Senior Care: Extra Care to Ease the Aging Process

At Healthy Pets Veterinary Care, our goal is to allow you and your pet to share a long, healthy and happy life. We start with guidance for your puppies and kittens and stand by your side with pet wellness plans for pets of all ages (including seniors) – but as your pet ages, they may require extra care.

We take senior care seriously. We know puppies and kittens are fun and exciting, but we believe growing old together with your best friend is the most rewarding experience a pet parent can have.

Senior Pet Care Recommendations

As your pet ages, we will recommend additional examinations and diagnostic tests to make sure your pet is healthy and happy for as long as possible.

Twice Yearly Physical Exams

For our senior pets (age 7 and older), we recommend semi-annual exams instead of the traditional once yearly visit. Unfortunately, pets age much more quickly than humans. As they get older, their health can change rapidly. Performing comprehensive physical exams twice a year is the first step to ensuring that nothing has changed regarding your pet’s health.

A thorough physical exam will allow our veterinarians to look for signs of:

  • Heart Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Dental Disease

Yearly Blood Work

There are many age-related diseases and illnesses that we can catch early with routine blood work. Early detection and treatment can save your pet’s life. Many diseases need chronic management, and the earlier we can implement treatment, the better (and usually cheaper) it is for you and your pet.

These are common age-related diseases we screen for on blood work:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid Dysfunction
  • Adrenal Dysfunction (Cushing’s and Addison’s disease)

Pain Management for Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

One of the most common age-related diseases we see in older dogs (and is likely one of the most under-diagnosed conditions in cats) is arthritis. This slowly progressing disease affects pets of all sizes, although we often associate it with larger dogs and hip dysplasia. The chronic pain associated with arthritis is often mistaken for simply the effects of age.

Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

  • Decreased Appetite
  • Limping
  • Sleeping More Often
  • Interacting Less with Family Members
  • Shaky Legs
  • Difficulty Rising or Lying Down
  • Difficulty Jumping
  • Difficulty Going Up and Down Stairs

It can be tricky for owners to identify pain in cats because they are masters at hiding signs of weakness.

Signs of Arthritis in Cats

  • Decreased Appetite
  • Decreased Use of the Litter Box
  • Decreased Agility
  • Interacting Less with Family Members
  • Decreased Grooming
  • A Negative Reaction to Touch (Biting)

Treatments for Arthritis

The best way for us to diagnose arthritis or cause of pain, is performing comprehensive physical and orthopedic exams, as well as assessing their joints with an X-ray. If your pet has arthritis, we will recommend and implement a combination of traditional and cutting-edge therapies.

Non-Pharmacologic Treatment

  • Fish Oil Supplements (Omega 3 Fatty Acid)
  • Glucosamine/Chondroitin (Dasuquin Advanced)
  • Environmental Modifications (ramps, grip socks/boots, non-slip rugs or mats)
  • Laser Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Weight Management
  • Special Dietary Management
  • Physical Rehabilitation
  • Daily Exercise

Pharmaceutical Pain Management

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (Rimadyl, Galliprant)
  • Adjunctive analgesics (Tramadol, Gabapentin, Amantadine)
  • Adequan Injections (helps prevent cartilage breakdown, reduces joint damage)

Hospice Care and Saying Goodbye

Unfortunately, eventually we as pet parents may eventually have to make the most difficult decision of our lives. When is it time to let our pets pass on peacefully?

We believe that the quality of your pet’s life is most important, and we will do everything we can to make them as comfortable as possible. We provide hospice services and will come to your home for end of life care, or to perform at-home euthanasia.

Are you Looking for Senior Care in Boca Raton, FL?

Visit us in Boca Raton or Delray Beach, FL to learn more about our exceptional team and the services we provide to keep your pets healthy, healthy and by your side. To learn more about senior care for pets, contact us today at 561-922-7948!