Frenship Vet can help your beloved pets live longer and happier lives
Thanks to advances in veterinary care, many pets are living longer into their “golden years.” With advanced age, however, come a variety of health issues which can negatively affect quality of life in an older pet.
Dr. Steve Stephens and the staff at Frenship Vet Clinic understand the special place pets have in your family and are pleased to provide the health care your pets needs throughout the years.
To help ensure your pet lives comfortably during the senior life stage, it’s critical to work with your veterinarian to tailor a senior wellness plan that is best for your dog or cat. But when is a pet considered a senior?
The lifespan will variety for each individual, explains Dr. Steve, but generally speaking smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. Talk with your vet and keep an eye on your pet; chances are you’ll recognize the signs of advancing age.
Just as in people, its not unusual for older age pets to develop physical and behavioral problems. These changes may not be related to age alone, but may be symptoms of an underlying medical problem. Make sure older pets visit the vet regularly, and call to discuss any noticeable changes in behavior between check-ups. Remember, sometimes even small changes in behavior can indicate that your friend is in pain, is ill, or has a degenerative disease. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
• loss of bladder control
• frequent digestive upsets
• dry or itchy skin
• bad breath or drooling
• sores, lumps, or shaking of the head
• dry, red, or cloudy eyes
• lack of enthusiasm for normal activities
• stiffness or soreness
• change in weight
• tremors or shaking
“Many health issues with older pets can be successfully resolved or controlled,” says Dr. Steve. “Early detection and treatment with medication, supplements, and diet can help treat or greatly slow the progression of many disease conditions and help our pets live longer and happier lives.”
For example, if your pet is having difficulty getting around, talk with the doctor about whether treatment for arthritis is an option. Both dogs and cats can suffer from degenerative changes in their joints caused by age or overuse. The symptoms may be mild, such as being slow to rise from a resting position, to more severe, such as an unwillingness to walk or whimpering. Once your pet has been diagnosed with arthritis, the veterinarian may recommend treatment with medications to decrease inflammation in the joint and control the pain, nutritional supplements, or possibly surgery.
When you visit with the vet about the care of your older pet, be sure to ask about nutrition. Many older pets benefit from specially formulated food that is designed with older bodies in mind. Because older pets often have different nutritional requirements, these special foods can help keep your pet’s weight under control and reduce consumption of nutrients that are risk factors for the development of diseases, as well as organ- or age-related changes.
Frenship Vet Clinic is located at 202 E Hwy 62 in Wolfforth (on the access road of the Brownfield Hwy). For information or to schedule an appointment, call them at 806-866-2838. And please visit www.frenshipvet.com – there you can learn more about Dr. Steve and the staff, read pet health articles, and access valuable resources like the online pet pharmacy.