As you may expect, when pets age, they need special care and attention. At Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital, we provide important geriatric care for dogs, cats, and other pets throughout Northern New Jersey, including Ridgewood, Mahwah, Paramus, Midland Park, Glen Rock, and other areas. If your pet is getting on in years, we can help him or her enjoy a better quality of life through geriatric care procedures designed specifically to address the needs of older pets. Our veterinarians have the compassion, skills, experience, and desire necessary to provide for all your of your older pet's needs.
Health Challenges Associated with Aged Pets
Although this is by no means a complete list of health challenges faced by older pets, the following conditions and experiences are among the most commonly occurring when a pet gets older.
One of the first things people notice about their aging pets is a decrease in physical and mental activity. Simply put, older pets become more sedate. It may be that the pet simply cannot see or hear those things that they used to find interesting, or it may be that moving causes too much pain because of joint pain from arthritis or other issues. Like people, when a pet is in pain, they avoid making movements that cause the pain to occur. Arthritis is a common, if not the most common, cause of pain in older pets. As part of our the geriatric care we provide for cats, dogs, and other pets at our Ridgewood and Midland Park, New Jersey veterinary hospitals, X-rays are provided to properly diagnose and treat arthritis. In some cases, arthritis can be properly treated through chiropractic care, acupuncture or therapeutic laser treatment. You should never assume that your pet is “just slowing down because of old age." Slowing down may be a subtle sign that your pet is experiencing pain that is very significant but also very treatable.
Dogs experience heart problems more frequently than cats. Roughly 30 percent of dogs experience significant heart problems. Cats may also experience blood clots and other circulatory issues, although less frequently. As a pet ages, certain forms of heart disease can occur, including rhythmic disturbances, cardiomegaly (an enlarged heart), heart murmurs brought on by leaky valve defects, and other issues. If your pet is panting rapidly and having difficulty breathing, coughing frequently, and has difficulty exercising or tires more easily than when younger, heart disease may be the cause. For these pets, special medications and dietary restrictions can often improve the quality of their lives. Like other health issues experienced by pets, preventative care can go a long way to prevent serious complications and improve overall health.
Cataracts and glaucoma are a common challenge faced by older pets. Cataracts are visible in the center of the eye, which tend to look opaque as cataracts begin to appear. Cataracts and glaucoma can result in complete blindness in some cases, if not properly treated. At our veterinary hospital, we diagnose and offer treatment options for cataracts as part of our geriatric care for dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets.
Digestive and Dental Problems
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream, causing heart disease and other health difficulties. Within the mouth this infection may cause sufficient pain to prevent your pet from eating comfortably. Through proper dental cleaning, occasional tooth extraction and other forms of veterinary dental care, bacteria can be minimized to help provide pets with a decreased risk of cardiovascular, kidney or liver disease.
Kidney disease is a common occurrence as pets age. At Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital, our staff uses advanced diagnostic tests to determine if pets are suffering from kidney disease. If diagnosed with kidney disease, pets can be placed on treatment plans and a special diet outlined by our veterinary professionals.
Learn More about Geriatric Care for Cats, Dogs, Birds and Exotic Pets at Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital
We are dedicated to extending and enhancing quality of life through preventative medicine and geriatric care for dogs, cats, and other pets. Serving those from Ridgewood, Mahwah, Paramus, Midland Park, Glen Rock, and other areas throughout Northern New Jersey, our experienced staff is here to provide your beloved pet with the care they deserve. To learn more about geriatric care for older pets at Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital, contact us today.