Senior Care

Help your pet live longer and healthier

Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever before. However, with this increased lifespan comes an increase in the types of ailments that can afflict senior pets. As pets reach the golden years, there are a variety of conditions and diseases that they can face, including weight and mobility changes; osteoarthritis; kidney, heart, and liver disease; tumors and cancers; hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance; and many others.

When does "Senior" Start?

So when is a pet considered a senior? Generally, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. Beyond that, the life span will vary with each individual, and your veterinarian will be able to help you determine what stage of life your furry friend is in. Keep in mind that some small dog breeds may be considered senior at 10-13 years, while giant breeds are classified as seniors at ages as young as 5 years old. Your veterinarian is your best source for more information to determine when your pet reaches the golden years.

Senior Health Exams

Scheduling regular veterinary examinations is one of the most important steps pet owners can take to keep their pets in tip-top shape. When dogs and cats enter the senior years, these health examinations are more important than ever. Senior care, which starts with the regular veterinary exam, is needed to catch and delay the onset or progress of disease and for the early detection of problems such as organ failure and osteoarthritis. At Orange Hill Veterinary Hospital we recommend that healthy senior dogs and cats visit the veterinarian every six months for a complete exam and laboratory testing. Keep in mind that every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to 5-7 human years. In order stay current with your senior pet's health care, twice-a-year exams are a must.

During the senior health exam, your veterinarian will ask you a series of questions regarding any changes in your pet's activity and behavior. The veterinarian will also conduct a complete examination of all of your pet's body systems. Client education and laboratory testing are also key components of the senior exam.

Nutrition for your older pet

Many older pets benefit from specially formulated food that is designed with older bodies in mind. Obesity in pets is often the result of reduced exercise and overfeeding and is a risk factor for problems such as heart disease. Because older pets often have different nutritional requirements, these special foods can help keep your pet's weight under control and reduce consumption of nutrients that are risk factors for the development of diseases, as well as organ- or age-related changes.

Exercise for your older pet

Exercise is yet another aspect of preventive geriatric care for your pets. You should definitely keep them going as they get older—if they are cooped up or kept lying down, their bodies will deteriorate much more quickly. You may want to ease up a bit on the exercise with an arthritic or debilitated cat or dog. Otherwise, you should keep them as active—mentally and physically—as possible in order to keep them sharp.

Surgery for the Older Pet

In the event your veterinarian is considering surgery or any other procedure in which anesthesia is needed, special considerations are taken to help ensure the safety of your senior pet.

Hours

Monday8:00AM - 6:00PM
Tuesday8:00AM - 6:00PM
Wednesday8:00AM - 6:00PM
Thursday8:00AM - 6:00PM
Friday8:00AM - 6:00PM
Saturday9:00AM - 2:00PM
SundayCLOSED

Vaccine Clinic:
Tuesday 2:00 PM-6:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM-2:00 PM

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