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Old age is not a disease

Old age is not a disease
Par Marie-Christine Hamelin, TSA, le November 24, 2014


Did you know that from the age of seven years, your cat and your dog are considered old? Indeed, from this age, our companions can begin to develop diseases affecting their health.


At first, the signs are subtle and often invisible. They appear gradually and are imperceptible. It is only much later that the physical signs will be significant and that the animal will be presented in a veterinary clinic. When changes occur, the conditions are generally well installed and it will be harder to treat the condition or disease. Several conditions similar to human diseases can affect our companions including among others diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, cancer, arthritis and endocrine diseases.


By an annual physical examination, the veterinarian can detect slight changes by the reaction of the animal or questioning you about his habits. Contrary to popular belief, it is not '' normal '' for an animal to sleep more and play less with age. It is rather a consequence of something else underlying.


Indeed, from the age of seven years, or earlier for large breeds of dogs, the joints of animals can be affected by arthritis, making him uncomfortable to move. An animal suffering from arthritis move less, muscles will atrophy, and accordingly, it will move less and pains will increase. With an early examination, your veterinarian may detect a certain stiffness in joint and may recommend treatment before lesions are too serious and this wil slow the progression of the disease.


Taking annual blood tests is also recommended. Indeed, changes in the blood count will give early clues to disease before the onset of signs before you may notice it. At this stage, it is possible to make small adjustments and monitor more closely the progress of the disease, before it is too late.


Did you notice the following signs:

-Sleep more

-Play less

-Difficulty to stand / climb stairs or furniture

-Change in behavior, sleep and eating patterns

-More impatient / growls more

-Weight gain / loss

-Bad breath

-Tremors/ shivering

-Frequency and/or amount of urine increased

-Consumption of water increased


If you notice one or more of those signs, do not hesitate to take an appointment for a checkup at the Ste-Rose Veterinary Hospital.

Old age is not a disease! We love our animals and we want to keep them as long as possible with us. With simple gestures, you can extend their life expectancy and to maintain their quality of life as long as possible.


Marie-Christine Hamelin, Veterinary Technician



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