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Senior Pet Care Services

Routine veterinary care becomes crucial as our furry friends age. Our Lethbridge veterinarians provide targeted care to help senior pets stay comfortable and healthy.

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Promoting Good Health in Older Dogs & Cats

Maintaining optimal health, good quality of life, and comfortable mobility are three top priorities when it comes to caring for senior dogs and cats. This is why routine preventive care and early diagnosis of developing conditions are essential for our four-legged friends as they age.

Diligent care can help extend your pet's life and good health throughout their senior years. Regularly scheduled wellness exams, even when your cat or dog appears healthy, gives our Lethbridge team the chance to do all we can to stave off age-related decline.

In addition to senior pet exams, we also offer nutrition counselling to help address your senior companion's needs. This guidance can help you manage your pet's weight, health conditions, and more.

Geriatric Care for Pets, Lethbridge

Health Problems in Senior Pets

Improvements in nutrition and advances in veterinary science mean that our cherished companions are living much longer than in the past.

This means pet owners and veterinarians now face the challenge of ensuring that senior dogs and cats carry on enjoying a good quality of life as they continue to age. Early detection of symptoms and proactive care are vital for achieving this goal.

Some of the conditions we commonly see in older pets include:

  • Joint or Bone Disorders

    Senior Dogs

    As your dog reaches their golden years, there are a number of joint or bone disorders that can result in pain and discomfort. Some of the most common joint and bone disorders in elderly pets that our veterinarians see include arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, reduction in spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders.

    Addressing these issues early is essential for keeping your dog comfortable as they continue to age. Treatment for joint and bone issues in senior dogs ranges from simply reducing levels of exercise, to the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, to surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints or reduce pain.

    Senior Cats

    The most common joint disorder that affects cats is osteoarthritis. While we typically think of this condition as impacting older dogs, this painful condition can also affect your senior cat's joints.

    Symptoms of osteoarthritis in cats are more subtle than those in dogs. While cats can experience a decrease in range of motion, the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats include weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation outside the litter pan, and inability to jump on and off objects. Lameness typically seen in dogs is not commonly reported by cat owners.

  • Cancer

    Cancer is very common in cats and dogs, especially as they age. That's why it's important for your senior pet to visit the veterinarian for routine wellness exams as they age.

    Bringing your older pet in for routine checkups, even when they seem healthy, allows your veterinarian to examine your dog or cat for early signs of cancer and other developing conditions that respond better to treatment when caught in their earliest stages.

  • Heart Disease

    Heart disease can be a problem for senior pets. Older dogs often develop conditions such as congestive heart failure.

    Heart disease is seen less in cats, but Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is relatively common.

  • Blindness & Hearing Loss

    Degeneration in the eyes and ears can lead to varying degrees of deafness and blindness in older pets, particularly dogs.

    These conditions often come on slowly, allowing elderly pets to adjust their behaviours and making it difficult for pet parents to notice.

  • Liver Disease

    Liver disease is common in elderly cats and may be the result of high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of liver disease in cats include loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst.

    In dogs, symptoms such as seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss can be a sign of liver disease.

    If your pet is displaying any symptoms of liver disease, veterinary care is essential.

  • Diabetes

    Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, most are diagnosed with this condition as they surpass middle age.

    Symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats include excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections.

  • Kidney Disease

    Kidney function tends to decline naturally as pets age. That said, in some cases, medications used to treat other conditions in senior pets can lead to kidney problems.

    While chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, it can often be managed successfully with a prescription diet and medications.

  • Urinary Tract & Bladder Issues

    Older pets can be prone to accidents as the muscles controlling the bladder begin to weaken, but incontinence can also be a sign of a bigger health issue such as a urinary tract infection or dementia, and should never be ignored.

    If your senior pet experiences incontinence issues make an appointment to have them seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

What to Expect at a Senior Pet Exam

Our team will thoroughly examine your senior pet and ask about their diet and lifestyle. Testing may be recommended to gain additional insight into your dog or cat's overall health. 

Once your companion has been fully assessed your veterinarian will recommend a treatment plan to address any existing health problems and proactively address developing age-related ones.

Recommendations for your pet may include changes to their diet or exercise routine as well as medications to help them stay happy and comfortable as they continue to age.

At Chinook Pet Clinic, our team is dedicated to helping senior dogs and cats enjoy good health, comfortable mobility and an excellent quality of life throughout their golden years.

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Welcoming New Patients in Lethbridge

We have served Lethbridge for more than 60 years, working tirelessly to deliver compassionate veterinary care to our community's beloved cats and dogs. We'd love to meet you and your furry friend!

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