Responsible pet parent
Part of being a responsible pet parent is knowing how to help your pet throughout their golden years. In our previous blog, we spoke about the snout to tail assessment. Obviously this is all part of the process as your dog moves into “seniorhood”. Being able to assess your pets health on a weekly basis will allow you and your pet not only the opportunity to bond, but also will let you know when something is amiss. Knowing this ahead of time, especially with a senior pet is critical. Providing fresh, clean water and a balanced species appropriate diet will also aid in your pets health as they age.
Sometimes it seems as if our pets have aged over night. We all know that is not the case, but if we are not present and paying attention, it certainly can appear that way to us. In reality, they are much like us. One day we wake up and think how did we get this old? Aging really occurs slowly. Of course in pets, it happens a bit quicker simply because their life span is not as long as ours. It is important to pay attention to the sometimes subtle signs that may appear with our pets so that we can stay on top of any medical care that may be needed.
Signs and Symptoms
If your pet is middle aged (approximately 7 years old depending on breed/size) and experiences any of the following symptoms in no particular order, it is important to schedule an exam with your veterinarian.
Lumps, Bumps or Masses * Increased thirst * Loss or Gain in Weight * Change in appetite * Excessive panting * Loss of hearing or sight *Incontinence * Stiffness in joints and limbs * Change in behavior * Difficulty getting up * Loss of hearing or sight * Bad breath * Anxiety * Irritability * Disorientation
Our senior pets are much like infants in that it is much harder for them to fight off infection and illnesses. It is so important for us as pet parents to be on top of what is happening with our pets. Today, our veterinarian care is so much more like human care. There are so many options including medications and tests that are available to help our pets with the aging process. Today our veterinarians have a senior wellness profile that can be run that can help you with early detection so that you can take the appropriate steps in helping your senior dog age gracefully.
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