Geriatric Care for Dogs & Cats
Senior pets require routine preventive care and early diagnosis throughout their golden years to help them maintain a high quality of life as they age.
Diligent care can help extend your pet's life, so it's important that they attend regularly scheduled wellness exams, even if they seem healthy.
Our veterinarians are here to help geriatric pets in Irvine achieve optimal health by identifying and treating emerging health issues early by providing proactive treatment.
Typical Health Problems
As a result of better dietary options and veterinary care, cats and dogs are living much longer now.
Pet owners and veterinarians must now contend with more age-related conditions than in the past, which is cause for celebration.
The following conditions are more common in aging pets:
- Joint or bone disorders
There are a variety of joint and bone disorders that can become problematic as your dog ages. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, decreased spinal flexibility, and disorders of the growth plate are among the most common joint and bone disorders our veterinarians see in geriatric dogs.
It's critical to address these issues early to keep your dog comfortable as they age. The use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints, and reduce pain, are all options for treating joint and bone issues in senior dogs.
While we usually associate osteoarthritis with older dogs, this painful condition can also affect your senior cat's joints.
Osteoarthritis symptoms in cats are more subtle than in dogs. Weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation outside the litter box, and an inability to jump on and off objects are all common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats.
Cancer kills about half of all pets in the United States, according to estimates. As a result, it's critical for your senior pet to have regular wellness exams as they get older.
Bringing your geriatric pet in for routine checkups, even if they appear to be in good health, allows your vet to look for early signs of cancer and other diseases that respond better to treatment when caught early.
- Heart Disease
Like people, heart disease can be a problem for geriatric pets.
Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart fails to adequately pump blood, causing fluid to back up in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity. This is quite common in senior dogs.
While cats are less likely than dogs to develop heart disease, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is fairly common. The walls of a cat's heart thicken as a result of this condition, reducing the heart's ability to function efficiently.
- Blindness and hearing loss
In older pets, degeneration of the eyes and ears can cause deafness and blindness in varying degrees, though this is more common in dogs than in cats.
When these conditions are caused by old age, they may appear gradually, giving geriatric pets time to adjust their behavior and making it difficult for pet owners to notice.
- Liver disease
Liver disease is common in senior cats and can be caused by high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. Loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst are all signs of liver disease in cats.
Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss are all serious symptoms of liver disease in dogs.
If your geriatric dog or cat is displaying any of the symptoms of liver disease, veterinary care is essential.
Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, the majority of dogs diagnosed with diabetes are between 7 and 10, and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are older than 6 years.
Excessive thirst, increased appetite with weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections are all signs of diabetes in dogs and cats.
Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes in both cats and dogs.
- Kidney disease
The function of a pet's kidneys tends to deteriorate as they age. Medication used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets can sometimes cause kidney disease.
While chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, it can be managed with a combination of diet and medications.
- Urinary tract disease
Our Irvine vets often see geriatric cats and dogs with urinary tract conditions and incontinence issues. Senior pets can be prone to accidents as the muscles controlling the bladder weaken, but it's important to note that incontinence could be a sign of a bigger health issue like a urinary tract infection or dementia.
If your senior pet experiences incontinence issues it's important to take them to the vet for a thorough examination.
Veterinary Care for Senior Pets
Our vets will examine your senior pet thoroughly, ask detailed questions about their home life, and perform any tests that may be necessary to gain additional insight into his or her overall physical health and condition.
We'll recommend a treatment plan based on the findings, which could include medications, activities, and dietary changes to help improve your senior pet's health, well-being, and comfort.
Routine Wellness Exams
Preventive care is critical for your senior pet's health, happiness, and fulfillment. It also allows our veterinarians to detect diseases at an early stage.
Early disease detection can help preserve your pet's physical health by catching emerging health issues before they become long-term issues.
Regular physical examinations will give your pet the best chance for long-term health.