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A pet 7 years old or older qualifies as a senior. And, since pets age approximately 7 years for every 1 year of human life, significant changes in health can occur in as little as 3 to 6 months. Even if your pet is in good health at age 7, it is important to develop a health care plan to help you enjoy many more years with your beloved pet.
Canine arthritis is more common than you may think. It can affect dogs of any age, breed or sex. In fact, studies have shown that as many as 1 in 5 adult dogs have arthritis. Although there is no cure, chronic arthritis pain can be managed with the help of diet, exercise, surgery, and proper medication. Unfortunately, the symptoms of arthritis are easily missed and often misinterpreted. Contact us if you notice any of the following signs: trouble getting up, tires easily, climbs stairs reluctantly, limps or lags behind, trembles or shakes, reluctant to play.
Bad breath is often a sign of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). Gum disease is a problem that begins when plaque builds up on your pet's teeth. Many of the signs of the disease are hard to miss. Bad breath, discolored teeth, and swollen gums can be early indications of trouble. Late-stage disease can cause permanent damage, including loose teeth and tooth loss. In severe cases, the bacteria involved in plaque formation can enter the bloodstream and affect the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Heartworm. Fleas. Ear mites. Sarcoptic mange. American dog tick. For families with pets, these parasites can be more than harmful. They can be devastating. Left untreated, heartworm disease can kill a dog. And fleas can make your pet miserable, not to mention what a nuisance an infestation can be to you and your family. Fleas can contribute to blood loss anemia and can transmit tapeworms to your pet. Ear mites and sarcoptic mange with its resulting itchy skin, hair loss, and rash can cause discomfort. In addition, many of these parasites can be spread from one pet to another, which is why all pets in the household should be protected. Fortunately, modern medicine has caught up with all of these parasites. So there's no longer any reason for you or your pet to live with them.
Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is the most common skin allergy in dogs and cats. It is a condition caused when flea bites and saliva irritate your pet's skin. FAD just adds to the itching and misery of having fleas. In more severe cases, it can cause excessive hair loss and infection.
Heartworm disease is a serious disease caused by infection with a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and adjacent large blood vessels of the lungs. Symptoms of the disease include a chronic, non-productive cough, exercise intolerance, and loss of condition. Unfortunately, this disease can kill with little warning, especially in cats. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes so both cats and dogs are at extremely high risk living in Houston (And yes they are at risk even if they are strictly indoors!). There are simple once monthly preventatives that protect your pets from this disease.
Zoonosis occurs when diseases are transmitted from your pet to you or your family member. Left unchecked, several parasites can be transmitted from pets to humans and cause a variety of health problems. Regular exams, preventive vaccines, and de-wormings can protect your pet and your family from these parasites.