Senior Dog and Cat Care in Charleston, SC

brown, black, white cat sitting on tile floor

Is your dog or cat entering their senior stage of life? Cats and small dogs are considered geriatric around 7-8 years old, while larger dog breeds (Great Danes, Newfoundlands, etc.) reach old age at about 6. More and more pet owners are reaching out to veterinarians for information to help them care for their aging pets. West Ashley Veterinary Clinic is dedicated to promoting routine wellness care for senior dogs and cats to ensure a good quality of life in their golden years.

Your senior pet may be due for a checkup. Call us today at (843) 571-7095 to schedule an appointment!

What Kind of Problems Affect Senior Pets?

What Kind of Problems Affect Senior Pets?

Senior dogs and cats can be prone to various diseases and health issues as they get older.

How to Help Your Senior Dog or Cat Stay Healthier, Longer

While you cannot control the aging process for your pet, there are still many things you can do to make their life easier and more comfortable, including:

  • Take them for more frequent vet visits (at least twice a year)

  • Address illness promptly

  • Feed easily digestible geriatric diets

  • Have senior blood work done at least once a year

  • Address dental care needs

  • Control weight gain or loss

  • Provide reasonable exercise for mobility

  • Avoid heat or cold extremes

  • Give appropriate vaccinations and parasite preventatives

  • Ease your pet's chronic pain with laser therapy or acupuncture

Behavior Changes and Signs of Disease in Senior Pets

As a pet owner, you want to be able to understand your pet’s needs as much as possible. Dogs and cats are not often forthcoming about their illness or discomfort. Here are some common behavior changes and disease symptoms to look out for, so you can reach out to us if you ever sense a problem for your pet:

Happy Brown Senior Dog In Grass
Gray Cat On Bed Looking Up

How Common is Cancer in Senior Dogs and Cats?

About half of all pets over the age of 10 will get some form of cancer, but the statistics on cats are not as clear. A cancer diagnosis might come from blood work, X-rays, ultrasound, and advanced imaging like MRI or CT scans. The most effective way to diagnose cancer is with a biopsy of the affected tissue.

While a cancer diagnosis for your pet can be alarming, please know that our team is here to support you and your pet. We can help you pursue options to treat the cancer and improve your pet’s quality of life.

When is it Time to Think About Cat or Dog Euthanasia?

The question of when to opt for cat or dog euthanasia is a difficult one, and it is the hardest event we face in a pet’s life. West Ashley Veterinary Clinic can help by providing an End-of-Life packet with guidelines to evaluate your pet’s quality of life, along with tips on hospice care and a description of the euthanasia process so you know what to expect. From providing information to actively engaging in discussion with you about your beloved senior pet, we are here for you. Please call us at (843) 571-7095 if you have questions or concerns about your companion.