‘Age is not a disease’
As animals age, it is not uncommon for them to experience many of the same ailments as we do as humans. With considerably shorter lifespans than their human counterparts, our pets cram a lot of growing, living, and aging into their lives. Metabolic effects of aging can affect metabolic rate, nutritional requirement (quality over quantity), and may impair pet’s ability to heal after injury, or recover from an illness or stressful event. Their ability to respond to immunological challenges may decrease, and immune mediated diseases can develop. It is common for degenerative joint disease and dental disease to develop, organ function slowly decreases, and neoplasia is more common.
Being aware of the diseases that can occur in old pets assists us in identifying abnormalities, making a treatment plan, and prevent them from causing unnecessary suffering and discomfort. Treating geriatric patients can be very satisfying and rewarding, and improving quality of life in their golden years is important.
Some behaviours or clinical manifestations of age-related disease can be recognised at home:
- Reduced activity level
- More time sleeping
- Inappropriate urination
- Pacing or wandering
- Hearing loss
- Inability to jump up into the car or onto the couch
- Appearing disoriented
If your pet is displaying any of these behaviours, please get in contact with us at EAVC so we can make a plan to help your pet.
See you and your furry friend soon!