September is Senior Pet Health Month!

Did you know that, on average, pets age seven times faster than people?

It's true. This means that most dogs and cats reach adulthood by age two and middle age by age four. By age seven, they're entering their senior years (particularly larger breed dogs)!

Just like with us, the risks for many diseases, including dental disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, and cancer, all increase with age.  

Additionally, because dogs and cats age so rapidly, their health problems tend to progress faster as well. In fact, their health conditions have the potential to sometimes worsen within a matter of weeks.

Even pets that appear normal can have an underlying problem (especially cats - those masters of disguise!), which is why regular visits to the veterinarian are crucial for older pets.

Some common issues that senior dogs may experience include reduced hearing, changes in eyesight, arthritis and muscle mass loss, cognitive dysfunction, and cardiac and kidney disease. 

Senior cats are also susceptible to many health changes, including a decrease in kidney function, decreased digestion and ability to absorb nutrients, changes in thyroid function, as well as decreased mobility and arthritis. 

Early detection can help prevent disease and minimize suffering of an older pet. Bi-annual exams and yearly wellness bloodwork are highly recommended for all pets seven years and older. So celebrate your senior pet’s health and well being this September—and do it again in March!

Make an appointment for your senior pet's bi-annual wellness appointment. 


This blog post originally appeared on The Drake Center and has been modified for re-posting.

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