It can be hard to admit when we see the signs of old age in our animal companions, but the fact is that most dogs are considered seniors when they hit seven, cats around nine. Pets age much more rapidly than humans, which means diseases and illness progress quicker as well.
To ensure that your pet has the longest, healthiest, most comfortable life possible, Pachaug Animal Hospital encourages you to bring your senior pet for exams and blood tests twice each year. This way, we can track how your pet is aging, and we’ll be more likely to catch any developing diseases before they are big problems.
Just as in people, arthritis often accompanies old age in pets, resulting in pain, stiffness, and immobility. It’s important to understand the difference between normal aging and the symptoms of arthritis, because by the time your pet shows symptoms, they have likely been in pain or discomfort for a while. You’ll want to watch your older pet for these signs:
- decreased activity
- lagging behind on walks
- difficulty standing up after rest
- avoidance of stairs
- hesitation to jump up (especially in cats)
- arched back, head lowered or tilted
- neck pain
- biting or licking at a leg or joint
- thinning legs
While there’s no “cure” for arthritis, there are effective treatments to preserve mobility and manage pain. They include weight loss, medications, rehabilitation exercises, supplements, and alternative treatments such as acupuncture and laser therapy.
We can help your pet maintain a high quality of life through his or her senior years—to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (860) 376-2544.