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Growing Old With Your Senior Pet

Senior Pet Care at All Pets Animal Hospital

Pets age much faster than people do, and their health needs change rapidly. A good rule of thumb is that a dog or cat ages seven years to every one human year. When a dog is considered senior varies depending on the size of the dog: for giant (greater than 100 lbs) breeds, after age 6; for large (60–100 lbs.) breeds, after age 7; for medium (20–60 lbs.), after age 8; for smaller (1–20 lbs.) breeds, after age 9. For cats, any time after the age of 8 is considered senior. All Pets Animal Hospital has established guidelines to help you navigate your pet’s changing needs.

Senior Pet Health Exams

With the rapid aging process pets experience, senior pets need to be examined twice a year for early detection of illness when it can be easily managed or cured. In addition to a general physical exam, we recommend:

  • Blood work
  • Urine analysis
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • ECG
  • Chest X-rays

Recent advances in medical technology have provided many new procedures and treatments that can extend your pet’s quality of life:

  • Rehabilitation services—Many senior pets benefit from our therapeutic massage, water treadmill, therapy balls, cavaletti, or agility exercises, which will strengthen their core muscles and restore strength and mobility.
  • Laser therapy—All Pets Animal Hospital has witnessed many pets recovery from debilitating arthritis through use of the laser therapy technology. Restoring mobility to pets allows them to engage in exercise and it restores much of their quality of life.
  • Stem cell therapy—We have also found stem cell therapy to be a significantly beneficial treatment for pets with arthritis. Stem cells stimulate healing and can restore mobility lost to the normal aging process.
  • Proper nutrition based on the pet’s senior health status

Senior Pet Nutritional Counseling

The body of an aging pet has different nutritional needs than that of a younger pet. All Pets Animal Hospital offers guidance on proper pet nutrition and carries pet foods designed for seniors, as well as foods that cater to medical conditions. The brands below are diets we commonly recommend for aging pets:

Managing Pet Pain and Discomfort

As with people, aging in pets can be accompanied by aches, pains, and stiffness that can slow your pets down and discourage them from getting the exercise they need. Our veterinarians are able to assess your pet’s pain status and to instruct you on how to recognize signs that he or she is uncomfortable. There are many options for managing pet pain, and we encourage you to check our information on pet pain management.

Signs of Health Issues in Aging Pets

Knowing your pet and his or her normal behavior will help you detect when something has changed in his or her health status. Some symptoms that would suggest that you should contact us include:

  • Drinking and urinating more frequently
  • Lethargy
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Decreased appetite
  • Bad breath
  • Urinary or bowel incontinence
  • Decreased vision or hearing
  • Dull or thinning coat
  • Odor to the coat
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Difficulty moving or limping
  • Coughing, panting, or labored breathing
  • Decreased responsiveness to attention from the pet owner

At any time you have questions about your senior pet’s condition or changing needs, please feel free to contact the veterinarians of All Pets Animal Hospital.

Dr. Pat helped out a lot when 1 of the puppies we got was sick. He is very kind and treats your pet as he would his own. He is fantastic at what he does. He also has a wonderful staff as well.

Dan & Connie Hofer

Lola has shown so much progress since she started coming here! She just loves her appointments with Brandon.

Lola Campos & Tiffany Campos

We have been going to Dr. Choyce and his staff for over 17 yrs. They have been absolutely wonderful and always go above and beyond in caring for our pets. Thank you all so much for all that you do!

Karin Vogelsang

The staff is wonderful. We trust them implicitly with the care of my babies. We have peace of mind knowing there is always someone on call if ever there is an emergency.

Deana Mangan

He has treated our dogs who’ve gone on to Dog Heaven and our current Cavaliers. We cannot put in the right words how much we appreciate the excellent vet care we’ve received from Dr. Choyce and the staff at All Pets.

Harry & Brandee Standley

We have received excellent care and service for our Westie from All Pets Animal Hospital for eight years and counting. We also use them for boarding when we go on vacation as our dog receives such loving care from the entire staff that she returns home like she has never been gone. A "five out of five stars" rating with a "highly recommend" from us.

Denny & Cheryl Daniels

I liked the level of compassion shown toward our pets and the office’s understanding of how much the pets mean to their owners. I particularly enjoyed being able to observe the surgical procedure and appreciated the commentary relative to any milestones during the process. Dr. Choyce and his group treated our pets as if she were one of their own dogs.

Rob Walters for Anthony Barrientos

Everyone was excellent! My dog Raleigh was seen immediately and treated kindly. Thank you so much for being so nice to our family!

Stacy Barber

Dr. Choyce’s expert and professional approach are exceptional. I would recommend All Pets Animal Hospital and its services and personnel to any caring pet owner.

Sara Chadwick

I like using All Pets Animal Hospital for routine veterinary care, and I like that, if we have any emergency, we already have a history with them on our pets.

Valerie Pyland

I love it here. The staff is very friendly! We brought our puppy here because she was very ill, and as soon as we brought her home, she was back to normal. Everyone is very professional. This is the place I will continue taking my pets to get their check-ups.

Cindy Hernandez

I absolutely love coming here. I feel comfortable asking any questions and feel confident that I will get the most honest and informed answers.

Kayla Boyd