Aging Pets: Signs & Treatment

Aging, an unfortunate fact of life for our pets and just like humans, there are signs of aging that can be very similar to ours. Cats and Dogs are considered “Senior” at the age of 7 and we recommend bringing them in twice yearly to be examined by the Doctor. This is so we can closely monitor how they are aging.

Here are some of the signs that your pet is getting older:

  1. Stiffness/Trouble getting around – Arthritis is a common problem amongst aging dogs & cats. Thankfully there are ways to help – supplements, special diets and medication, if needed, can be tailored to your pets needs.
  2. Vision Difficulty – Another common sign, your pet’s vision just isn’t what it used to be. Your Veterinarian can help you with advice on how to manage this or can refer you to a Specialist if, for example, your pet was able to get corrective surgery for cataracts.
  3. Urination Issues – As we age our organs may not be functioning quite like they used to. Bloodwork and urine testing is usually recommended to see how these organs are doing and if we need to add in any supplements or medications to help with Urinary issues.
  4. Behavior Changes – You may notice some behavior changes in your pet depending on how they are feeling. They may be more sensitive to noises or sudden changes in the environment. If your pet is in pain from, for example, arthritis, you may find they are less tolerant of things that they used to be ok with. Kids jumping on them and pulling at them may have been totally fine with them before, but add in pain and this could definitely change.
  5. Cognitive Dysfunction – Similar to Alzheimer’s in humans, animals can start to have a decrease in cognitive function. You may notice them randomly crying, roaming, staring into space, sleep cycles may be off or litterbox/house-training may be affected. Often these behaviours manifest more at night.
  6. Deafness/Hearing Loss – While some may have “selective hearing” some are in fact suffering from hearing loss. You may start to notice that your pet is not reacting to certain things they used – knocks at the door, coming when you call them, etc or acting startled when you come up on them from behind or when they are sleeping.

If anything here is sounding familiar and you have questions for our team, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are here to help you make your pets life a long and comfortable one!