthy weight, feed your pets moderate portions and choose foods formulated for senior pets. Keep them hydrated by offering a regular supply of fresh water. You also should discuss your pet's dietary needs with the veterinarian.
Schedule regular checkups. Brush your pet's teeth regularly, schedule periodic vet visits, and keep their vaccinations up-to-date. Inform your vet if you notice any changes in your pet's behavior.
Duarte Azusa Animal Hospital offers preventative care, dietary consultation, and full dental services for senior pets. Other services we recommend include physical examinations, complete blood work, urinalysis , X-rays, fecal tests, blood-pressure testing, eye-pressure assessments, and dietary consultation.
Duarte Azusa Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary hospital. Dr. Rahim Zabihi and our team are fully trained to handle routine and emergency pet care. We also offer orthopedic surgeries, ultrasound services, and routine and emergency surgical procedures. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or call 626-357-2251. We look forward to hearing from you!