Senior Pet Care in Charleston

Pets are living longer than ever thanks to advances in veterinary care, improvements in diet, and preventive care by owners. Because of this, pets, vets, and owners are faced with a whole new set of age-related conditions. Cats and small dogs are considered geriatric at the age of 7-8, while larger breeds reach old age at 6. More and more owners are reaching out to veterinary health providers for information pertaining to aging pets. West Ashley Veterinary Clinic can help by raising awareness and promoting senior pet wellness care.

First, read a simple Q and A about aging pets:

Senior Pet Care in Charleston, SC

What Kind of Problems Affect Older Pets?

  1. cancer
  2. heart disease
  3. kidney/urinary tract disease
  4. liver disease
  5. diabetes
  6. joint or bone disease
  7. senility (also called cognitive dysfunction)
  8. weakness
  9. vision and hearing loss
  10. thyroid problems (low for dogs, high for cats)

How Do We Help Our Older Pets Stay Healthy and Happy Longer?

  1. Take them for more frequent vet visits (at least twice a year).
  2. Address illness promptly.
  3. Feed easily digestible geriatric diets.
  4. Have senior blood work done at least once a year.
  5. Address dental care needs.
  6. Control weight gain or loss.
  7. Provide reasonable exercise for mobility.
  8. Avoid heat or cold extremes.
  9. Give appropriate vaccinations and parasite preventatives.

Our Senior Wellness Package includes:

  • Detailed senior exam (during which any concerns or problems can be addressed)*
  • Senior screening bloodwork to evaluate major organ function
  • Thyroid function testing
  • Urinalysis

*further diagnostic testing or procedures not included in package price.

SAVE 10% ON THIS PACKAGE DURING SENIOR PET MONTH IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER!

What Are Some Possible Behavior Changes in Older Pets?

  1. Increased reaction to sounds
  2. Increased vocalization
  3. Confusion
  4. Disorientation
  5. Decreased interaction w/humans
  6. Increased irritability
  7. Decreased response to commands
  8. Increased aggressive/protective behavior
  9. Increased anxiety
  10. House soiling
  11. Decreased self-hygiene/grooming
  12. Repetitive activity
  13. Increased wandering
  14. Change in sleep cycles

What Are the Common Warning Signs of Disease in Older Pets?

  1. Decrease in appetite
  2. Increased thirst
  3. Gastrointestinal upsets
  4. Lack of movement or mobility
  5. Changes in urination/defecation or blood in the urine or stool
  6. Coughing
  7. Difficulty breathing

How Common is Cancer in an Aging Pet?

About half of all pets over the age of 10 will get some form of cancer. The statistics in cats are not as clear. A diagnosis of cancer 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 biopsy of the affected tissue.

When is it Time to Think about Euthanasia of an Older Pet?

This is always a very difficult question and is the hardest event we face in a pet’s life. West Ashley Vet can help by providing an End of Life packet with guidelines on quality of life evaluations, tips on hospice care, and a description of the euthanasia process.

From providing information to actively engaging in discussion with you about your older pet, West Ashley Veterinary Clinic is here for you. We provide Senior Wellness exams and diagnostics to prolong quality during an uncertain time of your pet’s life. Call today for this important appointment and enjoy additional incentives during Senior Pet Wellness month.