Geriatric Care for Senior Dogs & Cats
Senior pets require routine preventive veterinary care and early diagnosis throughout their golden years to ensure they maintain a high quality of life.
Diligent care can help extend your pet's life and good health as they age, so they must attend regularly scheduled wellness exams, even if they seem healthy.
Our veterinarians are committed to assisting geriatric pets in Poway in achieving optimal health by identifying and treating emerging health issues early and initiating proactive treatment while they are still manageable.
Typical Health Problems
Companion cats and dogs are now living significantly longer than in the past, owing to improved dietary options and improved veterinary care.
While this is certainly something to celebrate, pet owners and veterinarians are now confronted with a greater number of age-related conditions than in the past.
Senior pets are typically prone to the following conditions:
- Joint or bone disorders
As your dog reaches their senior years, a variety of joint and bone disorders can cause pain and discomfort. Our veterinarians see a variety of joint and bone disorders in geriatric pets, including arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, decreased spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.
Addressing these issues early on is critical for your dog's comfort as they age. Joint and bone problems in senior dogs are treated in a variety of ways, from reducing exercise to administering analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications to performing surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints, or alleviate pain.
While osteoarthritis is typically associated with older dogs, it can also affect the joints of your senior cat.
Cats exhibit more subtle symptoms of osteoarthritis than dogs do. While cats may experience a loss of range of motion, the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats include weight loss, appetite loss, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination, or defecation outside the litter pan, and inability to jump on and off objects. Lameness, which is more prevalent in dogs, is not frequently reported by cat owners.
It is estimated that approximately 50% of all pets in the United States die of cancer. That is why your senior pet must visit the veterinarian on a routine basis as they age.
Bringing your senior pet in for routine checkups, even if they appear to be healthy, allows your veterinarian to look for early signs of cancer and other diseases that respond better to treatment when detected early.
- Heart Disease
Like people, heart disease can be a problem for geriatric pets.
Senior dogs frequently suffer from congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently, resulting in fluid buildup in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
While cats are less likely than dogs to develop heart disease, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is relatively common. This condition thickens the walls of the cat's heart, impairing its ability to function efficiently.
- Blindness and hearing loss
Degeneration of the eyes and ears in older pets can result in varying degrees of deafness and blindness, although this is more common in dogs than cats.
When these conditions are age-related, they may manifest gradually, allowing geriatric pets to adjust their behavior and making detection difficult.
- Liver disease
Liver disease is common in senior cats and may 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 senior dog or cat exhibits any of the symptoms of liver disease, immediate veterinary care is necessary.
Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, the majority of dogs and cats diagnosed with diabetes are between the ages of 7 and 10 years, and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are over the age of 6.
Excessive thirst, increased appetite associated with 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.
- Kidney disease
As pets age, their kidneys begin to fail. In some cases, medications used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets can cause kidney disease.
While chronic kidney disease is incurable, it can be managed through a combination of diet and medication.
- Urinary tract disease
Our Poway veterinarians frequently see geriatric cats and dogs suffering from urinary tract infections and incontinence. While elderly pets may be more prone to accidents as the muscles that control the bladder weaken, it's critical to keep in mind that incontinence may be a sign of a more serious health problem, such as a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your senior pet has incontinence issues, it is critical to take him or her to the veterinarian for a thorough examination.
Veterinary Care for Seniors
Our veterinarians will conduct a thorough examination of your senior pet, inquire about their home life in detail, and conduct any necessary tests to gain additional insight into his or her general physical health and condition.
We'll recommend a treatment plan based on the findings, which may include medications, activities, and dietary changes to help improve your senior pet's health, well-being, and comfort.
Routine Wellness Exams
Preventive care is critical for your senior pet's health, happiness, and fulfillment. Additionally, it enables our veterinarians to detect diseases early.
Early disease detection helps maintain your pet's physical health and identifies emerging health problems before they become long-term problems.
Regular physical examinations provide the best chance for your pet's long-term health.