He may not look like it yet, but there is a good chance that your pet is already considered senior in age. Many owners forget that our pets actually age much faster than we do. Like us, this is reflected in both their body and their health. As your pet becomes older, you can expect his behavior and health to be affected. Being able to adapt the care that you provide will enable you to ensure that your pet remains healthy and happy in his golden years.
We understand the best way to care for pets at all stages of their lives, including when they reach old age. We offer senior healthcare appointments that enable us to closely monitor the health of your pet and offer the preventative and active treatments and advice and support that you need to keep your pet happy and enjoying life right until the end. All appointments take place at our modern, comfortable veterinary clinic in Ashtabula, OH.
When is My Pet Classed as Being a ‘Senior’?
Exactly when your pet can be classed as being senior will depend on several factors and can be a little subjective. However, typically:
Cats reach old age around 9/10 years old
Small breed dogs reach seniority around 10/11 years old
Large breed dogs are classed as being ‘senior’ by the time they reach 89 years old.
There are some indicators to look out for that are indicative of your pet reaching his senior years. These include:
- Teeth that are worn down and have significant tartar build-up
- Cloudy eyes
- Grey fur, starting around the muzzle and then spreading across the face, head and eventually body
- Stiffness and a reluctance to do as much physical exercise as before
If you can notice any of these signs, there is a good chance that your pet is entering his twilight years.
Why is Senior Healthcare So Important?
As your pet gets older, his body systems and overall health will naturally decline and deteriorate. This means that his immune system won’t be functioning as well as it once did, and this could leave him more vulnerable to illness since he won’t be able to fight it as effectively as before.
By monitoring the health of your pet more closely as he age, you can take positive steps to ensure that he is as healthy as he can be – something which will enable him to live a more active and fulfilling life.
What is Included in Senior Healthcare?
There are a variety of different elements included in the senior healthcare service that we provide to our patients and their owners. These include the following:
- Regular health examinations which include a complete nose to tail physical check.
- Annual vaccinations to protect your pet from contracting infectious diseases, many of which cause irreversible damage to your pet’s health.
- Preventatives to protect your pet from fleas, worms and other parasites that could make him miserable and affect his health.
- Urinalysis (urine testing).
- Fecal analysis (fecal testing).
- Blood tests that include a complete blood count and a blood chemistry profile to check how well your pet’s body systems are working.
- Thyroid testing. This is important since thyroid function can decrease with age.
- Dental examination and check-up.
- Advice and support on behavioral changes related to the aging process.
If you would like to find out more about our senior healthcare service, please get in touch with Harbor Veterinary Clinic in Ashtabula, OH today by calling (440) 969-6060.