Bryan Animal Clinic, located in Decatur, AL, is a full-service animal hospital. A trusted member of the Decatur community, we guarantee your pet will receive loving, top-quality veterinary care and that you both will be treated like family.
We know how important your furry family member is to you. Whether they are new to your home or have been with you for years, we treat the unique needs of animals, big and small.
That's why we take special care of our senior clients. We handle them with the love and respect they deserve, while carefully testing for and treating their special age-related needs. Read on for some useful information regarding senior pets.
At What Age Do Pets Become Senior?
Typically, when a cat reaches age 10, it is considered a senior. For dogs, it varies by breed and size. But the rule of thumb is generally:
- Small - 8 to 11 years of age
- Medium - 8 to 10 years of age
- Large - 8 to 9 years of age
What Are Unique Needs of Senior Pets?
There are many different needs that senior pets may run into. For example, two or more visits to the veterinarian a year will include dental care, blood work, and tests for age-related conditions. Additionally, watching your pet's weight through proper diet and nutrition is important. After a good diet, it's essential to maintain a consistent exercise routine. It will help your elderly pet with joint discomfort.
Once your pet gets older, its immune system gets compromised, which may require additional vaccinations. Finally, ensure you play with your pet to give the necessary mental stimulation.
Common Health Problems of Senior Pets
Sadly, the most common ailment among senior pets is cancer. This is why regular checkups are so important for your older pet. Signs of cancer in your pet include:
- Lumps and bumps
- Sores that don't heal
- Abdominal swelling
- Trouble eating or swallowing
- Vomiting or diarrhea
These can also be signs of other conditions, so proper diagnosis and treatment by a veterinarian is vital. Other conditions that can develop in an elderly pet are:
- Kidney failure
- Heart disease
- Joint disease
- Hearing and vision loss
Your pets' behavior may change over time. They may become scared easily, bark or meow more, lose control over their bodily functions, have anxiety, and even become confused. There are medications a vet can prescribe to ease most of these symptoms.
Visit Bryan Animal Clinic
If you are in the Decatur, AL area and notice any signs in your senior pet, please don't hesitate to call us. Our caring and compassionate staff is happy to help. Give us a call at (256) 350-0311 or visit our website.