Cat & Dog Senior Care

Custom support for aging dogs and cats, ensuring their comfort and well-being in their golden years.

Regardless of your cat or dog's age, a proper diet, regular exercise, and routine medical checkups should be fundamental aspects of their lives. Awareness and prevention are our most effective defenses against health problems, which become even more crucial as your pet companion enters their senior years. Depending on their breed and size, cats and dogs may be considered seniors between the ages of 7 to 10 years old. Initiating preventive measures before reaching this age is crucial for maximizing your pet's lifespan and ensuring their overall well-being.

How often should my senior cat or senior dog have an exam?

Senior cats and dogs should have bi-annual veterinary exams. A senior wellness exam is the first step to helping your feline or canine. These visits are necessary to monitor their health, catch diseases early, and provide prompt treatment. At Gray Street Veterinary Services, following a comprehensive geriatric physical exam from nose to tail, our veterinarian may also conduct orthopedic and neurologic assessments if necessary. Based on our findings, our team may recommend one or all of the following treatments:

  • Bloodwork (biochemistry and/or complete blood count)
  • Urinalysis to check the urinary tract, including kidney function
  • Fecal testing to check stool for parasites
  • Chest X-rays to check the heart and lungs; abdominal X-rays to check abdominal organs; orthopedic X-rays to help diagnose arthritis
  • Thyroid Profile to check that the thyroid gland is functioning properly

Why are wellness exams important for seniors?

Senior cats and dogs require special attention to maintain good health in their golden years. Wellness exams play a crucial role in keeping their health on the right track. Comorbidities are quite common and can present challenging situations when determining the ideal treatment. Wellness exams are the best choice for early detection and exploring various treatment plan options to ensure the well-being of your beloved pets. Senior cats and dogs are more susceptible of developing the following health conditions:

  1. Dental disease
  2. Heart disease
  3. Chronic Kidney disease
  4. Diabetes: This is very common in overweight cats
  5. Cognitive dysfunction: This is like Alzheimer’s disease; as the brain ages, your cat or dog may have behavioural alterations
  6. Osteoarthritis: The ‘wear and tear’ disease is very common in senior cats and dogs; it can lead to an increased risk of obesity
  7. Thyroid dysfunction: Hyperthyroidism for cats and hypothyroidism for dogs
  8. Cancer: Intestinal, lymphatic, mammary, and oral cancers are most common 

What can I expect now that my cat or dog is a senior?

The signs of aging in your cat or dog will resemble what you typically observe in humans. It's normal for them to undergo physical and health changes as they age. Here are some indications that your feline or canine companion is entering their senior years:

  1. Lean-mass loss
  2. Sleeping more/ less active
  3. Soiling the house
  4. Taking a longer time to respond 
  5. Grey hairs
  6. Vision/hearing issues

If we can spot early warning signs, we can ensure your pet has a smooth transition from adult to senior years. To schedule a veterinary checkup for your senior cat or dog, please call us at 705-885-7387

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