What To Look Out For As Your Pet Ages

By Dr. Karen Farnan, Veterinarian

As our furry friends get older, we want to make sure that they are as healthy, happy, and comfortable as possible. There is so much we can do for them as veterinarians; I want to encourage you to bring them in to see us regularly, because earlier is better when it comes to diagnosing illness!

Some changes you might notice are stiffness, limping, or difficulty getting up from laying down. You might also see trouble with running, jumping, or going up or down stairs. Any of these could be signs of arthritis, and there are many good medications available for dogs, and even some for cats. We want to help you keep your pet pain free during their older years.

Increased water drinking, urination, or urinary accidents also are signs of illness. Some of the possible causes are diabetes, urinary tract infection, kidney or liver disease. These are treatable, so please don’t suffer with soiled carpets at home, bring your pet in to see us!

Coughing, rapid or labored breathing, or wearing out more quickly on their walks could be signs of heart or respiratory disease. Don’t worry that we’re going to recommend heart surgery; in the veterinary field these conditions are almost always treated with medication, not surgery. Treatment can increase both your pets’ comfort and lifespan.

Weight loss and/or vomiting are caused by many things, and definitely worth a veterinary visit.

Cancer is another problem and one which I think we are all a little scared of. Just remember, the earlier we detect it, the better the chances are.

Please don’t assume that your furry baby is just getting old. Twice a year check-ups are recommended for senior pets if things seem normal, and right away if you notice any of the above changes, so we can help figure out what is going on and what the options are. As you know, we’re always here to serve you at Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital.

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