Senior Care at The Animal Hospital of Smithson Valley
Has your pet transformed from the baby of the family to a grand old fixture of the household in a surprisingly short time? Animals such as dogs and cats grow up in a hurry, and that means that they reach their senior years long before we do. If your pet is entering this phase of life, you'll want to take the extra steps necessary to ensure his or her happiness and good health. The Animal Hospital of Smithson Valley in Spring Branch, TX can help by providing a number of care options aimed at geriatric animals just like yours.
The Physical Challenges of Getting Old
The only real difference between aging in humans and aging in pets is the time frame. Most dogs and cats are considered geriatric from around the age of 7, although certain breeds have somewhat shorter or longer lifespans and thus may reach their senior years a bit earlier or later than most. The actual physical changes may sound familiar to older humans. One of the most common issues is chronic joint pain due to conditions such as osteoarthritis. Hearing loss, cataracts, and cognitive issues may interfere with your pet's responsiveness. Pets who can't move quickly may have trouble making it to the appropriate spot for bathroom functions. Senior pets also have elevated risks for:
- Cancers of various kinds
- High blood pressure
- Endocrine problems such as diabetes and thyroid dysfunction
- Organ failure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Periodontal disease
Older pets tend to put on more weight than they should, especially if joint trouble has encouraged them to become more sedentary. The added weight only makes movement more difficult, initiating a vicious cycle of obesity that can greatly accelerate health problems.
Wellness Care, Pain Management, and Other Services at Our Veterinary Center
Wellness exams are critically important as your senior pet becomes more vulnerable to health issues. Our veterinary center administers twice-yearly evaluations for seniors, with a special emphasis on checking for those age-related problems. If your pet needs some help aging gracefully, we may prescribe:
- Pain medications or joint surgery
- An exercise routine suitable for your pet's weight, age, and health
- Dietary changes to help manage weight problems, inflammatory pain, and other conditions
- Medical treatment for systemic diseases
- Dental care to control periodontal disease
- Changes to your home environment to help a pet with mobility challenges
Schedule Senior Care for Your Pet
Don't let the rapid aging process of pets catch you off your guard. Keep your pet well and comfortable by scheduling senior care at The Animal Hospital of Smithson Valley in Spring Branch, TX. Call us at 830-438-8885.