As your pet ages it’s really important to establish a good communication line with your Veterinarian for additional attention and care. One of the highest priorities is to begin a “Senior Wellness Program”. This type of program involves bringing your pet into the Vet for at least two full examinations per year so that any problems or difficulties can be caught and addressed at early stages.
Pets age in many of the same ways that people do. They can have disorders that may not be apparent such as diabetes, arthritis and even heart conditions. Early detection should include an exam, full blood work panel and a feces sample. You know your pet family member better than anyone and are aware of things that may have changed with your beloved furred one. Be sure to report both physical and behavioral changes that you have observed as this can help the Vet diagnose potential situations.
Medications May Be Needed
If there are disease states that are discovered, you may have to begin a medication regiment for your pet. Pets respond to medicines in similar ways that humans do and you must be attentive to your pet when they are placed on medications. Some pets do quite well and respond within a few days or weeks, while others may have an interaction that can cause vomiting, lack of appetite, behavior differences or intestinal problems. Be sure to discuss any expected reactions with your Vet and report any difficulties immediately. Your Veterinarian will often have alternative medications to prescribe that will be more accommodating for your pet.
Low Stress Vet Visits for Older Pets
Your older pet may be used to going to the Vet, and depending upon the medical history, he or she may experience higher levels of stress. The goal of every Vet is to keep the stress levels down for pets of all ages, but it’s particularly important for our aging pets. Take steps with your Vet to establish a specific appointment time so that there is little waiting and always soothe your pet during the entire visit. Be attentive if your pet is expressing any stress signals such as shivering or crying.
There are a few things that you can do to help your pet and these can include taking them for a visit to their favorite place after a trip to the Vet as well as rides in the car that are not associated with going to the Vet. If your pet begins to show any stress levels you can let you Vet know that you will wait in the car until they are ready for the examination. This keeps your pet feeling safe and secure and avoids sitting in a waiting room. Another idea is to keep the in their crate or carrier as they often feel safer and experience less stress.
We need to have extra attention to the needs of our aging pets so that they can maintain a healthier life. This is part of the love that we give to them and part of our commitment in sharing our lives with them.