As we’re aware, the aging process isn’t unique to us as people. All our fellow creatures grow old and experience infancy, adolescence, maturity, old age, and, inevitably, of course, passing. We might not be aware of the numerous similarities between us and our fellow creatures because we encounter the various stages of death and life. In fact, however, we share much in common- to the point of undergoing similar infirmities, health issues, and illnesses as well as physical and emotional limitations and challenges. 

It is estimated that in the United States more than 18 million puppies and 22 million cats are considered “senior citizens.” Because a companion animal can’t clarify her aches or pains, it’s a good idea for the pet parent to closely watch and pay careful attention to some physical or behavioral modifications (yet subtle) and to take her at least twice every year for veterinary checkups. Early detection is the easiest means to take care of canine or feline illnesses and ailments. Common health problems impacting older pets include: cancer, arthritis, diabetes, liver and kidney ailments, and thyroid issues. Indicators of health problems might be decreased activity, difficulty in getting up, walking, or standing, drop in food and water intake, difficulty in breathing, incontinence, diminished hearing or sight, withdrawing or isolating instead of playing with or interacting with you or other family members, an elevated amount of time sleeping, etc.

It is great for pet owners to comprehend that our animal companions finally have access to health care therapies and processes, which may help, maintain and enhance their health and increase their longevity. Once accessible only to humans, arthritis drugs, chemotherapy and radiation, organ transplants, hip replacements, and even pacemakers are readily available to our pets among other medications and treatments.

There are several strategies to help your aging animal companion. First and foremost are your continued love, loyalty, and focus on him and your concern for his overall good health and well-being. Second, you can tackle her special requirements by consulting with your vet and deciding what prescription and health protocols are suitable to her particular needs. Thirdly, be sure your pet is eating meals suitable to his age, size, and health issues. Consult your vet before you consider changing to “mature” foods to make sure he receives balanced nutrition without extra calories. Fourthly, keep him well exercised and aroused. Change his workout regime following his age and any health problems he may have.

Other simple ways to better your older pet’s life would be to maintain current in your pet’s vaccinations as elderly pets may be more vulnerable or susceptible to disease; supply appropriate dental services to avoid gingivitis and tooth loss; when petting or grooming your pet take note of any bumps, sparks, sores or parasites; notice some changes in weight (either loss or gain); note any vibration, vibration or seizures; listen to any indication that he’s experiencing pain.

Your pet is faithful, true, and unconditionally loving. Respect him, as he grows older and treats him with as much tender loving care as you can provide. We can find out so much about the aging process from our animal companions as it mimics and mirrors our own in so many ways. Our animal companions are lifelong teachers and guides from whom we could learn a lot of profound life lessons.

Cardiology Services for Pets

Though your family vet is familiar with your pet and can accurately diagnose and treat many problems, some states require technical diagnostics and care to ensure your pet gets the best outcome and recovery.

In Atlantic Coast New York Veterinary Specialists’ two places, our board-certified cardiologist is trained to diagnose and treat cardiovascular (heart and vessels) disease in pets.

Cardiology services cover disorders like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, degenerative valve disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, systemic hypertension, congenital heart disease, cardiac tumors, and arrhythmias.

In Atlantic Coast New York Veterinary Center, our furry cardiologist provides state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures for the evaluation of heart ailments in dogs and cats. Click here to learn more about surgery for dogs.