Playful puppies are incredibly delightful companions. High-energy kittens are enchanting and can keep us entertained for hours on end. We fall in love with these amazing animals and over the years we are blessed and honored by their faithful devotion, their loyal companionship and their greatest gift: teaching us about unconditional love.
Sadly however, all too soon, our captivating furry companions will mature into adults and will start the aging process at a far more accelerated rate when compared to humans. Before we know it, our cats and dogs will have transitioned into senior pets. As a matter of fact, when our pets reach the age of seven, they are entering into the threshold of their senior years.
While smaller breed dogs tend to live longer than the larger breeds, dogs under 20 pounds may be considered geriatric between the age of 7 and 10. The larger canine breeds, weighing between 51 pounds and heavier, may be considered geriatric between 6 and 9 years of age. Cats, however, are considered geriatric when they reach 15 years and older.
And precisely, in the identical way as their guardians are aging, our feline and canine family members can be at a greater risk of developing serious health conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and debilitating joint problems. The good news is that your veterinarian can prescribe medications to help alleviate the pain associated with these conditions.
Our senior pets give us an abundance of love and pleasure; as their guardians, it is up to us to keep them as happy and healthy as possible. It doesnt matter what species they are – all our pets deserve the special care they need as they mature when reaching their golden years.
May is a very special month here at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital. In order to stress the importance of providing your senior pets with their wellness exams and those crucial geriatric bi-annual wellness exams (which includes blood-work and other essential tests), each year we set aside and celebrate May as Senior Pet Health Month. This allows your veterinarian to test your senior pet for many medical conditions, such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, high blood pressure, urinary tract infections and dermatological conditions. Additionally, your veterinarian will perform screening for cancer. Another crucial part of these wellness exams is checking the condition of your pets teeth and gums since a mouth in fine fettle is essential for your pets vigorous systemic health.
Since dogs and cats don’t always show pain or illness until an underlying serious medical condition is far-advanced, then this can make treatment, and a possible cure, extremely difficult. There are many illnesses that begin with very subtle signs. Therefore, guardians must take proactive steps in order for their pets to be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital’s thoroughly trained and experienced holistic practitioners are able to offer their elderly patients acupuncture, chiropractic care, and other rehabilitative therapies; this can help relieve pain for those who respond positively to these treatments.
Now is the perfect opportunity for guardians to also celebrate May as Senior Pet Health Month by making an appointment with your veterinarian for your senior pet’s wellness exam and to discuss any necessary dietary, exercise, and playtime changes you can make to help keep your senior pet in the best possible emotional and physical health.
During the month of May, FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital is giving $3.00 off blood pressure checks and $10.00 off senior blood work! The Funky Mutt Market is giving a free spa package with any groom (senior pets only). Your choices include: Kava Kava, Flowering Bamboo or Lavender. Your pet will receive a light massage with aromatherapy shampoo and matching cologne.
By: Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW, (Ret.)