Pets are living longer and with a better quality of life due to advances in medicine and nutrition. As we care for more older dogs and cats, it has become clear that EARLY diagnosis and treatment of diseases and degenerative conditions that are common with aging is very important.
Common senior pet diseases are obesity, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, dental disease, diabetes, cancer, and thyroid disease. Cats and dogs also suffer from a decline in cognitive function similar to dementia or senility in humans. Sixty-two percent of dogs eleven years and older have one or more symptoms that include confusion, decreased socialization, trouble sleeping, and loss of house training. Cognitive Dysfunction can be treated with nutritional changes and medication if diagnosed while the symptoms are mild.
Our pets respond better to treatment, feel better, and live longer the earlier we diagnose illnesses. Because cats and dogs age much faster than humans, it is important to examine senior pets, ages SEVEN years and older, EVERY SIX MONTHS instead of annually. A twice yearly physical examination for senior pets is similar to a sixty to seventy year old person going to the doctor every year instead of every three to five years. An additional, thorough physical exam for senior pets is also necessary because it is difficult to adequately address all the issues pertaining to vaccines, heart-worm and flea prevention, nutrition, dental health, and senior issues at the same visit.
Many of our clients who have pets with chronic diseases are accustomed to having their pets examined frequently to ensure maximal health. In those pets, we are able to diagnose the glaucoma early, before it causes blindness. We discover the skin or abdominal tumor while it is still small and more amenable to surgery. We find a bladder infection before there are symptoms and before it becomes a life threatening kidney infection. We remove the abscessed tooth while the dog or cat is still healthy, before he or she has multiple illnesses or conditions which may increase anesthetic risk.
We would like to see you and your senior pets every six months to help them to live longer and healthier lives. Please call us at (585) 377-1160 to discuss any questions or concerns, or set up your pet’s senior care exam.
Sincerely, The Veterinarians and Staff of Clark Animal Care Center