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Senior Care

Diet, exercise and medical advances are not only benefiting humans, but are working to add years to your pets' lives as well. Large breed dogs tend to age at an earlier age than small breeds. The following chart can be used to approximate your dog's age. Cats often live in excess of 17 years.

Adult size in pounds

Age (yrs) 0-20 21-50 51-90 >90
5 36 38 40 42
6 40 42 45 49
7 44 47 50 56
8 48 51 55 64
9 52 56 61 71
10 56 60 66 78
11 60 65 72 86
12 64 69 77 93
13 68 74 82 101
14 72 78 88 108
15 76 83 93 115
16 80 97 99 123
17 84 92 104  
18 88 96 109  
19 92 101 115  
20 96 105 120  

 
                Adult                 Senior                 Geriatric

Relative age of your pet in "human years"

Geriatric pets should have biannual exams and possibly diagnostic tests if you notice any of these signs:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Increased water consumption or urination
  • Changes in eating habits or bad breath
  • Coughing or exercise intolerance
  • Stiffness when getting up
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Behavioral changes
  • Lumps or bumps

Diagnostic tests include a baseline blood profile, urinalysis, thyroid testing, glaucoma testing, electrocardiograms, and possibly radiographs or ultrasound. Assessing dental needs is very important as both periodontal disease and bone infections of the mouth can cause other diseases in other parts of the body. These tests can identify geriatric problems in their earliest stages.

As pets get older, nutritional and metabolic requirements change. You may need to switch your pet's food to a senior diet after the age of 7. Proper nutrition can help manage your older dog's joint, teeth, skin and coat health, while promoting weight control. We carry several diets that actually decrease tartar.

A major breakthrough in the treatment of arthritis is the development of new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs specifically for use in dogs. These drugs can really make a difference in the quality of life of any dog with arthritis pain.

Senility (cognitive dysfunction) can develop as your pet ages. This condition can cause various behavioral changes, including altered sleep cycles, emotional withdrawal, loss of appetite, tremors, inappropriate urination or defecation, or compulsive behavior such as pacing or incessantly barking for no apparent reason. There are some drugs and supplements available to help with senility.

We want to make your pet as healthy and comfortable for as long as possible.

 

 

©2006 All Rights Reserved Foothills Animal Hospital
foothillsanimalhospital2@gmail.com
phone: (928) 342-0448
fax: (928) 342-0868