So you have gotten through the puppy and kitten years. Your pet isn’t going potty in the house or climbing the curtains. He/she is active, happy and enjoying his or her maturity. Then all of a sudden, you get an email saying “Fluffy” needs to come in for a BI-ANNUAL SENIOR EXAM? Did that say, “senior”? What does bi-annual exam even mean? Well, our family pet clinic near Chadds Ford, PA is here to answer your questions and help guide you to making the best possible choices for your pet.
First, when do we consider pets a senior? Beginning at around seven years of age, pets start encountering some age-related physical changes. You may start noticing they start responding a little less eagerly. They may take a little longer to get up the stairs or stop jumping onto their favorite window perch. They may snub food they once normally liked or drink more than they used to. Because many of these changes begin very subtly, it is important to address even the smallest variation. While many conditions affecting older dogs and cats are not curable, they can be controlled. By monitoring and treating early, we can be sure that your pet receives the highest quality of life as long as possible.
Second, what recommendations may change for senior pets? Longwood Veterinary Center near Chadds Ford, PA advises pet owners consider coming in for bi-annual exams, every six months. This is because age-related changes and diseases can occur quickly, and it is best that we address any abnormalities sooner rather than later. For example, many of our senior cats will mostly likely develop kidney disease. You will start to see them drink and urinate more than normal. They will slowly lose weight and eventually electrolytes will become imbalanced. But did you know that there are certain diets that may help combat these effects? Also, did you know that you can help maintain hydration and electrolytes with fluid under the skin? With many conditions, there are various things that you may be able to do at home to help address your pet’s changing needs. At Longwood Veterinary Center, we will recommend monitoring a complete bloodwork panel, to help us detect internal changes we cannot observe.
Next, what can you do to keep your pet healthy? Close observation is your most important tool. You are the eyes, ears, and voice of your pet. Other things you can do are provide proper nutrition specifically tailored for seniors, consider adding recommended supplements like omega-3’s and/or glucosamine for joint health, keep up with brushing their fur and teeth, reduce any stress, and consider environmental modifications like carpet runners, ramps and/or litter boxes with low sides.
Get ahead of the curve of aging, contact our family pet clinic near Chadds Ford, PA to schedule your pet’s bi-annual senior exam. Call Longwood Veterinary Center at (610) 388-3388 today!