Senior Pet Care in Des Moines
As your pet ages, it will need more regular vet care. The guidelines for pets change with age because older pets have a higher likelihood of developing age-related diseases. If you live in the Des Moines area, trust our staff at Fleur Pet Hospital to give your older cat or dog the care it deserves to stay healthy even in its golden years. We are here to help you and your furry friends!
At What Age Does a Veterinarian Consider a Pet to Be a Senior?
Though you may have heard of the old adage that one dog year is equal to seven human years, this equation does not hold true. The type of pet you have in addition to it size are considerations your veterinarian uses to determine when your animal reaches the senior stage.
Typically, small dog breeds and cats reach seniority after 10 years. However, large dog breeds are seniors between five and six years of age because their larger forms experience more stress and age faster. At 10, cats and small dogs have the same development as a human in his or her mid-50 to mid-60s, but larger dogs are closer to a septuagenarian human.
Why Do Senior Pets Need More Vet Care?
As you've noted, the ages of pets do not equal those of humans. As your senior pet gets older, problems can appear quicker and develop faster than in younger pets. To prevent these problems from becoming life-threatening, your veterinarian will likely need to see your senior pet twice a year instead of annually.
What Types of Vet Care Do Senior Pets Need?
Care for senior pets depends on the type, size, and age of the animal. Screenings that vets do for senior pets that younger animals usually don't require to include the following:
- Thyroid tests: Just like in people, age can impact the functioning of the thyroid, which controls metabolism. Under or over-functioning thyroids can cause weight gain or loss in your pet in addition to other systemic problems. A blood test can identify these issues so your vet can treat them.
- Pancreas: The pancreas controls the release of insulin into your pet's bloodstream. If this organ does not work well, your pet could develop diabetes. By identifying this issue or other pancreas problems, your vet can offer your pet treatment to prolong its life.
- Heartworm: Just because your pet does not go outside as often as it did when it was younger does not mean that it cannot get heartworm. Even indoor pets can contract this parasite. Talk to the vet about preventative medications and treatments, if needed.
- Heart enzyme tests: These tests can help the vet to know if your cat or dog has a heart condition that requires care.
Contact Us for Premium Vet Care for Your Senior Pet
Even though your cat or dog is getting older, it still can have several happy, healthy years left. With regular care from us at Fleur Pet Hospital in Des Moines, you and your pet can enjoy the time you have together. Contact us to make an appointment by phoning our office at or using the contact form on our website. We are looking forward to caring for your senior pet.