There is no denying that irreplaceable bond between ourselves and our pets grows stronger each day. As our pets grow older they bring ever more joy, love and devotion to our lives. It only seems fair that we would want to provide them the same care and devotion. That is why at West Park Animal Hospital we have special consultations and recommendations designed exclusively for the needs of our geriatric or senior pets. Our goal is to quickly find and manage the common disease processes and changes that our pets experience as they age so that our four-legged friends can live the longest, highest quality lives possible. For example, did you know that arthritis affects 1 in every 5 geriatric pets? Many pets will struggle with the pain of arthritis for months to years before ever limping or crying in pain. A routine exam, every 6 months, can allow us detect these changes early and help you set up a diet, exercise, supplement and medical regimen to slow progression of arthritis and manage all of the secondary pain and inflammation your pet is experiencing, so those daily walks or play sessions you both love so much can continue for years to come.
Examinations every 6 months are also important to help us look for:
- Aging changes to the eyes such as increased pressure (glaucoma) or cataracts
- Wear or fractures of the teeth as well as advancement of dental disease resulting in pain
- Significant weight gain or loss as your pet’s metabolism changes
- Any new growths on or below the surface of the skin that may be cancerous
- Degenerative (aging) changes to the heart
- Loss of muscle tone/strength and arthritis
Not all changes that occur in our senior pets are visible. Routine blood work designed specifically for senior dogs and cats will help screen for diseases happening internally below the surface. Some of the specific changes more commonly found in geriatric dogs and cats that we will be looking for include:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Cushing’s Disease
- Thyroid Disease
- High Calcium Levels
- High Cholesterol Levels
- High Blood Pressure
If your pet is reaching their golden years, and you would like to see what you can do to make their senior years their best years yet, please visit our Westchase office or call us today at 813-749-6863. Our highly trained medical staff are prepared to help you every step of the way.