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Pet’s Golden Years

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Pet’s Golden Years


Senior pets are leading a better life due to owners’ awareness and advanced medical care. Senior pets’ life span is longer now as compared to few years ago.

So, at what age is your pet considered senior? Cats and small to medium-sized dogs reach middle age at around 7 years, while large and giant-breed dogs are considered middle-aged from the age of 5 years.

Behavior Changes during Aging

We notice a lot of behavior changes in our aging pets and we need to understand that there must be some underlying health issues causing those behaviors.

Common behavior changes can be one of the following:

  • unusually aggressive behavior
  • anxiety or nervousness
  • confused or disoriented behavior
  • house soiling (“accidents”)
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • less interest in playing
  • easily disturbed by loud sounds
  • increased barking/meowing
  • not responding to voice commands

Health Checks for Senior Pets

Normal health checks for seniors are recommended to be done once or twice a year. This is usually during their routine vaccinations or whenever you notice something odd in their behavior. Complete blood screening and urinalysis can be also done, if your veterinarian notices another problem during physical examination. These tests can help in diagnosis of a progressing disease which might have not been noticed by the owner.

Common Health Problems of Aging Pets

  • Obesity which can also lead to multiple issues like cardiac issues, arthritis, diabetes, breathing difficulty, high blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Gastrointestinal sensitivity
  • Reproductive problems in unneutered pets like pyometra, ovarian cancer, mammary tumors, prostate enlargement leading to perineal hernias & aggression.
  • Sudden weight loss which can be due to a kidney disease, hyperthyroidism in cats, or diabetes
  • Deafness
  • Cataracts

Early diagnosis and proper treatment can lead to better prognosis and make your beloved pets to stay with you for few more years.

CASE STUDY: Perineal Hernia in an Old Intact Male Dog

Buddy, a 13-year-old intact male dog came at The City Vet Clinic in June 2021. The owner came with complain of constipation and straining. During consult, a soft swelling on right perineal region was observed and a radiograph was taken to diagnose herniated rectum in perinea. The dog was in a lot of discomfort and trying to strain to release the stool. Surgical repair was recommended on an emergency basis. Buddy was successfully neutered at the same time of hernia repair procedure.

This condition happens due to enlarged prostrate in unneutered old dogs which displaces the rectum in perineal region and causes fecal constipation. His life was saved by immediate surgery and proper post-operative care by the owners. He is now leading a healthy life with only minor health issues and he looks much happier. Buddy was always a skinny dog but this was the first time in his life that he managed to put on weight.

If you have any questions about your senior friends, you can reach out to us anytime and we will be glad to assist you.


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