Cats and dogs age SEVEN times faster that we do. So, when your pet turns 7 years old in ‘animal years’ that’s nudging 50! An important milestone indeed.
The 7 year milestone is the time when we Vets ask you to bring in your pets for us to make sure everything is as it should be. It means you can have peace of mind that your pet is healthy and happy.
All it takes is a simple blood and urine test and a general health check. From that we can pick up any early warning signs and help to prevent the onset or progression of disease.
As much as we don’t like to think about our loved pets getting sick in their old age, with advancing years there is a greater risk of cancer, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, dental problems, arthritis and other serious conditions.
It is very important that your Senior Pet receives these scheduled health checks every 6 months, which is equivalent to us visiting the doctor only every 3.5 years.
Conditions that are more common in old age include:
- Skin lumps – unfortunately cancer affects pets just as it does people. For this reason, any new lumps or changes in skin should be assessed as soon as they are noticed meaning that treatment is likely to be more successful.
- Kidney Disease – common in old age, especially in cats – if caught early there is a lot we can do to slow the progression of this disease and hence prolong the life of your pet. If your pet is drinking more they need to be seen as quickly as possible as this is one of the symptoms of kidney disease. A blood test can pick up kidney disease in the early stages.
- Dental Disease – 85% of dogs and cats have dental disease. It is often detected when pets have bad breath, drooling or eating on one side of the mouth. Dental disease causes pain with gingivitis, loose teeth, abscesses and infections in the jaw bone. Infections in the mouth can also lead to heart, liver, kidney and joint problems, as the bacteria from the mouth travels in the blood stream to all parts of the body. A pets’ dental health is extremely important, just like in humans. We have the expertise and State-of-the-Art dental equipment to both treat and prevent dental disease. Read more …….
- Arthritis – is common in older pets just as in humans and is quite a painful, debilitating disease. It can be easily managed with the help of dietary supplements, a course arthritis injections and anti-inflammatories, all tailored to your pet, depending on severity of disease. One of the most common symptoms in dogs is stiffness when getting up after rest and in cats is not wanting to jump up onto things such as cat posts and furniture.
- Obesity – is more common in old age, as pets seem to exercise less (possibly due to arthritis). We run a complimentary ‘Healthy Habits Club’ at Veterinary Happiness, to support you and your pet through weight loss. It is an individually tailored program for your pet. Weight reduction helps to reduce the onset and pain of arthritis and helps prevent diabetes.
- Diabetes – again more common in old age and when pets are obese. One of the symptoms is drinking a lot. However, we hope to catch a rise in blood glucose before this occurs so we can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and the need for insulin to control it. Blood and urine tests are very important to detect this disease early. Dietary management is very important with this condition and can greatly prolong the life of your pet.
Of course your senior pet also needs the general preventative health care such as vaccinations, heartworm prevention, gastrointestinal worming and flea and tick control.
In summary your senior pet needs a thorough check up with the Vet every 6 months once they are 7 years old. Early detection of health issues results in far better outcomes for you and your pet. They need more TLC when they are older, just like us. Call us on 3206 7911 to make an appointment for your best friend.