Home > - General Pet Care > Aging Pet Needs Extra Care
 

Aging Pet Needs Extra Care

By Sarah Probst
Updated: 2009-11-25 5:37 PM 2260 Views    Category: - General Pet Care
 
RATING THIS ARTICLE
Average Rating
No Rating  
Rate it :
TOOLS
Share |
Email Article
Printable View
Export to MS Word MS Word Export
Subscribe to Article Subscribe
Bookmark Article
"Your pet ages seven times faster than you do; consequently, the potential for age-related disease also progresses seven times as fast," says Dr. William Tranquilli, veterinarian and anesthesiologist retired from the University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital in Urbana. "At the age of seven (when your pet is about 50 in people years), we suggest biannual visits with your veterinarian. That may seem like a lot, but if you think of it in terms of how fast your pet is aging, it would be like a person going for an annual physical every 3 to 4 years," explains Dr. Tranquilli. Also realize that large dogs age faster than smaller dogs.
 
During biannual visits, ask your veterinarian to do a lab analyses-complete blood count, urinalysis, fecal exams, and chemistry profiles. Having these tests done twice a year helps veterinarians detect any age-related disease that your pet may be developing before the disease progresses too far.

As your pet ages, the chances of its developing a life-threatening disease such as kidney failure and cardiac disease increase. Prevention and early detection of these diseases are imperative to extend the life of your beloved companion. Taking a preventive approach to your dog's senior status could increase the amount of time you get to spend with your companion.

Part of prevention includes controlling your pet's weight. This decreases the rate that your pet ages and definitely decreases susceptibility to serious diseases. Older dogs naturally decrease their activity and thus have reduced energy needs. It's not necessary to feed your 11-year-old Dalmatian, Johnny, as much as the 2 year-old Sparky. Ask your veterinarian what diet and amount of food is best for your dog's age and activity level.

Besides increased veterinary visits and weight watching, be sure to monitor your pet's behavior. "Behavioral changes are some of the earliest signs of disease," says Dr. Tranquilli. Changes that may indicate a problem include confusion, decreased interaction with family members, inconsistent sleeping pattern, or loss of house training. You know your pet's behavior best, so trust your judgment.

Other behavioral changes are associated with specific diseases. As in humans, arthritis may become a problem in senior pets. Watch for stiffness, lameness, reluctance to climb steps or jump up, and perhaps difficulty rising after lying down. Dermatologic problems may also increase with age because of metabolic changes. Increased water intake, increased urination, increased weight loss, and decreased appetite may indicate developing kidney disease.

Dental problems increase with age as well. Juno may not need a full set of dentures like Great Aunt Selma, but watch for increased salivation, bleeding, and inflammation, which may result in serious infection and loss of appetite.
 
Veterinarians understand that your pet is part of the family and they are willing to assist you with your health care decisions as your companion ages. Your local veterinarian can help you give your senior pet the best quality of life for as long as possible.
 

More Articles in - General Pet Care
Behavioral issues in pets - behavior modification and pharmaceuticals
Driving With Pets - How To Make a Car Trip With Your Pet Safer
Ear Disease in Dogs & Cats
The Best Way To Help Pets Lose Weight
Anticipatory Grief: Anticipating The Loss of a Pet
What to Expect if Your Pet Needs Dental Care
Global Warming Puts Our Pets At Risk
Five Pet Care Myths
Mange - A Common Problem for Many Pets
Top 5 Myths about Spaying and Neutering
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
Road Trip With Pets: Five Tips For A Stress Free Ride
Why Do Animals Get Sick?
Anxiety in Pets
Liver Disease in Pets
7 Easy Tips to Get Your Pet Bikini-Ready
How to keep your pet's fears in control
Treating Your Pet Can Help Reduce Your Allergies
What's Really in Pet Food?
Alzheimer's in Dogs and Cats
7 Tips to Help You Keep Your Pets Tail Waggin' Happy and Safe Through Hot Summer Months
Ten Tips to Save Money with Your Pet
Orphaned Puppy and Kitten Care
5 Things Your Veterinarian Won't Tell You
Emergency Preparedness for Our Pets
Dental Health for your Pets: Why This is So Important
Pet Food Recalls, Food Safety and Regulations
How to Choose a Veterinarian
Green Ways to Prevent Lyme Disease
Pet Nutrion 101 for The Exotic Pet
Safe Cleaning Products for Your Pets
Body Odor In Pets
A Health Checklist
What to Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned
Selecting Supplements for Your Pet
Are We Over-Vaccinating?
Family Travel with the Family Pet
Treatment Alternatives For Cats and Dogs With Cancer
Weight, Obesity, Diet and Food
Lyme's Disease
How to Safely Trim Your Pet's Nails
Spend Less on Quality Pet Care
Treating Your Pet Can Help Reduce Your Allergies
 
 
 http://vetmed.illinois.edu
 
 
0 COMMENTS Leave a Comment
There are no user comments for this question. Be the first to post a comment. Click Here
 
 
Search Article  
 
GET STARTED
Submit your Article Here

Have a good read you want to share with us? Start doing it now here.
Submit Your Article
RELATED ARTICLES
Top 5 Myths about Spaying and Neutering
Dental Health for your Pets: Why This is So Important
Treatment Alternatives For Cats and Dogs With Cancer
Spend Less on Quality Pet Care
What's Really in Pet Food?
Emergency Preparedness for Our Pets
Liver Disease in Pets
Treating Your Pet Can Help Reduce Your Allergies
Orphaned Puppy and Kitten Care
Why Do Animals Get Sick?
How to keep your pet's fears in control
Are We Over-Vaccinating?
Pet Nutrion 101 for The Exotic Pet
7 Tips to Help You Keep Your Pets Tail Waggin' Happy and Safe Through Hot Summer Months
A Health Checklist
Road Trip With Pets: Five Tips For A Stress Free Ride
Ear Disease in Dogs & Cats
Behavioral issues in pets - behavior modification and pharmaceuticals
What to Expect if Your Pet Needs Dental Care
Ten Tips to Save Money with Your Pet
Family Travel with the Family Pet
Anxiety in Pets
Driving With Pets - How To Make a Car Trip With Your Pet Safer
Mange - A Common Problem for Many Pets
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
Safe Cleaning Products for Your Pets
Anticipatory Grief: Anticipating The Loss of a Pet
What to Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned
5 Things Your Veterinarian Won't Tell You
Lyme's Disease
Alzheimer's in Dogs and Cats
How to Choose a Veterinarian
Selecting Supplements for Your Pet
Pet Food Recalls, Food Safety and Regulations
Five Pet Care Myths
Global Warming Puts Our Pets At Risk
Treating Your Pet Can Help Reduce Your Allergies
Body Odor In Pets
How to Safely Trim Your Pet's Nails
The Best Way To Help Pets Lose Weight
Weight, Obesity, Diet and Food
Green Ways to Prevent Lyme Disease
7 Easy Tips to Get Your Pet Bikini-Ready
 
Top Articles
 
 
Popular Articles
 
 
Latest Articles