As we’re all aware, the aging process isn’t unique to us as humans. All of our fellow creatures grow older and experience infancy, adolescence, maturity, old age, and, necessarily, of course, passing. We may not be aware of the many similarities between us and our fellow creatures as we experience the various stages of death and life. In reality, however, we share much in common- to the point of undergoing similar infirmities, health issues, and disorders as well as physical and psychological constraints and challenges.
It’s estimated that in the United States more than 18 million dogs and 22 million cats have been considered “elderly citizens”. Ordinarily, a cat or a dog older than 7 years is considered middle-aged. Since a companion animal cannot clarify her aches or pains, it’s advisable for the pet parent to closely observe and pay careful attention to any physical or behavioral modifications (however subtle) and also to take her at least twice every year for veterinary checkups. Early detection is the easiest way to treat canine or feline illnesses and diseases. Common health issues impacting older pets include arthritis, cancer, diabetes, kidney and liver diseases, and thyroid problems. Indicators of health issues may be decreased activity, difficulty in getting up, walking, or standing, drop in food and water consumption, difficulty in breathing, rash, diminished hearing or sight, withdrawing or isolating instead of playing or interacting with you or other family members, an elevated amount of time sleeping, etc.
It is great for pet owners to understand that our animal companions finally have access to medical therapies and processes, which can help, maintain and enhance their health and increase their longevity. Once accessible only to humans, arthritis medication, chemotherapy and radiation, organ transplants, hip replacements, and even pacemakers are available to our pets amongst other medications and treatments.
There are several strategies to help your aging animal companion. First and foremost are your continuing love, loyalty, and focus on him and your concern for his general good health and well-being. Second, you can tackle her particular requirements by consulting with your vet and determining what prescription and health protocols will be best suited to her particular needs. Thirdly, make certain your older pet is eating food appropriate to his age, size, and health issues. Consult your vet before you think about changing to “mature” foods to make sure he receives balanced nutrition without additional calories. Fourthly, keep him well worked out and aroused. Modify his exercise regime by his age and any health issues he might have.
Other straightforward ways to better your old pet’s life would be to maintain current in your pet’s vaccinations as older pets may be more vulnerable or susceptible to illness; provide appropriate dental care to prevent gingivitis and tooth loss; once petting or grooming your pet be aware of any lumps, discharges, sores or parasites; note some changes in burden (either loss or gain); note any vibration, vibration or seizures; pay attention to any sign that he’s experiencing pain.
Your pet is loyal, true, and unconditionally loving. Respect him, because he grows older and treats him with as much tender loving care because it is possible to provide. We can find out a lot about the aging process from our animal companions since it mimics and mirrors our own in so many ways. Our animal companions are lifelong guides and teachers from whom we can learn a lot of profound life lessons.
Though your family vet is familiar with your pet and may correctly diagnose and treat many problems, some conditions require technical diagnostics and care to safeguard your pet to get the ideal outcome and healing.
At Atlantic Coast New York Veterinary Specialists’ two locations, our board-certified cardiologist is trained to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease (heart and vessels) disease in animals.
Cardiology services insure disorders like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, degenerative valve disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, systemic hypertension, congenital heart disease, cardiac tumors, and arrhythmias.
At Atlantic Coast New York Veterinary Center, our furry cardiologist offers advanced diagnostic procedures for the evaluation of heart ailments in cats and dogs. Learn more about animal surgery right here.