Senior Animal Care With Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena In Helena, MT
Your older pet needs vet care more than ever. Pet geriatrics is the treatment of conditions that typically affect older pets. Some of these conditions may afflict younger pets but tend to appear more often as your pet ages. If you're not certain whether your pet needs geriatric care, ask one of our vets Dr. Armstrong or Dr. Reisinger at Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena.
Pet Longevity and Veterinarian Care
Animals reach seniority depending on their size and breed. For instance, cats often reach senior status around age 11 whereas a medium-sized dog of 7 would be considered a senior. The smaller your pet is, the longer its lifespan. Larger dogs may reach senior status when they're only five. Most well-cared-for cats and dogs have the potential to live at least a decade or longer. How you care for your pet in its twilight years will help it be more comfortable as it ages.
Vet care for older pets is especially important. These animals tend to show signs of illness that develop from aging. Bring your pet in for a checkup if you notice any of the most common signs of illness—weight loss, changes in appetite, elimination problems, cough, lumps, lack of thirst, fatigue, bad breath, or seizures. Illness in older pets requires prompt treatment to prevent serious complications.
While you cannot prevent all illnesses in your pet, you can get early treatment to increase your pet's longevity. Unlike younger animals, senior pets require wellness exams every six months. Aging happens in cats and dogs much faster than it does in humans. And chronic conditions can rapidly worsen without appropriate treatment. That's why twice-annual visits to our veterinarian in Helena is such an important part of your pet's care.
Arthritis and Pain Management in Older Pets
Older pets can have arthritis just like people. Pain management for older pets is part of pet geriatrics and is similar to what people receive. The biggest difference is the inability of a pet to communicate exactly how it's feeling. Depending on the cause of your pet's chronic pain, one of our veterinary specialists could prescribe pain medications, supplements, or gentle exercise. For overweight animals, weight loss reduces strain on the joints. If your pet still shows signs of joint pain such as limping, refusing to run, or not jumping, we may offer laser therapy or corticosteroid injections.
Make Us Your Choice for a Veterinarian in Helena
The veterinarians at our clinic in Helena MT are ready to give your pet the medical care needed for a long, happy life. Reach us at Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena today to schedule an appointment at (406) 442-0188.