Just like people, advances in medicine mean our canine and feline companions are living longer than ever before. As they age, different issues may arise.

Older companion animals
Older companion animals

Being one step ahead of you pet’s illness can help catch things early, slow down disease progression and ensure your companion animal lives a comfortable and happy life.

Common age-related illnesses:

We have the benefit of being able to speak to our doctors, friends and family. Our companion animals can’t talk, so symptoms can include decreased energy, decreased mobility, weight loss, fur loss, panting, not eating, not wanting to run or jump, increased urination and drinking and more.

One thing we recommend on our older patients, which usually (depending on breed, size, etc.) is at 8 years onward, is annual lab work to look for things like diabetes, issues with the kidneys, liver changes, increased thyroid levels (for cats). But we can go one step further and do imaging of the chest and abdomen to look for other developing issues – tumors, heart and lung issues, arthritis of the spine, hips and shoulders and more.

Normal feline x-rays - abdomen, spine, hips and shoulders
Normal feline x-rays – abdomen, spine, hips and shoulders

These pre-emptive screening tests can help us pick up problems before they turn into significant health issues or worse, an un-planned emergency.

Talk to you veterinarian about what he or she thinks is recommended in your senior or maturing companion animal so that you always stay a step head!

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