How to Distinguish Aging from Illness

How to Distinguish Aging from Illness

Some of the changes that our older pets go through have nothing to do with disease, but are simply due to old age.  Hopefully some of the information below can be helpful information, but if you have any further questions please call Village Veterinary Hospital at 505-869-2627

As our pets get older it is important to realize that, just like us, their needs will change.  They may require a change in their exercise program, they will become a little more sensitive to weather changes, and their diet may change, as well as their sleeping habits.  Here are a few signs to look for:

Slower Metabolism:  Our older pets will burn fewer calories.  Sound familiar?  This is usually caused by becoming less physically active.  The less active, the more muscle cells go unused, increasing their fat-to-muscle ratio.  This can result in obesity and arthritis.  Which are more treatable than ever.  Village Veterinary Hospital offers a Science Diet program for the weight and there are prescriptions that can help with the arthritis.

Of course there is the “normal” graying of the hair.  Sound familiar?  It just proves them to be wiser than ever.

Older dog with gray hair

Difficulty Adapting to Weather Changes:  Our older pets become less tolerant to the cold and hot weather.  Sound familiar?  Give them a little help when needed.  Provide then with a warmer blanket during our winter months and a little more shade and plenty of water during the summer months. 

Decreased Immunity:  Most pet owners think that since their pet is up there in years, that it becomes less of a priority to have them vaccinated.  Not true.  Their immune system slows down, making our
older pets more susceptible to disease and infection.  Annual exams become very important as well.

Bone Loss:  Our older pets will also begin to have a decrease in bone density.  Our doctors can prescribe your pet with supplements that will be best for your pet. 

Just like us, our older pets go through life changes that don’t always have to do with disease.  And, just like us, it is important to our older pets to have annual visits to their doctor to make sure that is all the changes are.  If you have questions or concerns regarding your older pet, please call our office at 505-869-2627 and we will be glad to discuss those issues with you.