While our beloved pets age sooner than we’d like to admit, it’s important to acknowledge when your pet becomes geriatric or senior. By watching for signs of aging, you can assure that your pets still lives comfortably and pain-free.
Follow this guide on how you can make sure that your pet stays healthy and happy throughout their entire lifetime.
- Regular Visits - We recommend that you bring in your cats and dogs every 6 months for a full wellness exam after they have reached 8 years of age. This is the time that we tend to see some sings of aging, and it is important to get ahead of any serious illnesses or discomfort before they get to a point where it is difficult to fix.
- Detect These Signs - Pets don’t show signs of discomfort or pain like humans do. You may see signs of panting, agitation, pacing around the house, lethargy, decreased socialization, decreased appetite and changes in behavior. Upon detection of these signs, remember to bring your pets in for a vet checkup.
The Difference Between Senior and Geriatric Pets
- Senior Pets are defined as pets over the age of 8 years old (some larger breed dogs reach a senior age sooner since their lifespan is shorter.) You may see some changes in senior pets, such as acquired heart murmurs, decreased vision or hearing, slower on walks or stiff when getting up from a laying position (decreased jumping in cats), changes in haircoat, bad breath, and incontinence issues. We can help seniors by screening their inner health through annual blood work checks, starting them on a joint supplement, and starting them on fish oils or other supportive supplements.
- Geriatric Pets are senior pets that are having difficulties doing their day to day activities, serious health issues, advanced mobility issues, and advanced cardiac issues. We can help geriatric pets with supportive care by prescribing cardiac medications, pain medications, incontinence medications, etc. We can also guide you on the path to hospice care by deciding when it is time to say goodbye to your beloved pet.
Talk to Our Team
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to keep your geriatric and senior pets happy by paying extra attention to their health.
At Ashburn Village Animal Hospital, we want to serve as a resource to you as your pet ages. To schedule an appointment or to talk to a member of our team, give us a call at (703) 729-0700.
We look forward to caring for your pet for many years to come!