As with older people, geriatric pets can develop problems, including:
Cataracts or other eye problems
Weight problems (obesity or underweight)
Senior pets are living longer due to advances in healthcare.
Although we usually refer to pets 8 years of age or older as “senior,” this is just a general guideline. For example, cats (who often live to be 15-18 years of age) may not reach “senior” status until 10-12 years of age. Giant breed dogs, on the other hand, may be classified as “senior” by age 5 or 6.
Depending on your pet’s health, physical exams are recommended every 6-12 months during the senior years. Pets with chronic health problems may require visits even more often. The doctor may recommend any of the following as a means of screening for geriatric diseases:
Geriatric blood profile
Thyroid blood test
Be sure to bring your senior pet in at least once yearly!