Senior Pet Care

Pet owners are more proactive in their pet’s health than ever before. That means our pets are living longer, which is something to celebrate! Just like with people, aging pets require specific care tailored to their unique life stage. Our veterinarians love their senior patients and are always eager to make their lives as healthy and comfortable as when they were young.

a person petting a dog

Senior Pet Care IN BROOKLYN, NY

We encourage you to talk with us about your senior pet and any health concerns while we perform a physical exam to detect signs of disease before they become a problem for your pet. Some signs like drinking more water or urinating larger amounts could indicate a bigger issue. Stiffness in dogs and cats is seen when they are already in pain – we want to make them more comfortable earlier! Whether they are a dog or cat, we know all animals age in a unique way. Our main goal is to work with your family to ensure your pet’s comfortable and happy life for many years.

What is considered a senior pet?
This can vary based on species, breed, and size. In general, dogs and cats are often considered seniors around the age of 7 to 10 years, but larger breeds may age more quickly, reaching senior status earlier than smaller breeds.
What is Canine Osteoarthritis?

Canine osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) or simply arthritis, is a common condition in dogs involving progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage in a joint. Articular cartilage is the smooth, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, allowing them to move smoothly against each other.

Osteoarthritis can develop as a result of various factors, including aging, genetics, joint instability, trauma, or underlying joint conditions. As the cartilage breaks down, the bones can rub against each other, causing pain, inflammation, and reduced joint function. Over time, the surrounding tissues may also be affected, leading to further discomfort.

Common signs of canine osteoarthritis include:

  1. Limping or favoring one leg: Dogs with osteoarthritis often show signs of lameness or may avoid using a particular limb.
  2. Stiffness: Dogs may exhibit stiffness, especially after resting or during cold weather.
  3. Difficulty in getting up or lying down: Arthritic dogs may struggle with basic movements, such as standing up or lying down.
  4. Reduced activity level: Dogs may become less active and may be less willing to engage in physical activities they once enjoyed.
  5. Swelling or enlargement of the joints: In some cases, the affected joints may appear swollen or larger than normal.
  6. Pain or discomfort: Dogs may show signs of pain, such as vocalizing, panting, or licking at the affected joints.

Management of canine osteoarthritis often involves a combination of medical and lifestyle interventions. This may include:

  1. Pain medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain relievers may be prescribed by a veterinarian to manage pain and inflammation.
  2. Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to reducing stress on the joints.
  3. Physical therapy: Certain exercises and physical therapies can help improve joint mobility and reduce stiffness.
  4. Joint supplements: Some dogs may benefit from supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which can support joint health.
  5. Anti-inflammatory diets: Specialized diets with anti-inflammatory properties may be recommended.

It’s important for owners to work closely with their veterinarian to develop a comprehensive management plan tailored to the individual needs of their arthritic dog. Early detection and intervention can help improve the quality of life for dogs with osteoarthritis.

What is Feline Osteoarthritis?

Feline osteoarthritis, also known as cat arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease (DJD) that affects cats. Osteoarthritis is a common condition in older cats, but it can also affect younger cats, especially if they have joint abnormalities or a history of joint injuries.

Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the cartilage in the joints wears down over time, leading to pain, inflammation, and reduced joint mobility. Cartilage is a smooth, protective tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, allowing them to move smoothly against each other. When this cartilage breaks down, it can result in friction between the bones, causing discomfort for the cat.

Common signs of feline osteoarthritis include:

  1. Limping or favoring one leg: Cats with arthritis may exhibit lameness or stiffness, particularly when they first get up or after a period of rest.
  2. Reduced activity: Cats with arthritis may become less active and spend more time resting. They may be less likely to engage in activities they once enjoyed.
  3. Difficulty jumping or climbing: Arthritic cats may find it challenging to jump onto elevated surfaces or navigate stairs.
  4. Changes in grooming habits: Cats may groom less, especially in areas that are painful or difficult to reach due to arthritis.
  5. Behavioral changes: Cats in pain may exhibit changes in behavior, such as increased irritability, aggression, or avoidance of human or animal companionship.

If you suspect your cat has osteoarthritis, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. The vet may perform a physical examination, review the cat’s medical history, and possibly conduct X-rays to assess the extent of joint damage. Treatment options may include pain management, anti-inflammatory medications, joint supplements, and lifestyle modifications to make the cat more comfortable.

It’s important to note that arthritis in cats is a chronic condition, and managing it involves ongoing care and monitoring of the cat’s well-being. Early detection and intervention can help improve the quality of life for cats with osteoarthritis.

The management of feline osteoarthritis involves a combination of medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, and supportive care to improve the cat’s comfort and mobility. Here are some common approaches:

  • Veterinary Consultation: Schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and monitoring of the cat’s condition.
  • Pain Management: Pain relief is a crucial aspect of managing feline osteoarthritis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain relievers may be prescribed by a veterinarian to manage pain and inflammation. Contact us today to discuss pain management options.
  • Joint Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine/chondroitin supplements may be recommended to support joint health and reduce inflammation. These supplements are often available over the counter or prescribed by a veterinarian.
  • Weight Management: Maintaining an ideal body weight is essential for cats with osteoarthritis. Excess weight puts additional stress on joints, worsening the condition. A controlled and balanced diet, along with portion control, can help manage the cat’s weight.
  • Comfortable Environment: Create a comfortable living environment for the cat. Provide soft bedding and ensure easy access to essential areas like the litter box and food bowls. Consider ramps or steps to help the cat access elevated surfaces more easily.
  • Adaptations for Senior Cats: As cats age, their needs may change. Provide accommodations such as a litter box with lower sides for easier access, warm bedding, and easily accessible food and water bowls.
  • Regular Monitoring: Keep a close eye on your cat’s condition and report any changes to the veterinarian promptly. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to assess the progression of osteoarthritis and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

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