White dog next to owner looking at camera

Senior Care for Pets

At Pacific Rim Veterinary Hospital, our team is honoured to watch your pet grow and thrive from their early years as puppies and kittens, and as they reach senior age. As your loyal companion enters their golden years, they require more attention and specialized care. You may already notice that they are not as energetic as they used to be, and that they now enjoy a slower pace. Older pets are also more susceptible to certain diseases such as arthritis and dental problems. Be that as it may, you can rest assured that our team will be here for you and guide you through this chapter of your pet’s life.

When is a pet considered “old” or “senior”?

Each pet is different but generally speaking, dogs and cats are seen as senior or geriatric once they are 7-years-old and above. Cats who are 7-years-old, for instance, are about 54-years-old in human years. On the other hand, dogs who are 7-years-old are approximately 47-years-old in human years. That being said, dogs who are larger in size actually age at a faster pace than smaller or more medium-sized dogs.

What kinds of health problems can older or senior pets develop?

Like humans and other animals, senior cats and dogs are more prone to certain conditions as they grow older. Below are some of the most common health issues that we see in our geriatric patients.

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Senility
  • Heart, kidney and liver disease
  • How should I care for my senior dog/cat/pet?

    As they progress more and more into their older years, we understand that it can be difficult for you to see changes in your pet’s health and behaviour. As time goes by, more frequent exams may be needed to monitor their condition. During these visits, our team can diagnose and get ahead of any health conditions. Medications, therapy, diet changes and even modifications in your home environment and daily routine can be recommended to ensure that your pet maintains a high quality of life.

    What are signs that my older or senior pet is sick?

    As veterinary professionals, we understand the challenge of caring for patients who cannot verbalize what they feel. Whether you have been with your pet through their whole life, or you have just welcomed a senior pet into your home, interpreting their cues is a difficult task for even the most perceptive pet owners. Below, we have listed some of the symptoms which indicate that your older pet may be in need of veterinary care. Please get in touch with us if you notice your pet displaying any of these signs.

  • Vomiting
  • Dull hair/fur
  • Difficulty breathing or eating
  • Bleeding, visible wounds/masses/bumps
  • Anxiety, aggression, irritability
  • Increased urination and house soiling
  • Decreased reaction to commands
  • Changes in sleeping patterns