Pets age much faster than people do and as your old friend ages two kinds of changes occur. The first is age-related change such as hearing loss, changes in vision or reduced activity. These are normal and cannot be prevented. The second kind is pathological change or disease such as heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis or dental disease. These are, to some extent, preventable or can be successfully managed.
The earlier your pet's health problems are detected the more options you and your veterinarian have to either cure them, slow their progression or help keep your pet more comfortable in their senior years.
Observe your pet for the early warning signs of ageing and age-related disease:
Change in appetite
Weight loss or weight gain
Loss of housetraining or toileting accidents
Difficulty rising, walking or climbing stairs
Confusion or disorientation
New lumps or bumps
Bad breath, plaque on teeth, or bleeding gums
Diarrhoea or vomiting
Change in sleep patterns
Ear odours, redness, scratching, or head shaking
Change in drinking and/or urination
It is common to assume these signs are a normal part of the ageing process; however, they may indicate underlying age-related disease. Use our online checklist to monitor changes in your pet's health and if you do notice anything please contact your veterinary health care team for advice.
If you are concerned, or worried about even small changes, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would rather hear from you now so that symptoms can be discussed, treatment provided or even environmental or lifestyle changes can be made to help your pet. Just remember pets can't tell us when they are in pain!