Cherokee Hospital for Animals

Senior Pet Care in Johnson City

Just like humans, senior pets need extra attention and care to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. We will discuss the importance of senior pet care and what to expect as your furry friend enters their golden years.

When is My Dog or Cat Considered a Senior?

The age at which a dog or cat is considered a senior can vary depending on their breed and size. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to have longer lifespans and may not be considered seniors until they are 7-10 years old. Larger breeds, on the other hand, may be considered seniors as early as 6-7 years old.

Some cats may not show signs of aging until they are 10-12 years old. It's important to monitor your cat's health and consult with us to determine when they are considered a senior.

Why is Senior Pet Care Important?

Senior pet care refers to the specialized care and attention that older pets require as they age. This includes physical and mental health care, as well as changes in diet and exercise routines. As pets age, they may experience health issues such as arthritis, dental problems, and vision or hearing loss. Pet owners need to be aware of these changes and provide the necessary care to keep their pets comfortable and healthy.

Signs of Aging in Pets

As pets age, they may start to show signs of slowing down and may not be as active as they once were. This is a natural part of the aging process and is not necessarily a cause for concern. However, it is important to keep an eye out for any changes in behavior or physical appearance that may indicate a health issue.

Some common signs of aging in pets include:

  • Decreased energy and activity levels
  • Difficulty getting up or moving around
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Decreased hearing or vision
  • Increased stiffness or joint pain
  • Changes in behavior or temperament
  • Increased frequency of accidents or difficulty controlling bladder/bowels

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it is important to consult with us to determine the cause and develop a plan for managing their health as they age.

What to Expect with Senior Pet Care

Senior pet care may involve more visits to the vet, as well as additional tests and screenings. We may recommend blood work, x-rays, or other diagnostic tests to monitor your pet's health and catch any potential issues early on. We may also suggest changes to your pet's diet or exercise routine to accommodate their changing needs.

In addition to more frequent medical care, senior pet care also involves providing a comfortable and safe environment for your aging pet. Providing soft bedding for arthritic joints, keeping them warm in the colder months, and providing easy access to food and water are all things you can do to help your aging pet. It is also important to monitor your pet's behavior and adjust as needed to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Arthritis in Senior Pets

One of the most common health issues that senior pets face is arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and degeneration of the joints.

Some signs of arthritis in pets include:

  • Limping or favoring one leg
  • Difficulty getting up or lying down
  • Stiffness or reluctance to move
  • Decreased activity level
  • Changes in behavior or mood; cats may hide more
  • Muscle atrophy (loss of muscle mass)
  • Swelling or heat in the affected joints
  • Licking or chewing at the affected joints

If you notice any of these symptoms in your senior pet, it is important to consult with us for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Therapies for Senior Pet Pain management

Many veterinary therapies can help manage pain and discomfort in senior pets:

  1. Laser Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses light energy to stimulate healing and reduce pain and inflammation. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, and is safe for pets of all ages.
  2. Solensia is a monthly injection administered at our office that can help control osteoarthritis pain in cats.
  3. Librela is a monthly injection administered at our office that can help control osteoarthritis pain in dogs.
  4. Oral pain medications such as NSAIDS or Gabapentin can also be prescribed.

Join the Cherokee Hospital for Animals Family Today!

Located directly outside of Buffalo Mountain Park and just off of University Parkway.

Phone: 423-928-7272

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