Minimizing Risk Factors as Your Pet Ages
Recent advancements in veterinary medicine, as well as an increased emphasis on preventive care, have dramatically increased the life expectancy and overall health of pets. While some health conditions are unavoidable, many are manageable and often treatable. Pets age, on average, seven years for each year a human ages, so proper preventive care is the key to ensuring that your pet spends as many healthy years as possible with you and your family.
Avoidable Health Issues in Geriatric Pets
With proper preventive care throughout their life, many conditions affecting dogs over the age of 10 can be minimized, or even avoided altogether. Banfield’s Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK) team found the most common diagnoses for geriatric pets in 2014 include the following:
- Dental Calculus
- Nuclear Sclerosis
- Overweight and obesity
- Skin Tumors
- Geriatric Pets
- Otitis Externa, Medical
Common geriatric conditions, such as obesity, can place undue strain on your pet’s internal organs and joints. If left untreated, obesity can lead to the development of more serious issues, such as diabetes and arthritis, or a condition such as periodontal disease can cause problems affecting the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Preventive Care for Your Senior Pet
By taking steps to keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout his or her life, scheduling regular comprehensive exams, and dental cleanings with your veterinarian, you will have the peace of mind that you are doing all you can to care for your pet as they transition through each life stage. Your veterinarian will also recommend that your pet undergo routine heartworm testing and prevention and remain up-to-date on vaccinations.
Need More Information?
Many pets suffer from conditions in their geriatric years that could be avoided by consistently taking the above preventive care steps. If you have further questions about your aging pet, browse our Ask a Vet library or request an appointment with your Banfield veterinarian.