Like humans, cats and dogs are living longer. Also as in human medicine, the veterinary field has many non-invasive ways to screen our older friends for early signs of disease. There are many procedures and medications that can help them live a longer, happier, and healthier life.
For every 1 year in a human life, a dog or cat ages the equivalent of 5-8 human years. In some points in their life it can be up to 7 years for every 1 human year! Seeing a veterinarian and getting a complete physical every calendar year would be the equivalent to seeing our human physician every 7 years. Allowing our professional staff to assess your pet's health on a more frequent basis allows for early detection of illness and disease.
Studies have shown that over 17 percent of senior cats, and 23 percent of senior dogs that appear healthy during a physical exam, have an underlying disease. Performing blood work, urine tests, and fecal exams assures that the pet is truly healthy on the inside as well as the outside, or, it uncovers a medical problem while it is in the early stages and may not be showing obvious symptoms. This allows us to treat, and hopefully cure, earlier without invasive treatments.
With today's advances in veterinary medicine, there are many new medications that are increasingly successful and safe in treating diseases affecting our senior companions, as well as alleviate common effects of disease or aging, such as lameness, soreness, allergies, or incontinence.
It is important to choose a high quality senior diet for your pet. Senior diets have an essential balance of nutrients with lower calories and fat, and a controlled blend of vitamins and minerals to help your pet stay stronger, longer. They are specially formulated to meet the nutrient and energy needs of pets who are seven years or older.
Studies show that over 70 percent of cats and 80 percent of dogs over the age of 3 years show some sign of gum disease. One of the earliest signs of dental problems is the formation of tartar on the tooth. Tartar is composed of bacteria, plaque, and food debris. Left untreated, this can allow bacteria into the bloodstream, which can cause harm to the pet's internal organs. Dental disease can also cause bad breath, red gums, and pain when chewing. It is important to have your veterinarian examine your pet's teeth and gums, and have regular dental cleanings when recommended.
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