In order for your pet to live happily and comfortably into old age while continuing to be active, they will require consistent routine veterinary care.
Continuing to bring your senior pet in for wellness exams regardless of whether they are ill will go a long way to help extend your pet's life.
Our veterinarians are here to help geriatric pets in Corpus Christi achieve optimal health by identifying and treating emerging health issues early, and providing proactive treatment while we can still effectively and easily manage them.
Our veterinary team in Corpus Christi will use a variety of modern tools and equipment available on-site to provide an evaluation of your pet's health and provide treatment if necessary. Managing your pet's health before conditions become a problem is key to your senior pet living comfortably.
Common Health Problems
Our pets are living longer and healthier lives because of the vast improvements in diets and veterinary care leading to better overall health as they enter old age.
Although this is exciting, we must remember to be vigilant with preventive care in order to continue to ensure their health and well-being as they age.
Some of the conditions that commonly affect older pets are:
- Joint or bone disorders
There are a number of common bone and joint disorders that may become more apparent as your pet reaches their senior years. Some of these disorders that our vets are seeing your pets include arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduction in spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.
It is important to monitor and treat any signs and symptoms as they appear in order to ensure the continued comfort and health of your pet. Some common treatment options for joint and bone issues in dogs are to reduce the levels of exercise, to the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, to surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints or reduce pain.
While joint issues are more common in dogs it is still possible for your senior to be affected by this condition although the symptoms may be more subtle.
Some common symptoms are a decrease in range of motion as well as possible weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in behavior, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation outside the litter pan, and inability to jump on and off objects
The statistics show that roughly half of all pets in the US die from some form of cancer. This makes routine care and wellness exams even more important when it comes to preventive care for your older pet.
The sooner you can have any possible signs of cancer examined the more likely that any cancer treatments your pet receives will be successful.
- Heart Disease
Heart disease is an issue that can affect your pets just as it could affect any human.
Congestive heart failure is most common among senior dogs and happens when the heart isn't pumping blood efficiently, causing fluid to back up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.
However, cats are more commonly afflicted by Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). When a cat suffers from this condition the walls of their thicken, decreasing the heart’s ability to function efficiently.
- Blindness and hearing loss
Senior dogs and cats commonly experience eye and ear degeneration although it is known to be more common in aging dogs.
This hearing and vision loss will happen gradually so diagnosis may be exceptionally difficult as your pet may adjust their behavior as the degeneration happens.
- Liver disease
Hyperthyroidism or high blood pressure in senior cats are both known to cause liver disease and cause symptoms that can include loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst.
Liver disease in dogs may cause a different variation of symptoms including seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss.
It is imperative to have your pet assessed by a vet if they are displaying any of the above symptoms.
While it is possible for dogs and cats to develop diabetes at any age, It is most common for dogs to be diagnosed around approximately 7-10 years of age, and cats are typically diagnosed with diabetes are over 6 years of age.
Dogs and cats commonly experience similar symptoms such as excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections.
It is more likely for a dog or cat to develop diabetes if they are overweight or obese.
- Kidney disease
While it is common for kidney function to decrease as animals age, it is possible for kidney disease to develop in pets that are receiving medications used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets.
Chronic disease is a lifelong condition and while it cannot be cured, it is possible to manage the symptoms.
- Urinary tract disease
Our Corpus Christi vets often diagnose urinary tract conditions and incontinence issues in geriatric cats and dogs. As your pet ages, the muscles associated with the urinary tract weaken causing accidents to happen more frequently. Having your pet examined is always recommended though as the symptoms could be a sign of an even more serious health issue.
If your pet is experiencing incontinence issues it is important to bring them to your vet for a full wellness examination.
Care For Your Senior Pet
Your vet will most likely discuss detail from all areas of your pet's life including their home and social life as well as discuss any behaviors that you have noticed at any point.
Your vet will use the information you provide along with their own physical examination to make recommendations for preventive care as well as any suggestions for routine changes or adjustments to their medications, diet and level of exercise.
Routine Wellness Exams
Preventive care is the first step to helping your senior pet live a healthy and comfortable life. These visits will also provide your vet with the information needed to diagnose any conditions that your pet might be showing signs of.
Preventive care will be of the utmost importance for your senior pet in order to detect and treat conditions as the first signs appear.
With regular physical examinations, your pet will have the best chance at quality long-term health.