Our Tucson veterinarians provide comprehensive geriatric care for cats and dogs.

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Geriatric Care for Senior Dogs & Cats

Diligent care can help extend your pet's life and good health as they age, so it's important that they attend regularly scheduled wellness exams, even if they seem healthy. 

Our veterinarians are here to help geriatric pets in Tucson achieve optimal health by identifying and treating emerging health issues early, and providing proactive treatment while they are still effectively and easily manageable.

Geriatric Care for Pets, Tucson

Typical Health Problems

Companion cats and dogs are now living significantly longer than in the past, owing to improved dietary options and improved veterinary care.

While this is certainly something to celebrate, pet owners and veterinarians are now confronted with a greater number of age-related conditions than in the past.

Senior pets are frequently predisposed to the following ailments:

  • Joint or bone disorders

    Geriatric Dogs

    Several joint and bone disorders can cause pain and discomfort in your senior dog. Our veterinarians commonly see arthritis, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, decreased spinal flexibility, and growth plate disorders in geriatric pets.

    Taking care of these issues early on will keep your dog comfortable as they age. Analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat joint and bone issues in senior dogs, as well as surgery to remove diseased tissue, stabilize joints, and reduce pain.

    Geriatric Cats

    While we usually associate osteoarthritis with older dogs, this painful condition can also affect your senior cat's joints.

    Osteoarthritis symptoms in cats are more subtle than in dogs. 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 are all common symptoms of osteoarthritis in geriatric cats. Cat owners are less likely to report lameness than dog owners.

  • Cancer

    Cancer is thought to kill approximately half of all pets in the United States. As a result, it is critical for your senior pet to have routine wellness exams as they age.

    Bringing your geriatric pet in for routine checkups, even if they appear healthy, allows your veterinarian to look for early signs of cancer and other diseases that respond better to treatment when caught early.

  • Heart Disease

    As with humans, geriatric pets can develop heart disease.

    Senior dogs frequently suffer from congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently, resulting in fluid buildup in the heart, lungs, and chest cavity.

    While cats are less likely than dogs to develop heart disease, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is relatively common. This condition thickens the walls of the cat's heart, impairing its ability to function efficiently.  

  • Blindness and hearing loss

    Degeneration of the eyes and ears can cause deafness and blindness in older pets, more common in dogs than cats.

    These conditions may manifest slowly, allowing geriatric pets to adjust their behavior and oblivious pet owners. 

  • Liver disease

    Liver disease is common in senior cats and can be caused by high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism. Loss of appetite, jaundice, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst are all signs of liver disease in cats.

    Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, abdominal fluid buildup, and weight loss are all serious symptoms of liver disease in dogs.

    Veterinary care is required if your geriatric dog or cat exhibits any of the symptoms of liver disease.

  • Diabetes

    Although dogs and cats can develop diabetes at any age, the majority of dogs are diagnosed between the ages of 7 and 10 years old, and the majority of cats diagnosed with diabetes are over the age of 6.

    Excessive thirst, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, cloudy eyes, and chronic or recurring infections are all symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats.

    Obesity increases the risk of diabetes in both cats and dogs.  

  • Kidney disease

    As pets age, their kidneys begin to fail. In some cases, medications used to treat other common conditions seen in geriatric pets can cause kidney disease.

    While chronic kidney disease is incurable, it can be managed through a combination of diet and medication.  

  • Urinary tract disease

    We see many geriatric cats and dogs with urinary tract issues and incontinence at Tucson. It's important to remember that incontinence could be a sign of something more serious, like a urinary tract infection or dementia in older pets.

    You should take your elderly pet to the vet if they have urinary incontinence issues.

Veterinary Care for Seniors

Our veterinarians will examine your senior pet thoroughly, ask detailed questions about their home life, and perform any tests that may be necessary to gain additional insight into his or her overall physical health and condition.

We'll recommend a treatment plan based on the findings, which could include medications, activities, and dietary changes to help improve your senior pet's health, well-being, and comfort.

Routine Wellness Exams

Preventive care is critical to ensuring that your senior pet lives a long, happy, and fulfilled life. It also allows our veterinarians to detect diseases earlier.

Early disease detection will help preserve your pet's physical health and detect emerging health issues before they become long-term issues.

Regular physical examinations will give your pet the best chance of long-term health.

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