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Keeping "Super Seniors" Healthy

Did you know that your pet becomes a "senior" at seven years of age? And just like most people, a pet’s health care needs change as they age. Pet owners should be aware of geriatric health screenings that can identify potential problems and keep their senior pet in "super" health. The most common problems with senior pets are weight management, gum disease, kidney function, arthritis, and heart disease. Early examinations and blood screenings can detect any potential area of risk and your veterinarian can help prevent or control many of these diseases. You need to be aware of any changes in habit and recognize any symptoms of pain in your senior pets. Pets seven and older should be seen at least once a year and should have baseline blood and urine screenings done to detect any potential problems or to be used as a reference for later testing. Many owners do not know that senior pets need to have a senior diet to help prevent kidney disease, that gum disease can lead to heart problems, or that many new drugs are available to help with painful joints and back problems.

So what should you do if your pet has reached or is getting close to age seven? Start with an examination or geriatric workup by your veterinarian and discuss any concerns you might have. Your vet will have materials to educate and update you on senior pet care. And remember that early intervention is the key to keeping our Super Seniors healthy.

Dr. Carolyn Morgan MORGAN ANIMAL HOSPITAL 409 South Kings Avenue Brandon, Florida 33511 (813) 681-8582.


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