Your furry friend's wrinkles give him or her a very distinctive appearance, but the very characteristic that helps define his or her breed can also cause skin irritation and infections. In many ca ...View Article
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
How do I take care of my elderly pet?
Elderly pets definitely require a little more attention than younger pets. Often times, organs will not function efficiently and immune systems are not as effective in older dogs and cats. The aging process makes these animals more prone to developing many medical health problems.
Loss of house training - Many medical conditions can cause a pet to urinate and/or defecate in the house even if the pet has been house-trained for years. You must find the problem causing the accidents. Your veterinarian can help you determine why your pet is making messes indoors.
Loss of hearing and sight - Little can be done medically to regain hearing and vision. Steps must be taken to ensure that these dogs and cats are not surprised or startled. These animals can still have a good quality of life with a little extra TLC from you and obviously a blind dog or cat will do better if the furniture is not moved regularly.
Heart disease - Up to 60% of dogs 6 years or older, will have some form of heart disease. Conditions will vary by the size of the dog. Your veterinarian can help you with these problems.
Liver disease - Hepatitis and cirrhosis can be caused by a number of factors; Natural deterioration of the liver, ingesting toxins, long term feeding of table scraps and viral or bacterial infections.
Kidney disease - Kidneys can become less efficient with age. Toxins and waste are not effectively eliminated from the body. Ulcers, loss of appetite, vomiting, mental dullness and even death can be caused by a build-up of toxins in the blood stream.
Tumors - Cancer is more common in older pets. If you find new lumps or masses on your pet, let your veterinarian determine if surgical removal is necessary.
Urinary Incontinence - Incontinence is described as dribbling after urination, urinating small amounts frequently or urinating while sleeping. Your veterinarian can usually determine the cause by performing a physical exam and diagnostic testing.
Arthritis - Osteoarthritis is the most common ailment among elderly dogs. No cure is possible but we can usually provide comfort and increase the quality of life. Treatment is directed at relieving pain and slowing down the degenerative process.