With diligent preventive veterinary care and early diagnosis, geriatric dogs and cats can maintain a good quality of life as they age into their golden years.
Regular attention to general health and medical issues during regularly scheduled routine exams can help extend your pet's life.
Our veterinarians can help senior pets in Laguna Beach achieve their best health by identifying and treating emerging health issues early.
Thanks to a wide breadth of dietary options and better veterinary care, our companion cats and dogs are living far longer lives than in decades past.
While we can certainly celebrate this fact, pet owners and veterinarians are now facing a greater number of age-related conditions than they did in the past with their beloved pets and patients.
Typically, senior pets are prone to these conditions:
Joint and bone disorders can trigger pain and discomfort as a dog ages. Arthritis, osteochondrosis, hip dysplasia, growth plate disorders and decreased spinal flexibility are some of the most common bone and joint disorders our veterinarians see in geriatric pets.
It's critical to ensure these issues are addressed early so your dog can remain comfortable as they age. Treatment for joint and bone issues in senior dogs can range from simply reducing levels of exercise to using anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, in addition to surgery to stabilize joints, remove diseased tissue and decrease pain.
Though older dogs are commonly diagnosed with osteoarthritis, this condition can also impact your senior cat's joints.
In cats, osteoarthritis symptoms are typically more subtle than in dogs. While a cat's range of motion may decrease, the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats are change in general attitude, loss of appetite, depression, weight loss, urination or defecation outside the litter pain, inability to jump on and off objects and poor grooming habits. Cat owners rarely report lameness, which is more commonly seen in dogs.
Cancer is thought to kill approximately half of all pets in the United States. As a result, it is critical for your senior pet to have routine wellness exams as they age.
Bringing your geriatric pet in for routine checkups, even if they appear healthy, allows your veterinarian to look for early signs of cancer and other diseases that respond better to treatment when caught early.
Like people, heart disease can be a problem for geriatric pets.
Senior dogs frequently suffer from congestive heart failure, which occurs when the heart does not efficiently pump blood, causing fluid to build up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While heart disease affects cats less than dogs, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is fairly common. The walls of a cat's heart thicken as a result of this condition, reducing the heart's ability to function efficiently.
Degeneration of the eyes and ears in older pets can result in varying degrees of deafness and blindness, though this is more common in dogs than in cats.
When these conditions are caused by aging, they may appear gradually, allowing geriatric pets to adjust their behavior and making it difficult for pet owners to detect.
Liver disease is common in senior cats and can be caused by high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. Loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and increased thirst are all symptoms of liver disease in cats.
Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss are all possible symptoms of liver disease in dogs.
If your geriatric dog or cat exhibits any of the symptoms of liver disease, immediate veterinary attention is required.
Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, the majority of dogs are diagnosed between the ages of 7 and 10 years old, and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are over the age of 6.
Excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections are all symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats.
Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes in both cats and dogs.
The function of a pet's kidneys tends to deteriorate as they age. In some cases, medications used to treat other common conditions in geriatric pets can cause kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, but it can be managed through a combination of diet and medications.
Our Laguna Beach veterinarians frequently see geriatric cats and dogs with urinary tract disorders and incontinence issues. Elderly pets are more prone to accidents as the muscles that control the bladder weaken, but it's important to note that incontinence could be a symptom of a larger health problem, such as a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your senior pet has incontinence issues, you must take him or her to the vet for a thorough examination.
Our veterinarians will give your senior pet a thorough exam, ask in-depth questions about their home life, and perform any tests that might be needed to gain additional insight into his or her condition and overall physical health.
Based on these results, we'll recommend a customized treatment plan that may include dietary changes, medications and activities to help improve your senior pet's health, comfort and well-being.
Preventive care is critical to ensuring that your senior pet lives a long and happy life. It allows our veterinarians to detect diseases earlier.
Early disease detection will help preserve your pet's physical health, detect emerging health issues, and pave the way for proactive treatment to prevent long-term problems.
Regular physical examinations will give your pet the best chance of long-term health.
Canyon Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Laguna Beach companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.