Pets are living longer than ever due to preventative care and overall improved attention to health and wellbeing. Still, there are age-related issues that can come up and that you, as an owner, need to be aware of. Be cognizant and prepared for the following conditions and compromises that can come as your pet gets older.
Some signs that your pet is aging are:
Hearing and Vision Changes
There is no doubt that aging pets experience decline in their senses, particularly hearing and sight. As far as vision issues are concerned, the most common problem is likely Cataracts. Cataracts in pets is the same as in humans; it afflicts many, is easy to treat but difficult to prevent. Cataracts can be a result of lifestyle choices among people but is most commonly related to age. Cataracts occur when your eye lens becomes cloudy. This may result in a cloudy or milky look to the eye; this filminess impacts and decreases vision while also leading to blindness over time if left untreated. Have your veterinary provider assess your pet for cataracts when visiting for your regular routine examination. This process occurs when the lens of the eye becomes opaque. If the cataract progresses this can result in diminished vision and lead to blindness. Cataracts can be caused secondary to diabetes mellitus, so this might be something to consider testing for if cataracts develop in your pet.
How is your pet’s breath? Teeth issues, like periodontal disease or decay, can cause chronic and pretty severe bad breath- just like it does in humans. The best prevention is dental care, including cleanings and routine exams by a qualified veterinarian. The more people-food that you give a pet, the more inclined they will be to suffer from tartar, plaque, and subsequent gum disease, which causes bad breath. If giving your pet human treats, make sure to counter this with bones or toys that they can chew to remove plaque build-up. Also, make sure to provide ample fresh water for them to rinse with and after meals.
Most people associate a dog or cat with a wet nose; some pets may experience dry or cracked noses as they age. The nose may look different, lighter in color or wrinkly, too. In extreme cases, the nose may crack and bleed- which merits immediate veterinary attention. This condition could require surgery.
Bumps and Lumps
When petting or grooming your pet, do you feel lumps or bumps along their skin? This is not uncommon. Usually, these lumps and bumps are merely a result of getting older or a benign wart, but sometimes they could be a tumor that requires evaluation by your vet. Make note of any new or suspicious bumps and let your vet provider know about them.
Is your pet getting older? Make sure that you take them for routine wellness exams with a reputable veterinary provider. And for emergency and specialty care, bring them to CVETS, a brand new, state of the art Emergency Vet and Surgery center. We are here 24/7, 365 days a year, to provide exceptional emergency care for your pet.