PET VET: Caring for aging pets - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

PET VET: Caring for aging pets

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Dr. Bert Gaddis discusses how to take care of geriatric pets as they get older. Dr. Bert Gaddis discusses how to take care of geriatric pets as they get older.
BIRMINGHAM, AL -

We all hope to have our pets with us for long periods of time. But as a pet ages, taking care of their health takes some different considerations.

According to Dr. Bert Gaddis, a cat is considered "geriatric" at 8 to 9 years old. For dogs, it depends on their size -- a giant breed is considered geriatric at 5 to 6 years; large breeds at 6-7 years; and medium to small breeds at 7 to 8 years.

As they reach this age, routine problems can include arthritis, skin growths or dental problems. Things like cancers and organ failure are also possibilities, and are more serious.

As a pet ages, Gaddis suggests that owners keep an eye on their bathroom habits, appetite and activity level, and make sure their furry friends are in to see the vet for their regular checkups.

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