Due to the many advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer and healthier lives. However with this increase in lifespan comes an increase in the types of conditions that can affect senior pets. Conditions that can affect pets in their golden years include weight and mobility changes, osteoarthritis, kidney, heart, and liver disease, tumors and cancers, hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance, and many others. Just as our health care needs change as we age, the same applies to our pets.
So when is your cat or dog a “senior”? Well, that depends. Cats generally live longer than dogs, with lifespans into the high teens or low twenties, while dogs have a bit more variation. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to live longer than larger breeds, with smaller breeds living into the mid-teens, large breeds living into the low to mid-teens and giant breeds only living eight to ten years. Regardless of when your pet enters into its golden years, routine health exams are highly recommended in order to identify problems early, while they are still treatable or manageable.
If you have questions about your pet and its needs, please feel free to contact the clinic. September is Senior Pet Month.