Our pets are now living longer, healthier lives than ever before due to advancements in veterinary medicine and nutrition. The lifespan of your pet varies by breed, size, and environmental factors. Your veterinarian is the best source for determining the stage of life of your four-legged friend.
Contrary to popular belief, the rule of "7 dog years = 1 human year" is far from accurate.
At Countryside, our goal is to help you recognize and manage these health issues or problems in order to prolong your pet's quality of life.
At your senior pet's visit, our veterinarian is going to examine your dog or cat over, from nose to tail. They will typically begin by examining their overall body condition, followed by a thorough oral exam. During the oral exam, the veterinarian will be looking for any signs of dental disease including swollen gums (or gingivitis), dental tartar, plaque or tooth decay. Your pet’s exam will also include listening to their heart and lungs, checking for any unusual signs/symptoms, and checking for skin, coat, eye and ear problems. Diet and nutritional counseling will also be a part of your senior pet's exam.
If our veterinarian comes across something unusual or they suspect an underlying condition, further diagnostic testing or lab work will most likely will be recommended. Routine annual diagnostic lab work is recommended on any senior patient in order to help our veterinarians identify what values are currently normal or if there have been any changes since the prior year. Our veterinarians are always happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your aging pet during their exam.
Observing your senior pet's behavior and physical condition is crucial in identifying potential problems early. Keep an eye out for subtle changes in their activity levels, appetite, or any signs of discomfort, such as limping or difficulty getting up. Also, be vigilant for noticeable shifts in behavior, like increased anxiety, confusion, or changes in bathroom habits. Regular veterinary check-ups can further aid in detecting and addressing issues as they arise.
If you suspect that your senior pet is having a problem, don't hesitate to contact us.
Learn how to spot the signs and explore proactive steps that can make a significant difference in enhancing your senior pet's well-being.Read Story
Cognitive dysfunction, known as CCD (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) in dogs and FCD (Feline Cognitive Dysfunction) in cats, is an age-related neurodegenerative condition that has been extensively studied in dogs but less so in cats. Research indicates that approximately 14% to 22.5% of dogs older than 8 years experience age-related cognitive impairment. Clinical signs of cognitive dysfunction can vary between dogs and cats and may not be readily noticed by pet owners during the early stages of the condition. Early recognition of this condition is crucial, as treatment is most effective in the initial stages of CCD and FCD. Moreover, cognitive dysfunction can significantly impact the quality of the human-animal bond.
Common behavioral changes in senior pets may include:
If you notice these behavioral changes or other warning signs of disease, reach out to us. We're here to give you guidance and possible treatments.
As many of our clients know, we love sharing our knowledge and important animal health news. Our blog contains valuable educational resources in one easy location.