As pets age, medical and behavioral conditions become more common. Early diagnosis and treatment can slow these conditions and help our senior pets live the longest, happiest, healthiest life possible without pain or discomfort.
At Animal Hospital at Brier Creek, we understand senior pets need specialized care and attention. Senior pets deserve good quality of life, which takes investment and time. We can help.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis
Arthritis is almost always present in senior dogs and cats. Unfortunately, arthritic symptoms are often minimal or even non-existent. Pets are conditioned to hide signs of pain; only when they are truly suffering do they let their humans see it.
Your vet can determine if your pet has pain or discomfort during a full physical examination. Dr. Goetz or Dr. George may find that gently stretching a joint in a particular way causes your senior pet to tense up and resist manipulation. A senior dog or cat who resists bending—in the shoulder, elbow, back, hip, knee, or ankle—is certainly hurting in that joint.
We prescribe supplements to support joint health and long-term comfort. Prescription pain medications can further alleviate suffering, prevent discomfort, and increase physical activity, which in turn supports muscle mass, prevents weight gain, and improves joint and muscle function and mobility.
Diagnosis and Treatment of ‘Old-Age’ Diseases
Senior pets often develop kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, thyroid disease, and Cushing’s disease, among others.
We diagnose and monitor these diseases with routine physical exams and senior lab work. We strongly recommend you make an appointment for your senior pet to come see us at least every 6 months. We can treat senior pets with diet and medications.
At Animal Hospital at Brier Creek, Dr. Goetz and Dr. George stay informed on the best, most up-to-date treatments for senior pets. We customize care to your individual pet to improve both quantity and quality of life.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Urinary Issues
It can be confusing and frustrating when your pet has urinary issues, at any age, seemingly out of the blue. Your dog never had accidents in the house. Your cat never went outside the litter box. This is not “bad” behavior. Aging could have a lot to do with it.
Senior pets suffer urinary incontinence due to a number of underlying conditions, including urinary tract infections and/or any of the “old-age” diseases listed above. It is crucial to get to the bottom of incontinence issues. Please tell us about any and all changes you notice in your pet, even the smallest ones.
Signs associated with urinary incontinence may include drinking excessively, free flowing or halting urine, blood in the urine, pain or discomfort in general, dribbling, leakage, and urinating in large amounts.
We diagnose the underlying cause of urinary issues with a full physical exam and senior lab work, and treat accordingly with diet and medication.
My Pet Is Just ‘Getting Old’
As pets age, they change. Senior pets may eat less and be less active. We understand change is part of the natural aging process.
Not all change is simply “getting old.”
Senior pets may seem confused or disoriented. They may shy away from you, seem uneasy, or even growl, when they never did those things before. This is not just getting old. This is a sign they could use your help.
Cognitive dysfunction is a common condition in senior pets that can cause behavioral changes. Symptoms may include crying and restlessness, especially at night; loss of house- or litter box-training (urinary or fecal incontinence); confusion or disorientation; an inability to recognize people and objects such as doors; and/or an inability to find their food and water bowls.
It is crucial to bring any change in your pet to our attention. There is still a lot we can do to help your senior pet have the best quality of life.
We can diagnosis and treat any underlying disease that may be contributing to your pet’s decreased cognitive function. Cognitive dysfunction can also be managed with supplements, medication, and behavior therapy.
We are always here to discuss how to make your senior pet more comfortable. Puppy pads, heating blankets, carpet and bedding, steps up to the sofa, administering fluids at home: We can help you determine what to do and offer recommendations.
This Is Overwhelming!
It can be. We get it. We have senior pets, too.
Many senior pets have a combination of issues. We are here to help! We help many AHBC pet parents manage their senior pet’s care. Request an appointment online or call us at (919) 544-2226.
We are committed to keeping your senior pet happy, healthy, and pain-free for as long as possible. We are a family. The AHBC team works with pet parents to take the best care of our senior dogs and cats.