All dogs and cats are considered seniors by the time they reach their 10th birthday.
This may seem young by human standards but our furry friends age much faster, especially larger breed dogs. Some giant breed dogs are considered seniors by the age of 5 years. It is estimated that 23% of senior dogs that appear outwardly healthy actually have an underlying disease that has not yet been detected.
It is important to consider these changes throughout your pet’s lives. Separating the natural aging process from emerging medical disorders becomes increasing difficult with senior pets. Diagnoses and treatment are often adjusted based on patient age and other factors. Routine veterinary visits are the best way to identify, track progress and treat problems early on.
Scheduled appointments are important throughout the years leading up to and during old age; the ASPCA recommends that senior pets see their veterinarian every six months. These visits establish the baseline health of your pet and are used to ensure that they are aging normally. Ravenna Animal Hospital veterinarians provide ongoing education to pet owners about what to expect from, and how to prepare for, elderly animals. Information about feeding and exercise changes is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your pet comfortable in their old age.
Common Age-Related Diseases:
• Kidney and liver disease
• Intestinal disorders
• Joint and bone disease
• Breast and testicular cancer
• Cognitive difficulties