Senior Pet Care At Viking Drive Animal Hospital
We at Viking Drive Veterinary Hospital in Bossier City, Louisiana, have some good news! Our beloved pets are enjoying longer lives these days. The attitude toward pets is vastly different than it was 40 or 50 years ago. Now pets are part of our extended family, and we are more willing to spend resources looking after their health needs all along the way, but it is most important as they approach their golden years and begin to decline.
Who's A Senior?
You might wonder just when is your pet considered a senior? There are differences between dogs and cats, in that cats generally have a longer life expectancy. There are differences among dogs, in that smaller breeds live the longest, and larger breeds have shorter lives. In general, a cat is considered to be a senior at age 11, a small dog at 9, a medium-sized dog at 7, and a large breed dog at age 5. At that point in their lives, their decline begins. It affects their speed, endurance, flexibility, mental alertness, immune systems. Diseases such as arthritis, cancer, kidney failure, liver failure, heart failure, diabetes, dental disease may find the entry.
Watching For Signs
You are the best observer of your pet's behavior on a daily basis. If you notice a change in their usual routine, they would need the intervention of a veterinarian. Of course, seeing the veterinarian for regular check-ups allows a baseline to be established, and performing ancillary tests can be done to detect any chronic disease early when it can be best managed. These examinations need to be at least yearly, and preferably every 6 months as your pet ages. You may notice your pet sleeping more, being less active, not playing with toys as much, not eating as well, not eliminating normally. Make sure to report any and all changes to the veterinarian.
The Care and Feeding of Senior Pets
- Weight control. As our pets slow down, they often become overweight. That weight can lead to extra stress on arthritic or brittle bones, and lead to other diseases. Encourage exercise that is appropriate for your pet and monitor their intake.
- Senior diets. It is not unusual to have to modify your pet's diet, depending on their weight or digestive issues. Consult with your veterinarian on what is right for your pet at this stage.
- Stimulation. To keep your pet's cognition intact, offer them toys and games.
- Accommodations. Your old pet may need a softer bed, stairs, or a ramp.
Contact Our Viking Drive Veterinary Hospital in Bossier, Louisiana
Contact us at (318) 747-9150 to set up your appointment. We are conveniently located at 4250 Viking Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana 71111.