A senior pet is susceptible to a host of health problems just due to the simple fact of aging. Keeping an eye on your pet’s weight can give you clues as to what might be going on inside your pet. Keeping your senior pet at a healthy weight also has its benefits your pet’s weight in many ways.
Weight gain or weight loss in a senior pet can both be signs of a problem. A senior pet that is losing weight will require a consultation with your Veterinarian. Possible causes include: organ failure, such as kidney disease, poor dental health (gingivitis or redness of gums), hormonal imbalances such as diabetes, electrolyte changes such as Addison’s, and cancer. Weight gain in a pet is also concerning. Overweight pets are at a higher risk for diabetes, heart problems, and cancer. If there is already preexisting musculoskeletal problems excess weight will only speed up and worsen the signs. Therefore weight loss and weight gain are important parameters to notice in your pet.
Annual or biannual examinations maybe necessary to prevent health issues and increase your best friend’s life span. Your Veterinarian will want to have a good solid history for your pet, including appetite and water intake. Also a good general physical including weight check, teeth and gums, cardiovascular system, palpation for abnormalities including lumps or masses. Finally, utilization of testing may be necessary. Tests such as; blood work, urinalysis, radiography, and ultrasounds check for any preexisting problems or developing issues in your pet are invaluable and necessary baseline values to properly asses any hidden or obvious problems. All of these phases including: physical, history, and testing are necessary together to determine your pet’s health.
Additionally, a high quality balanced diet is an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight for your pet. Seniors require a food specially formulated to meet their metabolic needs and/or problems such as heart or kidney disease. Your Veterinarian and his staff will be able to provide you with information on choosing a quality food and the correct amount to feed your pet.
Call Animal Central for more information on feeding your senior pet!
Additional information can be found at: http://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/PetCareArticle.aspx?art_key=1973ee87-a0d7-4f77-a930-1824ffcf8eda
Dr. Stroberg & Staff