An Ounce of Prevention
Simple things such as osteoarthritis, weight changes, or dental disease can affect your senior pet immensely. In many cases preventative care can help to minimize or eliminate the impact of such challenges.
- Routine veterinary care
Because animals age so much more quickly than humans, semi-annual wellness visits are advised. At these visits your veterinarian can identify problems early in their course, hopefully stopping or slowing their effects.
Senior animals should continue to live an active life as much as possible. Encouraging gentle exercise will help them to keep their joints mobile and their organs functioning well. Some pets may benefit from pain medications that your veterinarian can prescribe. These can help to keep older animals comfortable and active.
Older pets often require a diet formulated for the nutritional requirements of the senior pet. These can help to keep weight under control as the metabolism and activity level slow. Obesity can be a serious problem for older animals, further limiting mobility and putting the organs under undue strain. Certain pets may also benefit from avoiding or including certain ingredients in their diets. Your veterinarian can help you to formulate a personalized feeding program that can help your pet to stay healthier longer.
- Dental care:
Dental disease is a serious problem for many pets. Bacteria in the mouth can adversely affect other organs in the body such as the heart and liver. Diseased teeth and gums can be immensely painful. Proper dental cleaning requires anesthesia to ensure that all surfaces of the teeth are cleaned, including under the gum line. Your veterinarian can tailor a protocol specific to your pet in order to ensure the safest anesthetic experience possible.