Nov 29 2018

November is Senior Pet Month

image for November is Senior Pet Month

With advances in veterinary medical care and improved diets, our furry friends are living longer than ever before. Many of us are living with “seniors!”

Defining a pet as a “senior,” however, is not simple. There are many breed- and species-related differences. Generally speaking, cats are considered to be senior when they are over the age 11 and dogs when they turn 8. With the shorter lifespan of large breed dogs, they are considered seniors at 6 years of age.

Cats and dogs age much faster than humans. While it’s not as simple as 1 human year = 7 dog years, we can estimate the human age equivalent of our pets. For example, a 7-year-old dog is equivalent to a 44 to 56-year-old human, while a 15-year-old dog is equivalent to a 76 to 115-year-old human! A 7-year-old cat is equivalent to a 54-year-old human, while a 20-year-old cat is equivalent to a 97-year-old human!

If you take your pet, for example, your cat, to your veterinarian only every 2 or 3 years, it would be like you going to your doctor for a check-up every 8 to 10 years! As your pet ages, it becomes even more important to take him to your veterinarian for regular wellness checks. Hand in hand with a longer life span comes a host of age-related conditions.

Some conditions that aging cats and dogs can experience include:

  • osteoarthritis
  • reduced muscle tone (from less exercise with more sleeping)
  • obesity
  • lack of interest in eating (due to reduced sense of smell and taste)
  • dental disease
  • age-related changes in liver, kidney, and digestive tract functions
  • loss of hearing
  • vision impairment
  • cancer

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior, urination or defecation habits, sleeping habits, weight, exercise tolerance, or skin and coat condition. Your veterinarian will perform a senior wellness check which may include a complete physical exam, dental check, body condition score, pain assessment, bloodwork, urinalysis, and nutrition review. Some of these evaluations allow your veterinarian to detect disease before obvious signs are present, enabling earlier care and treatment.

Your veterinarian will make recommendations as needed for the following:

  • pain control for arthritis (which may include supplements, medications, or other therapies)
  • an exercise plan (to keep your pet mobile and reduce weight)
  • a nutrition plan (to meet changing nutritional needs and ensure appropriate portions)
  • dental care (to maintain optimal oral health)
  • adjustments in your home (to meet changes with mobility, vision, etc.)
  • mental health (to stimulate your pet and keep him mentally active)

Senior pets are a joy to have in our lives. They have been with us through good times and bad. Give them the special attention they need to help them age well and with grace.

LifeLearn News

Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.

We won!!

That makes 12 years in a row you've voted us "Best of Suffolk/Franklin/Isle of Wight"! Thank you for all your votes - we appreciate every single one of them. We will work hard to earn your vote again next year

Companion Therapy Laser

Harbour Veterinary Office is very concerned about pain management in pets. Because of this concern we have added the latest technology for the treatment of joint and soft tissue pain, the Companion Therapy Laser. This Laser introduces heat and light to the deepest tissues, which then reduces pain and swelling. This encourages the animal's own healing processes. The Laser is used routinely following every surgery, as well as for countless other applications. Virtually any painful condition can be made less painful with this therapy. Treatments last only minutes per site and require no anesthesia. Your pet will be very comfortable as this laser produces only slight warmth in the inflamed tissue. Laser Therapy for chronic conditions -ie.. arthritis - usually require 6 treatments to get your pet to a much more tolerable state. Booster treatments are then required every 4 to 12 weeks to maintain the reduced pain. If your pet is currently on a medication to reduce swelling and/or pain, this treatment may reduce or eliminate the need for oral medications. Please ask for more information from anyone on our staff, or go to the The Companion Therapy Laser website, in the Links section of our website.

Location Hours
Monday8:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday8:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday8:00am – 7:00pm
Friday8:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 12:00pm

Emergency Process
For after-hours emergency information, please call 935-9111 this is the number for the emergency clinic in Northern Suffolk called The Cove. Or please call 366 - 9000. This is the number for the emergency clinic located adjacent to Greenbrier Mall.