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Our pets age so much faster than we do. Did you know that one year in a senior dog or cat’s life is equivalent to 4 yrs in our own life? Our senior pets have different needs from our younger pets. As they age, they have a weaker immune system, a stronger tendency toward illness, and commonly suffer from the discomfort of arthritis, as well as other aging changes. We recommend that senior pets, or pets over the approximate age of seven years, have physical examinations more often. Twice yearly visits are important to help us catch physical health problems before they advance and provide effective treatment early. Six months in human life equates to two years in our pets' lives, in terms of the aging process, therefore necessitating more frequent exams.

As the owner of a senior pet, it is important for you to observe changes in your pet's behaviors as these changes can signal that something is wrong. However, some things can easily go unnoticed, especially weight changes. Bringing your pet to us twice yearly can help identify these more subtle changes. We can help by running diagnostic tests to determine the causes of these changes and making recommendations for treating these problems effectively.

Signs of Aging in Dogs

  • You may notice graying in your dog's coat and especially on their face
  • There may be a greater occurrence of skin conditions because an older pet's skin will be thinner and have more difficulty healing
  • Pets may spend more time lying down or pacing-this can be a sign that it is painful to transition from one position to another
  • Naps may be longer and more frequent
  • Habits may change significantly-for example your pet may play differently or eat and drink on a different schedule
  • Weight changes
  • Worse breath than usual, or greater dental problems
  • Loss of hearing or vision and general decrease in sensory acuteness
  • Accidents inside the home
  • Strange behaviors that you may not have seen since their puppy days, such as going through trash or chewing

Signs of Aging in Cats

  • Onset of kidney disease or thyroid disease
  • Decreased willingness to be active
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Increased or decreased consumption of water
  • Lighter, more frequent naps
  • Hair loss or thin patches in the coat
  • Reluctance to jump on furniture
  • Foul breath indicating underlying dental disease or oral problems

Senior Pet Check-ups

Even if your pet is not exhibiting these signs yet, a biannual check-up can still benefit them. Diagnostic tests may show signs of developing illnesses or discomfort that we will be able to treat before the disease has progressed too far. Help us make your pet's golden years a joy and comfort for both of you!

 

Contact Us

St. Marks Veterinary Hospital

Location

348 E 9th St New York , NY 10003

Clinic Hours

Open 7 Days A Week! Sun-Sat: 9AM to 5PM