Proper geriatric pet care can help prevent unnecessary discomfort

As our pets age, they are at risk for developing many medical conditions that can sometimes go overlooked until the pet begins to show severe symptoms, which can leave us with fewer options for treatment. The workup of a geriatric pet often starts with general screening blood work, including a CBC/ Chem, T4, and Urinalysis. These simple blood tests can help us to identify early signs of disease, often even before our pets feel sick.

Of course it is also important to continue annual physical exams, dental exams, and vaccinations, and to alert the doctor to any abnormal behavior your pet is displaying. For example, diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, and thyroid dysfunction can cause our pets to drink excessive amounts of water and need to urinate more frequently.

If your geriatric pet seems to be having trouble going upstairs or is moving around slower than in the past, they may have problems with arthritis and could potentially benefit from pain medication or joint supplements. We urge our clients not to begin treating their pets with any human medication before discussing this with one of our veterinarians, as many medications are not safe and can have devastating side effects.

Please remember- age itself is not a disease. If you feel there are changes in your pet but think it’s just a sign they’re getting older, you could be mistaking the early signs of an underlying disease. Please call us at (321) 724-1445 to schedule an exam and discuss potential treatment options available for your pet.