Our Four-Legged Seniors

By Dr. Scott L. Nieves

While sitting down on the floor to greet one of my favorite patients, “Ryleigh,” a gray-faced senior Golden retriever, I asked, “How’s my ole buddy?”

He looked at me, and in my head I heard an old saying from an older gentleman I once knew, “Still kickin… just not as high.”

I chuckled and shared a story with “Ryleigh” and his owner about my old friend.

These types of stories are common among pet owners.  They honor the bonds that are developed between owners and older pets.

As our pets age, we must pay attention to changes that occur in the transition from adult to senior pet.

Although some age-related changes are normal (decrease in activity or energy), changes may indicate diseases or conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, hypo/hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, dental disease and cancer.

Changes or symptoms in our pets that can indicate these diseases or conditions are:

  • Increased stiffness/soreness or limping
  • Decreased stamina
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Bad breath
  • Sudden growths of lumps/bumps

If you notice any of these symptoms in your senior pet, call your veterinarian for a thorough examination.

Dr. Scott L. Nieves, DVM, is a veterinarian  at Beaumont Veterinary Centre. Info: 224-2287.