Your Senior Pet’s Healthy Golden Years
At Blue Ridge Animal Hospital, our veterinarians and staff hope to care for your dog or cat across their entire lifespan. From the puppy and kitten stages up through adulthood and on to seniority, we provide complete wellness and preventive care for your four-legged family member.
Keeping Up With Senior Wellness
As your pet ages, his or her health care needs will start to change drastically. What worked in the earlier years will no longer fit the bill for an older pet. Generally, most cats and dogs reach senior status somewhere around 7 years of age, but this is only a rough guide. What really matters is how your pet’s body is responding to the effects of age. Just like for humans, pets in seniority experience bodily systems slowing and starting to work differently. Only your veterinarian can determine when it’s time to change your approach to meet your dog or cat’s geriatric wellness requirements.
Because your pet’s health can change so quickly in the later years, we recommend all senior pets increase the frequency of wellness visits from once annually to twice a year. Seeing your dog or cat every 6 months will help us keep a closer eye and more effectively monitor his or her overall health. Your veterinarian may also recommend diagnostic blood work to maintain a detailed profile of your pet’s internal wellness.
Senior Pet Nutrition
We also stress the importance of modifying feeding habits to make sure your senior cat or dog is receiving adequate nutrition to confront the effects of an aging body. Your veterinarian will help you pick the best food available for your pet’s breed, size, lifestyle, and existing health conditions to avoid obesity, diabetes, and other adverse effects of poor diet in seniority.
Arthritis & Pain Management
Not all pets will grapple with arthritis, but many will. One of our highest priorities as veterinarians is to keep your pet happy and out of pain. Since arthritis and other degenerative conditions are so common in older dogs and cats, we make a point of utilizing aggressive pain management whenever called for in geriatric wellness care. Our in-house veterinary pharmacy carries a wide range of prescription arthritis treatment products and pain preventatives.
Palliative Pet Care
In every case, it is the goal of Blue Ridge Animal Hospital to maintain a comfortable and enjoyable quality of life for your pet for as long as we possibly can. If end-of-life arrangements become necessary, your veterinarian will discuss all available pet hospice care options to determine what will be most appropriate for you and your family.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule your senior pet’s next appointment, please contact us at any time.