Over the years, your pet brings you a lot by its good humor, its joy of life, its listening and its simple presence by your side. How many times did it seem to you that Fido or Ti-mine understood your pain and seemed to console you? So I think it’s only fair in return to try to be attentive to the slightest change of attitude of your companion.
So here are some signs that one can notice in a geriatric animal that can give you a hint to diagnose very early a health problem. Early detection of a health problem means your pet can increase its quality and life expectancy.
With age the metabolism and level of activity slows down. He may therefore be inclined to gain weight. Excess weight should be avoided at all ages, but especially in older animals, as they will be at greater risk of heart and lung problems, joint problems and often the obese cat will be more likely to become diabetic.
You will also notice that its coat can become more dull and lusterless. It can make mats faster because it has more difficulty grooming. So help a little by brushing it more often which will help remove the old hair, debris and spread the sebum on the hair. By manipulating it more often you may discover more quickly some parasites, dandruff, bump or cutaneous mass. Do not forget to cut the nails more often because it uses them less and they become more fragile and easy to break.
If your animal drinks and urinates more, talk to your veterinarian about it at its next health check. He will probably want to do a blood test to check the condition of his kidneys, which may be idling. Older animals may be more prone to urinary tract infections and constipation, so be attentive when it is needed.
Hearing, smell and vision often deteriorate gradually. Cataract formation is common in animals over 12 years of age. If his vision changes, it may be a sign of another problem such as hypertension or diabetes.
The accumulation of tartar on the teeth over the years can cause severe periodontal disease and cause infections that can spread throughout the body. Your pet may have difficulty eating. Scaling may be necessary.
With age, the nutritional needs of animals change. By serving a good quality feed for aging animals and helping to maintain optimal weight, you can help increase its energy level and improve its overall quality of life.
I am convinced that your elderly companion is a valuable member of your family. So I can advise you to carefully monitor the behavior of your elderly companion. Take notes and during your next veterinary examination mention any changes you have noticed to help your veterinarian make the best possible review.
At Ste-Agathe Veterinary Hospital, we recommend a basic blood and urine profile when your pet reaches the age of 7 years. This will provide you with excellent baseline data on the current state of health of your pet and will also serve as a benchmark for any change due to the passage of time.