Working with Your Veterinarian to Make the Most of Your Pet's Golden Years
Thanks to increased owner awareness and improvements in veterinary care, pets are living longer than ever. Even in old age, dogs and cats can have more good days than bad. Here are some things Dr. Terrence Ochterski at Suburban Veterinary Clinic, your veterinarian in Maple Heights, OH, wants you to know about keeping your pets healthy and happy through their senior years.
There are many things owners can do to keep older pets healthy.
One of the almost universal health challenges of older pets is maintaining mobility. Sometimes the best course of action is to make small changes in the home environment that help your pet get around.
Aging dogs may need to avoid stairs. They may need to be carried up and down staircases or given a ramp. Their daily walks may need to be grass-covered flat ground taken at a leisurely pace.
Dogs, cats, reptiles, and rodents all lose immune resistance as they get older. Parasite control becomes even more important. And pet vaccination needs also change as pets get older.
It's always a good idea to take care of pet aging issues sooner rather than later. Older pets may need a checkup at the veterinarian's office twice a year rather than once a year. It never hurts to pick up the phone and call for advice when an older pet seems withdrawn or lost.
Dogs and cats get the same age-related diseases as humans, but your veterinarian can help.
Senior pets can get cancer and heart disease. Many older cats and dogs develop diabetes. There are canine and feline equivalents of Alzheimer's disease. Almost all older cats and many older dogs suffer from arthritis.
Your veterinarian can relieve symptoms of age-related diseases in your pets. There are options of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation for cancer in animals. Your veterinarian can prescribe dog- and cat-specific pain relief for arthritis and medications to relieve burden of congestive heart failure in pets. There are changes in your home that accommodate older pets that have age-related cognitive issues.
The financial burden of caring for your pet in its old age is greatly reduced for owners who take out pet health insurance on a timely basis. But even if you are paying out-of-pocket, your veterinarian can work with you to choose the most cost-effective treatments for your pet.
Dr. Ochterski is here to help you with senior pet care.
Beloved family pets can be a source of joy to their owners throughout their lives with the right veterinary care. Call Dr. Terry, your veterinarian in Maple Heights, OH at (216) 662-6117 or request an appointment online today!