- We strive to provide complete care for our patients. Learn more about all the services we provide.
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
The needs of an elderly pet can differ significantly from those of a puppy, kitten or adult pet. Here at St. Francis Animal Hospital, your veterinarian in Las Vegas, we have built a notable reputation as a skilled, knowledgeable provider of geriatric care services for older pets. We work with many pets facing age-related health problems and concerns, and we advise their owners on a wide range of best practices for home care as well.
Once a pet is between 8 and 12 years of age, we begin to classify him as geriatric. The geriatric pet confronts many of the same physical and cognitive changes as the aging human. Joints may stiffen due to osteoarthritis, hearing and vision may begin to fail, incontinence may occur, and various other physical systems may lose efficiency. Senior pets also face increasing disease risks from year to year -- heart and kidney disease are fairly common at this stage, while the risks for various forms of cancer also rise steadily. Older dogs may develop an inner ear disorder called labyrinthitis, which causes them to get disoriented, stagger around and cock their head to one side in an effort to compensate for their skewed sense of balance. Teeth may collect hairline cracks or other signs of damage that grow more problematic with age. Even dementia can have serious consequences on a pet's well-being and ability to interact with his owner.
Our Las Vegas veterinarian has years of experience in identifying, diagnosing and treating these various ailments while also advising owners on ways to help their pets maintain a higher quality of life. In many cases we find that age-related health issue contributes to another. For example, older pets have lower calorie requirements than their younger counterparts, and they can easily grow obese if their diet has not been modified accordingly.
This extra pressure on the joints can encourage or aggravate joint deterioration, which makes it impossible for pet to move freely, feeding a vicious cycle. We may prescribe multiple treatments to break this kind of pattern, such as combination of special diet, light exercise, and anti-inflammatory medications or supplements to relieve joint pain and encourage healthy weight loss. Laboratory testing can tell us whether insufficient thyroid hormone is another contributing factor, and we can address that issue as well.
Symptoms such as rapid weight loss, bleeding or urinary problems can indicate a tumor, blockage or other internal problem. If the problem requires surgical intervention, we can safely perform these procedures on geriatric pets under anesthesia. We can also perform tooth extractions or other form of oral/dental surgery under anesthesia, carefully monitoring the pet's vital signs throughout. These health challenges are best diagnosed as early as possible, so we urge owners to schedule two wellness checkups each year for geriatric animals. We can even arrange for in-home treatment of parvo infection, a serious threat to old or weakened pets.
Schedule an appointment for your pet at our Las Vegas animal hospital and call us at 702-675-8366 so that we can help make his golden years as comfortable and healthy as possible.
Now accepting new clients by appointment only.
Dr. Drake and CarolAnn are amazing! They have been caring for my dogs for over 10 years now and I have never had one complaint. They are always so happy to see my dogs and provide them with the most compassionate care. I recommend them to any seeking an honest, caring, loving, empathizing and helpful veterinarian!