If you care for your pet, and we know you do, then it is important to also allow a veterinarian to care for them. Your vet is the one who can provide vaccines, check your pet for ongoing conditions like arthritis and parasitic infections, and recommend medications to treat fleas and ticks. Most vet are very familiar with treated dogs and cats, and many will also treat rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and other household pets. If you'd like to learn more about veterinary care, then plan on spending some time on this website. It's a good resource for any curious pet owner.
Most animals, and even humans, become increasingly prone to a number of health conditions as they age. Cats are no exception. Because of this change, older cats need more veterinary care than younger cats—both in order to detect disease and in order to treat it. Here are some of the major veterinary services that are often necessary for older cats.
Cats become increasingly prone to both tooth decay and gum disease as they age. Vets usually like to deal with dental issues in older cats by doing an annual dental service. During this appointment, the cat is put under anesthesia so that the vet can take a thorough look at their teeth and gums. The vet will take X-rays, clean the teeth, and remove any teeth that appear to have deteriorated to the point of causing pain. Having this done annually will help ensure your older cat never goes too long with a painful tooth. It can also keep you better aware of their current dental condition so that you know when to make changes like feeding them more wet food and less dry food.
Arthritis is quite common in older cats. A vet can usually diagnose a cat with arthritis just by observing them and by flexing the joints. If your cat does have arthritis, your vet may prescribe a supplement like glucosamine or chondroitin. They may also prescribe an NSAID medication to reduce inflammation and pain.
Kidney Function Testing
It is very common for older cats to develop kidney disease, and the symptoms do not usually become obvious to the owner until it is quite severe. For this reason, vets often recommend testing older cats for kidney disease once a year or so. This can be done with a simple blood test that measures the levels of certain proteins in the blood. If the vet has reason to suspect your cat is developing kidney disease, a modified, lower protein diet can help keep the condition from getting worse.
Diabetes is another condition that is common in older cats. It can cause sudden weight loss, but by that stage, it has usually gone on for a while. Vets can test a cat's fasting blood glucose levels to get a pretty good idea of whether or not they have diabetes. If they do, the condition may be able to be controlled with diet, or your cat may need insulin shots.
Older cats generally need more vet care than younger ones, but with the right care, they can continue living healthy and happy lives. Contact an animal health service for more information.Share