As our pets get older, several conditions can develop or worsen. Arthritis and other joint injuries are very common in pets as they age.
Also, organ function can decrease with age leading to heart, liver and kidney disease as well.
This is why regular exams and labwork is important as our dogs and cats get older. This is very important as our pets cannot speak to let us know when they are hurting, or if something is wrong. This is especially true in cats, and once a cat begins to look sick, often, they have been sick for a while.
During an exam, we will evaluate the limbs, joints, and back for any evidence of pain. This includes resistance, increasing heart rate, or breathing rate, or posturing letting us know your pet is in pain. These signs can be very subtle, and often can be missed in the home environment, where your pet does not want you to know there is a problem.
If you suspect that your pet is in pain, please call and make an appointment. Please do not give any medications without a direct veterinarian recommendation for your pet, as many human pain medications can be toxic to dogs and cats.
Part of a senior pet exam will include blood and urine testing. These are used to determine the organ function of your pet, which also allows us to choose the best medications that can be used safely in your dog or cat.
If we find evidence of a problem, if caught early, many conditions can be treated and medically managed. There are lots of options for the treatment of pain in our pets, such as oral medications, injectable glucosamine products, laser therapy, physical therapy, even acupuncture.
We can provide options for your pet based on exam and lab findings that best works for them. The goal is to perform routine regular exams, if able, find problems early on, and set up goals for treatment as well as prevention.