If you’re a pet owner, you would agree that your animal companion is an essential part of your life. From the time they’ve been born, your cat or dog has been bringing you joy and unimaginable love. Like humans, though, they don’t stay young and perky forever. Your pet gets old, and their advancing age comes with various needs. Do you want to make your beloved furball’s senior years fun and comfortable? Here are some of the most common conditions that you need to be on the lookout for. This way, you can make the necessary adjustments to help prolong their life span. The conditions include:
Vision Deficits. One of the common problems that pets are prone to as they get older is eye diseases. These include dry eye, glaucoma, and cataracts. Some of the warning signs of vision deficits in pets are changes to their eyes’ appearance, such as dilated or constricted pupils, cloudiness, or squinting. Degenerative changes to their eyes may also lead to blindness.
Hearing Loss. Another prevalent health problem in senior pets is deafness. The gradual hearing loss is typically due to nerve degeneration. Sadly, there’s nothing you can do to stop this. But there’s definitely a lot you can do to help your elderly pet to adapt. Hearing loss in dogs is generally easy to handle. The use of hand signals and other specific methods for deaf dog training will be highly beneficial. This way, your pet can still go about their day as usual.
Cognitive Dysfunction. Like humans, dogs may also exhibit developmental changes comparable to dementia due to their advancing age. The symptoms are usually subtle at first but can gradually become severe, affecting your pet’s quality of life. Signs of canine dementia include confusion, disorientation, wandering, withdrawal, restlessness, and more. You have to bring Fido to the veterinarian as many of these symptoms can be easily mistaken for other diseases.
Incontinence. Old age will also change your pet’s nerves, muscles, and organs. This can make it difficult for them to hold it the way they used to. Since incontinence is a symptom of many different health issues, you must have your vet check on your pet. This way, they can rule some diseases out and arrive at an accurate diagnosis. If there is no other underlying cause for the accidents, you will have to make adjustments to their potty schedule.
Arthritis. This is the primary cause of long-lasting pain in older cats and dogs. It’s common for an arthritic pet to suffer from stiffness or intermittent pain after strenuous physical activity. You may also see them limp or have trouble getting up and down. If you notice any of these signs, your vet needs to check your pet’s joints. Once diagnosed, supplements can help alleviate the pain. If your pet is overweight, it would be best if they lose some pounds to reduce their arthritic pain dramatically. You may also discuss with your vet other treatment options, such as animal acupuncture and chiropractic care.
Do you suspect that your cat or dog is sick? Ensure that you consult your veterinarian for any health-related concerns. At Goose Creek Veterinary Hospital, we can examine your pet and make the best recommendations to keep them happy and healthy. Call our office today at (703) 777-5755 in Ashburn, Virginia to make an appointment.