In order to help your senior dog or cat maintain a good quality of life as they grow and age, our senior pets require routine preventive veterinary care and diagnosis all throughout their golden years.
Diligently applied routine and preventive care can not only help to extend your pet's life as they age but improve their quality of life. Because of this, it's important that they attend regularly scheduled wellness exams, even if they seem healthy.
Our veterinarians are here to help senior dogs and cats in the Stanwood area to achieve their optimal health.
We identify and treat emerging health issues as early as possible, providing preventive and proactive treatments while any conditions your pet is developing are still easily treated or managed.
Because of improvements in dietary options and veterinary care in recent years, our companion dogs and cats are now living far longer than they ever have in the past.
While this is absolutely something that is worth celebrating, it also means that pets, pet owners and vets face far more age-related health conditions than they have in the past too.
Senior pets are typically prone to the following conditions:
As your dog reaches their golden years, there are a number of joint or bone disorders that can result in pain and discomfort. Some of the most common joint and bone disorders in geriatric pets that our veterinarians see include arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduction in spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.
Ensuring that your address these issues as early as possible is critical to keeping your dog comfortable as they continue to age. The treatments for bone or joint issues in dogs can range from reducing their levels of activity and using anti-inflammatory drugs to surgical procedures to remove diseased tissues, reduce pain, or stabilize joints.
While osteoarthritis is typically a condition we think of in older dogs, this painful condition can also affect your senior cat's joints.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in cats are more subtle than those in dogs. While cats can experience a decrease in range of motion the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats include weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation outside the litter pan, and inability to jump on and off objects. Lameness typically seen in dogs is not commonly reported by cat owners.
It's generally believed that as much as half of all pet deaths in the United States are caused by cancer. That's why it is incredibly important for your senior pet to visit a vet for routine exams and preventive care as they age.
Bringing your geriatric pet in for routine checkups even when they seem healthy allows your veterinarian to examine them for early signs of cancer and other diseases which respond better to treatment when caught in their earliest stages.
Like people, heart disease can be a problem for geriatric pets.
Senior dogs commonly suffer from congestive heart failure, which occurs when the heart isn't pumping blood efficiently, causing fluid to back up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While heart disease is seen less in cats than in dogs, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is relatively common. This condition causes the walls of a cat’s heart to thicken, decreasing the heart’s ability to function efficiently.
Degeneration in the ears and eyes of our dogs or cats can cause varying degrees of blindness and deafness in senior pets. This condition is much more common in dogs than it is in cats.
When these conditions are age-related they may come on slowly, allowing geriatric pets to adjust their behavior and making it difficult for pet owners to notice.
Liver disease is very common in senior cats and can be the result of high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. The symptoms of liver disease in cats include loss of appetite, drooling, jaundice, vomiting, diarrhea and an increase in thirst.
Liver disease in dogs can cause a number of serious symptoms including seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss.
If your geriatric dog or cat is displaying any of the symptoms of liver disease, veterinary care is essential.
While dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, generally dogs are diagnosed between 7 and 10 years of age. The majority of cats are diagnosed with diabetes are over 6 years of age.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats include excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections.
Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes in both cats and dogs.
As pets age, their kidneys tend to lose their function. In some cases, kidney disease can be caused by medications used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets.
While chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, it can be managed with a combination of diet and medications.
Our Stanwood vets often see geriatric cats and dogs with urinary tract conditions and incontinence issues. Elderly pets can be prone to accidents as the muscles controlling the bladder weaken, but it's important to note that incontinence could be a sign of a bigger health issue such as a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your senior pet experiences incontinence issues it's important to take your geriatric dog or cat to the vet for a thorough examination.
Our vets will thoroughly examine your senior pet, ask about their home life in detail and perform any tests that may be required to receive additional insight into his or her general physical health and condition.
Based on the findings, we'll recommend a treatment plan that can potentially include medications, activities and dietary changes that may help improve your senior pet's health, well-being and comfort.
Preventive care is essential to helping your senior pet live a healthy, happy and fulfilled life. It also gives our veterinarians the opportunity to detect diseases early.
Early detection of disease will help preserve your pet's physical health and catch emerging health issues before they develop into long-term problems.
With regular physical examinations, your pet will have the best chance at quality long-term health.
Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Stanwood is always accepting new patients! Our veterinary team is committed to compassion and expertise in our care. We are passionate about supporting our community members and their pets. Get in touch today to book your first appointment.