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  • Senior Pets & Health Care | Peak Vets

Help them live happier, healthier lives in later years with regular check ups!

Senior Pets - An image of a mature dog out for a healthy walk

As our pets in Sheffield get older they are prone to certain health conditions that are linked with age, just like us humans.

The main difference is that they are unable to tell us if they are not feeling quite right and, in some cases, our pets are quite good at hiding the signs.

As we face the colder months, some conditions can be more prevalent during this time. It’s especially important to ensure your senior pet has regular check-ups with the vet so we can spot the signs of any concerns sooner.

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Do you know how to spot the signs of some of the most common diseases affecting our older pets?

At Peak Vets we’ve pulled together some advice and a few things to look out for below. We’re here to help your pets live their happiest and healthiest lives, whatever their age.


Senior Cat Check-Ups

senior cat check ups at peak vets in sheffield derbyshire

We’re inviting owners of cats aged 8 and above to book an appointment for a senior feline check.

Find out more


Arthritis in dogs

In senior pets, years of wear and tear on joints can lead to inflammation, resulting in movement becoming difficult and sore. Osteoarthritis, or arthritis as it is commonly known, is prevalent in hips, elbows and knees, but can appear in any joint. 

Spot the signs:

  • General slowing down, especially on walks
  • Reluctance to play, jump or go upstairs
  • Limping/lameness
  • Muscle wastage
  • Licking or chewing the skin over affected joints
  • Stiff walking motion (especially when waking up or after exercise)

Heart disease in dogs

Dogs can be affected by many different heart disease, but the most common is mitral valve disease (MVD). What is MVD and how does this actually affect your dog?

MVD, which is also reffered to a degenerative valve disease, involves the degeneration of the heart valve separating the two chambers on the left side of the heart. It is a progressive, chronic disease that will worsen over time. 

Symptoms of MVD may not be easy to spot, in some cases dogs can live their entire lives without showing any signs or symptoms of this disease. The mainsymptom of doagnosis of MVD is thepresence of a heart murmur - this will only be picked up during a routine vets health check where your dog'sheart will be listened too. 

Spot the signs:

  • Coughing (after lying down or sleeping, and often worse at night)
  • Slowing down on walks or displaying low energy in general
  • Breathing quicker than usual, with breathlessness and/or panting
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting or collapsing.

If you have any doubts, it is important to book your dog in for a health check. The detection of a heart murmur may require further tests for confirmation. 

Cats can also be affected by a number of different heart disease; however, cardiomyopathy is the most common for felines. What is this and how does it affect your cat? Cardiomyopathy as a term covers any disease affecting the heart muscle. There are different types and classifications of cardiomyopathy that affect the functions of the heart muscle. 

Spot the signs:

  • Breathing difficulties/rapid breathing
  • Cold extremities, suggesting poor circulation
  • Signs of fainting (although relatively uncommon).

As symptoms may not be easily spotted or displayed, it is important top bring your cat in to see us for a health check. This can help us detect anything early on. We may be able to pick up on:

  • A heart murmur (listening to your cat’s heart using a stethoscope)
  • A gallop rhythm (where an additional third beat is heard with each contraction cycle)
  • Increase or decrease in heart rate.

If in any doubt, it is always best to get your cat seen by us. On detection of a heart murmur, there may be further tests required to confirm the diagnosis.

Kidney disease in cats and dogs

Pets rely on their kidneys for important taks like removing toxins from the blood, regulating blood pressure and aciditylevels, and preventing water loss. When these taks cannot be performed, this is known as kidney failure or renal disease. Symptoms and severity can differ greatly between cases, but age can be a factor in developing kidney failure. 

Spot the signs:

  • Excessive drinking leading to frequent urinating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Sudden blindness due to high blood pressure

High blood pressure in cats

High blood pressure can occur of its own; it is one of the most common causes of kidney, heart and throid disease. With the body working harder to circulate blood, it can lead to complications in the heart, kidneys, eyes and brain. 

Spot the signs:

  • Blindness
  • Weight loss
  • Noticeable changes inside the eye, including bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Change in personality

Cushings disease in dogs

Dogs with Cushing’s syndrome produce excessive amounts of cortisol. This can have harmful effects on other organs and on the ability of the body to regulate itself. Cushing’s occurs in dogs who are producing excessive amounts of cortisol, an important hormone that helps to regulate the body’s metabolism.

Spot the signs:

  • Large water intake
  • Frequent urination and possible incontinence
  • Ravenous appetite
  • Pot belly
  • Thin skin
  • Hair loss or recurrent skin diseases
  • Muscle wastage
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive panting

In all cases it’s important to ensure that your pet has regular check-ups with us at Peak Vets in Sheffield. If you are concerned that your pet may be showing any signs or symptoms mentioned above, then please contact us for a health check.

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Spread the cost of essential healthcare for your pet

Logo - Pet Health for Life

To spread the cost of routine and essential healthcare for your pet, we offer our Pet Health for Life plan, which includes an annual health check.

Click here to find out more and to sign up online