senior petsWe’re dedicating the entire month of March to our senior patients and giving them the attention they all deserve! 

Schedule a 3-session acupuncture treatment with Dr. Mattson any time between March 1-31, 2016, and receive a FREE bloodwork panel to assess your cat or dog’s liver and kidney function, as well as screen for anemia, infection and clotting disorders (a $61 value!)

For those who are not interested in acupuncture, we offer discounted bloodwork year-round specifically designed for senior pets. This panel of tests includes those mentioned above, as well as checking your pet’s thyroid level and a urinalysis.

Do you have a senior cat or dog?

Cats and small dogs are considered to be senior around the age of 10 years. Larger dogs age at a different rate; a 60 pound dog would be considered senior around the age of 7 years.

What are the most common types of health problems senior pets have?:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease & high blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Endocrine diseases (such as: diabetes, thyroid disease, Cushing’s disease , etc)
  • Arthritis/muscle weakness
  • Senility/dementia
  • Dental disease
  • Reproductive disease 
  • Ocular disease (cataracts and glaucoma)

Symptoms of disease in older pets:

  • Change in appetite/thirst
  • Change in eliminations
  • Change in vision and hearing
  • Change in breathing/cough
  • Change in mobility

How can you help keep your senior pet healthy?:

  • Bi-annual physical exams: Geriatric pets should have semi-annual veterinary visits rather than annual visits so symptoms of illness can be detected early and treated. Senior pet exams are similar to those for younger pets, but are more in depth, and may include monitoring their blood pressure, ocular pressure, bloodwork, and specific checks for physical signs of diseases that are likelier in older pets.
  • Diet and nutrition: Geriatric pets often need foods that are more readily and easily digested, and have different calorie and nutrients, specific for brain health and aging processes.
  • Weight control: Weight gain in geriatric pets increases the risk of health problems. Weight loss is also a concern for geriatric pets as it may be a symptom of a disease.
  • Internal & external parasite control: Older pets' immune systems are not as healthy as those of younger animals; as a result, they can't fight off diseases or parasites as well as younger pets.
  • Maintaining mobility: As with older people, keeping older pets active through appropriate exercise helps keep them healthier and more mobile.
  • Vaccinations: Your pet's vaccination needs may change with age. Talk to your veterinarian about a vaccination program for your geriatric pet.
  • Mental Health: Pets can show signs of senility. Stimulating them through social interactions & play can help keep them mentally active. If any changes in your pet's behavior are noticed, please consult your veterinarian.
  • Environmental considerations: Older pets may need changes in their environments, such as sleeping areas to avoid stairs, more time indoors, more carpeting, thicker bedding etc. Disabled pets have special needs which can be discussed with your veterinarian.
  • Reproductive Diseases: Non-neutered/non-spayed geriatric pets are at a higher risk of ovarian, mammary and testicular cancers, as well as prostate diseases.