Geriatric Pets

When your pet reaches their senior years, the level of care that they need begins to change. Most pets reach their senior years when they are approximately 8 years of age, though larger pets (over 70lbs) may reach their senior years by the age of 5.

Twice Annual Visits

For senior pets, we recommend twice-yearly wellness exams to provide us with the opportunity to detect problems early, before they have a chance to develop into anything more serious. This also allows us to treat conditions quickly and efficiently, helping to prolong your pet's life. In senior pets, health conditions can manifest themselves and can develop quicker than they often do in younger, healthier pets.

Elements of Veterinary Care

Many pet owners worry about the rising costs of veterinary care for their senior pet, but twice annual visits do not necessarily equal costly testing. For many pets, the physical exam is just as valuable as the additional testing and allows is to make many discoveries about your pet's health. We may prescribe additional diagnostics depending on what we find during your pet's examination if we need to explore further in order to diagnose a condition. Our physical exams and diagnostics are able to work together to detect cardiac disease, cancers, weight loss, or dental disease. Some of the diagnostics we may prescribe include blood work evaluations, CBC, urinalysis, and x-rays, but routine diagnostics can be beneficial as well, such as examination of:

  • Blood pressure
  • Eyes and ears
  • Heart rate
  • Joints and movement
  • Oral cavity
  • Respiration
  • Skin and hair coat
  • Weight management concerns
  • ...and more

For senior pets, we also perform pain assessments at every visit, making recommendations for any pain control that is deemed necessary. A large percentage of geriatric pets suffer from arthritis and the signs of pain can be subtle, so we make it a priority to educate senior pet owners on the signs and symptoms to notice. We can provide a number of pain management options and will help you choose the ones best suited to your pet's needs. We may also counsel with you about lifestyle changes for your pet, whether that means selecting new activities, a new bed, or more. Your pet's comfort is our primary concern!

End of Life Care

The team at Rita Ranch Pet Hospital knows that end-of-life questions are always complicated for pet owners and we're here to support you through these difficult times as well. We work closely with owners to detect any changes in behavior, activity, or appetite that may indicate a problem. We also provide medical counsel and end-of-life care when quality of life is no longer acceptable.

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