WORRIED ABOUT YOUR AGING PET?
“He’s slower than he used to be, but he’s just getting old.”
“She doesn’t eat nearly as much as she used to, but she’s older now.”
“Her favorite spot to sleep was always the bed, but I never see her at night anymore. I’m sure it’s just part of her getting older.”
“He was always so good with our kids, but he doesn’t have the patience he did before he got old.”
SEEING BEHAVIORAL CHANGES
It is common to see behavioral changes in our pets as they age. It is important to note, however, these changes are very often caused by medical conditions, many that may be treated. Conditions such as arthritis, dental disease, changes in vision and hearing are commonly seen in older pets and can cause behavioral changes that we attribute to old age. In addition, there are numerous disease processes that we tend to see more as pets age, such as, heart disease, liver disease, and kidney disease.
Here at Prairie Hills Animal Hospital, we are dedicated to helping our older companions be as comfortable as possible.
SCHEDULE REGULAR EXAMS
Part of keeping your older companion safe is scheduling regular exams and blood work with their veterinarian. Because our pets age much more quickly than we do, we recommend senior exams every six months after eight years of age. During your pet’s exam, the veterinarian will examine your pet fully:
Although this list gives you only a glimpse of what your veterinarian is looking for while examining your pet, it gives you an idea of how important it is to have these exams done regularly so that any abnormalities may be found and treated as early as possible.
WE ENCOURAGE YEARLY SCREENINGS
In addition to exams, Prairie Hills Animal Hospital encourages every pet to have screening lab work done every year. This lab work includes, but is not limited to, screenings of liver and kidney function, blood counts, parasite screenings, thyroid function, urine screenings, and heart disease screenings. This yearly lab work allows us to develop a baseline of normal values on your animal as a puppy or kitten and young adult so that we may track changes as your pet ages. Yearly screening also allows us to have an accurate picture of your animal’s health, so we may catch any trends within changes and implement treatments as early within the disease processes as possible.