Aging and becoming a senior is a part of life. It is inevitable. Sometimes we and our pets are in our golden years, sometimes aging reveals the loss of the quality and functions we appreciated when we were younger. Age is easy to state by date of birth but aging is very hard to understand because of all the influences that factor into the effects: genetics and breed size, sex (if intact), trauma, environment, nutrition, disease of organs related to degeneration, immunological or neoplastic causes, and behaviour.
When is my pet considered senior?
- cats: 10 yrs of age
- small dogs: 10 years of age
- medium dogs: 8-9 years of age
- large dogs: 7 years of age
We and our pets should expect changes as we age. How we accept these changes is important. Usually animals accept them better than most of us, but we cannot ignore what our pets may be experiencing if we can help.
Changes to watch for:
- loss of muscle
- increased fat
- hearing loss
- oral and dental disease
- skin and coat
- heart and circulatory difficulties
- organ function
- mobility and comfort
- behaviour and attitude
If your pet is exhibiting such changes, it is important to seek medical attention. There are several treatments and lifestyle changes available to help them. Such as nutrition, supplements and cold laser therapy.
We will continue to explore these topics. Keep in touch and touch your pets.
Dr Lana Conway DVM, FAVD Dipl AVDC