5280 Veterinary Care

Senior Pet & Arthritis Care in Denver, CO

As our cherished pets age, their care needs shift. Our committed veterinary team is here to help adapt to the evolving requirements of the senior pets of North Denver, Downtown, Whittier, River North, Five Points, and surrounding areas. Your pet's well-being is our utmost priority every step of the way! If you're seeking specialized care for your senior pet, look no further than our clinic for compassionate and experienced senior pet vet services near you.

Senior Pet Care in Denver - Why it Matters

5280 Veterinary Care - Senior Pet Care Providing adequate care for our senior pets is vital for preserving their health and well-being as they age. As pets grow older, they become more susceptible to health issues, requiring special attention to maintain their quality of life. Regular check-ups and screenings play a crucial role in detecting and preventing potential health concerns, allowing for early intervention and treatment. Senior pet care not only prolongs their lifespan but also improves their overall quality of life.

When is My Dog or Cat Considered a Senior?

The age at which a pet is considered a senior can vary depending on factors such as breed and size. Typically, cats and small dogs are classified as seniors around 7 years old, while larger dogs reach senior status at approximately 5-6 years old. Consulting with our Denver veterinarians is crucial to determine the appropriate timing for initiating senior pet care tailored to your specific pet.

Understanding breed-specific life expectancy and genetic predispositions can further assist pet owners in preparing for their pet's senior years. Certain breeds may be prone to specific age-related conditions, necessitating closer monitoring as they age. Recognizing the transition into senior status empowers pet owners to adapt their home environment, routine, and healthcare to better accommodate the needs of their aging companions.

Signs of Aging in Pets

  • Lessened activity and energy levels
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Difficulty with mobility, such as walking or climbing stairs
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Altered in behavior and mood
  • Changes in vision and hearing
  • Dental problems
  • Changes in the skin and coat

Furthermore, cognitive changes such as disorientation, changes in interactions with family members, or changes in bathroom habits may indicate age-related cognitive dysfunction, similar to dementia in humans. It's important to distinguish these natural aging processes from signs of more severe illnesses that may require immediate medical attention. If you notice any of these indicators in your pet, scheduling a visit with our Denver vets for a senior pet care screening is essential.

Senior Pet Care Screenings in Denver

Senior pet care screenings usually include various tests and exams to check your pet's health thoroughly.

  1. Comprehensive Physical Examination: This involves checking your pet from head to tail for any abnormalities like lumps, bumps, or signs of discomfort.
  2. Bloodwork: Blood tests give us insight into organ function and can detect conditions like anemia, infection, diabetes, and kidney or liver disease. Common tests include the Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Blood Chemistry Panel.
  3. Urinalysis: This test checks your pet's urine for signs of urinary tract infections, diabetes, dehydration, and kidney problems by analyzing its concentration, presence of blood or proteins, and may include a bacterial culture.
  4. Thyroid Function Tests: These tests help detect thyroid issues such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, especially in senior cats, by measuring thyroid hormone levels in the blood.
  5. Radiographs (x-rays): This imaging technique provides detailed views of bones, organs, and internal structures, helping detect conditions like arthritis, tumors, and abnormalities in the heart and lungs.
  6. Eye Examinations: Senior pets are prone to eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma, so comprehensive eye exams are essential for maintaining vision and comfort.
  7. Dental Evaluations: Dental health is vital for senior pets. Evaluations can identify gum disease, tooth loss, and oral tumors, ensuring optimal oral health.

How Does Arthritis Affect Senior Dogs and Cats?

Arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, is a condition where one or more joints become inflamed and deteriorate progressively. It's a common issue among senior dogs and cats, often caused by the natural wear and tear on their joints as they age.

What Causes Arthritis in Senior Dogs and Cats?

Arthritis in senior pets is mainly caused by the natural aging process, which leads to the breakdown of cartilage in their joints. Cartilage acts as a cushion to prevent bones from rubbing against each other. As pets age, this cartilage can deteriorate, resulting in painful bone-on-bone contact.

Moreover, genetics, obesity, injuries, and joint abnormalities can also contribute to the development of arthritis. Certain breeds may be more prone to arthritis due to their size and genetic predispositions.

Impact of Arthritis on Senior Pets

Arthritis greatly affects a pet's mobility and comfort. It often causes chronic pain, reduced mobility, and potential changes in behavior as pets try to cope with discomfort. Without effective management, arthritis can lead to decreased activity levels, weight gain due to less exercise, and an overall decrease in quality of life.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Senior Dogs and Cats

Identifying arthritis in senior pets can be tough since they often bear discomfort quietly. Still, there are several signs pet owners can watch for:

  • Limping or lameness: Pets may favor one leg or seem stiff, particularly after resting.
  • Difficulty moving: Pets might struggle with activities like climbing stairs, jumping onto furniture, or getting in/out of the car.
  • Behavioral changes: Keep an eye out for increased irritability, reduced interest in play, or reluctance to be touched in specific areas.
  • Lethargy: A noticeable drop in energy levels could signal pain.
  • Muscle atrophy: A lack of muscle use around affected joints may lead to muscle wasting.

Less obvious signs:

  • Altered gait: Subtle changes in walking or running could indicate joint discomfort.
  • Increased sleeping: Pets may sleep more to ease movement-related pain.
  • Licking, chewing, or biting: Focusing on sore spots may cause skin irritation or hair loss.

If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with our Denver veterinary team. We can diagnose arthritis through physical exams, reviewing medical history, and imaging.

Managing Arthritis in Senior Pets

Although arthritis can't be cured, there are ways to ease symptoms and slow its progression:

  1. Consult our veterinary team for guidance.
  2. Keep your pet at a healthy weight.
  3. Provide comfortable bedding.
  4. Adapt your home to suit your senior pet's needs.
  5. Consider alternative therapies like laser therapy and acupuncture.
  6. Talk to our Denver veterinarians about osteoarthritis injections like Solensia for Cats and Librela for Dogs, potent osteoarthritis pain relievers.

Senior Pet Care Tips

Senior pets need special care to address their changing needs compared to younger ones. Here are important considerations for pet owners:

  1. Regular Veterinary Check-Ups: Schedule routine check-ups to catch early signs of age-related conditions like arthritis or diabetes.

  2. Preventative Care: Keep up with vaccinations, parasite control, and weight management to prevent further health issues.

  3. Adjusted Diet: Provide a nutrient-rich diet with adjusted calories for a slower metabolism.

  4. Supplements: Consider supplements like glucosamine for joint health and omega-3 fatty acids for inflammation reduction.

  5. Comfortable Environment: Create a space that suits their decreased mobility and need for comfort.

  6. Accessibility: Ensure easy access to favorite spots with ramps or steps for pets with arthritis.

  7. Gentle Exercise: Tailor exercise to their abilities with gentle walks to maintain joint health.

  8. Mental Stimulation: Keep their minds active with games, toys, or training sessions.

  9. Grooming and Dental Care: Regular grooming and dental care are crucial for preventing skin and dental issues.

  10. Love and Patience: Be patient and loving as they may move slower and require adjustment to health changes.

Find a Senior Pet Vet in Denver, CO

Finding a senior pet veterinarian near North Denver, Downtown, Whittier, River North, Five Points, and surrounding areas is easy with our online direct booking feature. Both new and existing clients seeking care for their senior pet may schedule an appointment at our Denver vet clinic.

Join the 5280 Veterinary Care Family Today!

Located on the corner of Gilpin St and E 31st Ave. Directly next to The Great Gilpin Escape Into Elegance and steps from George Morrison St. Park.

Phone: 720-789-7000

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