When our senior pets experience physical or mental problems, our veterinarians will often hear the question, “Isn’t it just old age?” or “It’s just because he (or she) is old.” Too often we don’t realize that we have options in dealing with conditions that are specific to older animals.
We consider both cats and dogs older than 7 years old as seniors. As our pets get older, the question arises as to how best to take care of them. There are a number of changes that occur as our animals advance in age. There was a time when general thought was that we should just accept that our pets are old and that’s that. However, medical advances are happening all the time, providing us with new drugs and therapies that improve quality of life for our older animals.
Aging is inevitable but we need not surrender to it’s effects completely. There are geriatric related diseases that can be prevented or delayed with measures such as diet or supplements. With twice yearly visits, your doctor can identify potential problem areas before they deteriorate. These visits are also an opportunity to discuss what’s available in terms of senior healthcare. Veterinary medicine has ways to ease our pets into the senior stage the most comfortable way possible. Issues with mobility and senility and other symptoms associated with old age can be treated and alleviated at least partially. It’s best for both you and your pet to discuss what the options are rather than doing nothing.