Here at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital, we have never met a passionate animal lover who doesn’t immediately fall in love with the charming antics of kittens or puppies. Even folks who profess to dislike felines are often cast under the delightful spell which only a cute, playful kitten can weave to purrfection. In fact we have observed that that any dyed-in-the wool felinophobe who loudly claims that cats are not their cup of tea, often will ultimately fall deeply in love with a kitty.
But almost before we can say Jack Robinson, our baby bundles of fur have left kittenhood and puppyhood and have become adults. And all too soon they then transition into seniors. We share our hearts with them; blessed with their strong devotion and companionship which brings us so much untold joy throughout the ensuing years. Most of all however, they give us the greatest of gifts; teaching us all about unconditional love!
However, dogs and cats age at a much more accelerated rate when they are compared to humans. In fact, by the time they reach the age of seven, they are getting on into their senior years, and may be at greater risk of developing serious health conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and cancer. Although smaller breed dogs tend to live longer than the larger breeds, smaller dogs (under 20 pounds) are considered to be geriatric between 7 and 10 years old and larger breeds (51-90 pounds) are considered geriatric between 6 and 9 years of age. Cats are considered geriatric at 15 years and upwards.
To help ensure the health and happiness of senior dogs and cats and other companion animals, Floridawild Veterinary Hospital has set aside May as Senior Pet Month. By providing your cherished senior pet with annual wellness exams, (and geriatric pets bi-annual wellness exams) that includes blood-work and other essential tests, your veterinarian will be able to test your senior pet for many medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, urinary tract infections and dermatological conditions along with cancer screening. Additionally your vet will check the condition of your pets teeth and gums; a crucial part of wellness exams.
Dogs and especially cats extremely adept at hiding pain and illnesses until any underlying medical conditions are far advanced; making it extremely difficult to treat and cure. Since many illnesses start with very subtle signs, proactive steps by pet guardians are crucial in effecting a diagnosis in order for treatment to be offered in a timely manner. Arthritis, hip dysplasia and other debilitating joint problems are also conditions to which elderly pets are at risk.
Fortunately, your veterinarian can prescribe medications to help alleviate the pain associated with these conditions. Since FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital has thoroughly trained, experienced holistic practitioners on staff, your elderly pets can be treated with acupuncture and other rehabilitative therapies which can greatly facilitate pain relief for pets who are affected with these and other conditions that respond positively to these alternative treatments.
Since FloridaWild is celebrating May as Senior Pet Month, this is the perfect opportunity to set up an appointment with your veterinarian for your senior pet to have a wellness exam, and to discuss any helpful dietary changes, exercise and playtime you can make to help keep your senior pet in the best possible emotional and physical health.