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At Mokena Animal Clinic, we know that endings are never easy, especially when our beloved pets are nearing theirs. As our patients grow older, we are committed to providing superlative and compassionate care for each and every one. Our Mokena senior pet care eases your pet comfortably into the final days.
The dividing age into the Golden Years for both cats and dogs is 7, and at some point after that you’ll begin to see changes in energy level, appetite and health. This is the time when the senior pet exam regime begins and we keep a closer eye on your dog or cat.
Instead of annual visits, we’d like you to bring your pet to our Mokena veterinary every 6 months. This gives us a chance to get a head start on treating anything possibly brewing.
Proper nutrition is critical at this time. Opt for foods that are especially formulated for older pets, which include special nutrients and ingredients more easily digested. Weight is another issue. Older dogs have a tendency to put on pounds while cats become thinner. We pay close attention to any weight changes in your pet during this time.
As pets age, their immune systems become less effective which leaves them vulnerable for parasites and infection. It’s important that your pet have yearly fecal parasite testing, heartworm testing and a Lyme disease vaccine. Deworming and heartworm treatment will be necessary if these tests prove positive.
Although your pet’s vaccination schedule may change due to his age and health, it is still important to keep him or her protected. We urge senior pets to get DAPP, Leptospirosis, and Bordetella vaccines anywhere from every 1 to 3 years.
You may notice behavioral changes as your pet grows older. Some of these may be increase in barking, sensitivity to sound, disorientation or confusion, aggression, standoffishness, accidents in the house, and less or more sleep.
Unfortunately, disease and illness is a part of growing older and our pets are no exception. Two common diseases are kidney and heart diseases. With kidney disease, pets lose their appetite, consume large amounts of water, show a decrease or increase in urination and may vomit. Heart disease symptoms include coughing, trouble breathing, sluggishness and decreased appetite.
A diagnosis of cancer is every pet owner’s nightmare and sadly, 50% of dogs over age 10 develop the disease. Cancer shows up with a variety of symptoms, depending on where it is located, with some of those being swelling in the abdomen, bleeding from any bodily orifice, lumps, wounds that don’t heal, weight changes or chronic diarrhea and/or vomiting.
All of us at Mokena Animal Clinic want you to enjoy your pet to the fullest during his or her sunset years. We know that you value your pet and we appreciate you considering us during this crucial time in your pet’s life. Call or visit us today for more information.
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