Health Concerns Often Faced by Elderly Pets

Aging is a natural part of life. Just like humans, cats and dogs go through mental and physical changes as they age. Their muzzles turn gray as they age, and their coats decrease, resulting in hair loss and white hairs covering the skin. The eyes of these people can become blurred, blue, or even pearl-like.

Older cats and dogs develop muscles and fat and lose weight. As they age, their caloric requirements are likely to decrease. This is partly due to biological reasons; a large part is because they sleep more and perform less. Many elderly pets do not have the energy and playfulness they had in their younger years.

Health Problems in Old Pets

Age can also increase the risk of your pet being afflicted with various health issues. Visiting your vet regularly allows you to note any changes you’ve observed in your pet and identify any problems before they become more severe. Here are five health issues that are prevalent in older pets.

1. Heart Problems

Older dogs and cats often have heart issues. Cardiomyopathy, a disease involving the heart’s muscle, is among the most common cardiac ailments affecting cats. In dogs, congestive heart failure is a common type of heart disease that affects the ability of the heart to pump blood. Trouble breathing, coughing, nausea, weakness, and a weak heart are some signs associated with heart disease. 

Do not hesitate to call your doctor if you notice these signs. If you want to prevent your pet from having a heart problem, you can check this page to learn the importance of routine exams for preventative care for your pet. 

2. Kidney Issues

The kidneys’ responsibility is to remove toxic substances from the body and maintain a healthy balance. The body accumulates toxins in the kidneys when not functioning correctly, leading to kidney failure. It could be due to aging or kidney stones that block the urinary tract. Kidney stones are associated with an increase in your pet’s water consumption as well as the frequency of urination. 

Consult an internal medicine vet if you suspect your pet has problems with kidneys. The early detection of kidney disease could help your pet live a longer and healthier life.

3. Arthritis

In dogs, osteoarthritis is the most frequent cause of joint pain. A healthy diet and treatment can help ease the signs of arthritis and slow the development of arthritis. The symptoms of arthritis can include discomfort, limping, anxiety about stairs, difficulty walking or standing, chewing or licking the painful joint, and experiencing discomfort when touched. 

The best treatment for joint pain in your pet is to discuss the issue with your vet if your pet exhibits symptoms.

If your pet’s concerns are urgent, you may want to contact a reputable veterinary hospital such as Michigan Avenue Animal Hospital for prompt diagnosis and appropriate management.

4. Lumps and Bumps

The elderly may be at a greater risk of developing bumps and lumps; however, they are not all cancerous. Be aware of weight changes, injuries that take a long time to heal, and changes in how you eat. Having any new bumps inspected at the first sign you notice is recommended. If you see an area of concern on your pet’s body, schedule appointments with your vet immediately.

5. Dental Issues

Maintaining healthy dental hygiene can reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease. It is possible to notice a bad smell, increased drooling, gum irritation, or loose teeth if your cat or dog has dental problems. This can also lead to weight loss, infections, and heart disease or kidney damage. You can ensure that your pet’s gums and teeth remain healthy throughout their aging by visiting the vet regularly for check-ups and teaching them proper dental hygiene habits.

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