Respect Your Elders; Caring for Aging Pets

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Dogs and cats have an average life expectancy of 12 - 18 years.  We consider them “senior” at seven years of age. This is the time to become proactive in controlling disease processes which begin now and worsen with time.  We cannot keep our pets from aging, but we can keep them feeling good for longer.

These are the three most effective measures a pet owner can take:

  • Regular veterinary exams
  • Annual lab work
  • Preventive dental care

Starting treatment early is more effective medically and financially. We see patients every six months in order to identify and adjust to individual changes which vary greatly.  Weight control and dietary management of early organ disease are examples of simple changes we can make to help your companion live longer and feel better.

Annual lab work is a powerful tool for identifying problems early. Evaluating liver and kidney function allows us to use medications safely and effectively in individual pets and it enables us to use anesthesia for dental cleanings and other important procedures.

Monitoring thyroid status in aging pets is important.  Some dogs need thyroid supplementation to maintain energy, good immunity and cardiac health. Cats sometimes produce too much thyroid hormone, which makes them feel ill.

We cannot prevent aging changes, but adjusting to them as they occur allows for better quality of life for our valued companions!