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Westside Animal Hospital

Senior Care

Don't let problems tarnish your pet's golden years. Proper healthcare is critical for the senior pet. Arthritis, heart disease, and cancer are just a few of the problems geriatric pets face — but these problems are treatable, especially when found early.


As with older people, geriatric pets can develop problems, including:

  • Kidney disease

  • Arthritis

  • Dental disease

  • Endocrine disease

  • Cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Cataracts or other eye problems

  • Weight problems (obesity or underweight)

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

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

  • Radiography (X-ray)

  • Ultrasound

Senior pets are living longer due to advances in healthcare. Be sure to bring your senior pet in at least once yearly!