Advances in veterinary medicine allow us to help pets live longer than ever before. With an increased lifespan, however, comes an increase in the types of ailments that can afflict senior pets. Pets' age-related conditions and diseases include: weight and mobility changes; osteoarthritis; kidney, heart and liver diseases; tumors and cancers; hormone disorders, such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance; and many others. Vista veterinarians work closely with their clients to devise health plans to maintain optimal health of aging pets.
Senior Pet Health
In accordance with the guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA®), at a minimum, it is recommended that your older pet receive a yearly physical examination. But because cats and dogs age about 5-7 years for every human year of life, more frequent check-ups may be suggested. Animals' accelerated aging means that a pet's health can change dramatically in a very short period of time.
Careful attention will be paid to the senior pet examined by your Vista veterinarian, especially to its orthopedic status, cardiovascular system, and ophthalmic condition. Age-appropriate blood tests, a urinalysis, and suggestions for the use of products that can be of benefit might also be recommended.
The aging process applies to animals and people in the same way. Associated changes naturally occur in behavior, anatomy (the structures of the body), and physiology (the functioning of these body parts). Your doctor will discuss with you the normal developmental processes of your aging pet and any diagnosed deviations from what is considered normal.