Subtle signs to watch for in your aging pet—and what to do about them.
- Stiffness: If your dog or cat is stiff when she gets up in the morning, she could have arthritis. Your vet may suggest supplements, anti-inflammatory medications, acupuncture or therapy.
- Eye issues: Grey or cloudy pupils may mean your pet has lenticular sclerosis (which does not impair vision) or cataracts. If cataracts are diagnosed, you may want to consider surgery, which can run $2,000 to $4,000.
- Decreased appetite: An infected tooth or neck stiffness that makes it uncomfortable to bend down to the food bowl could make your pet eat with less gusto. More serious causes include organ failure or an infection. If you’re hand-feeding your pet or “doctoring up” her food, visit your veterinarian.
- Increased thirst: This could signal urinary tract infections, hormonal issues or kidney or liver failure. Even if your pet appears healthy, get him checked out.
- Urinary incontinence: This problem could be caused by a urinary tract infection, a hormonal imbalance or organ failure. Medications can help, so if your furry companion is soaking the bed, discuss your options with your vet.