VCA Animal Hospitals

Ways to help your older dog age gracefully

Published: Jul 03, 2012

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All owners want the highest quality of life for their beloved canine companions, but when dogs enter their golden years, health conditions can pose problems and pain in dogs. However, there are several ways you can stay on top of your pet's health to help it age gracefully, according to

People may expect dogs to slow down a bit as they age, but if your dog is suddenly lethargic, it might be a sign of a treatable condition, according to the news outlet. In a way, treating pain in dogs often seems to turn back the clock. A dog that owners pegged as simply old and frail may be entirely invigorated once it is treated for diabetes or starts taking a joint supplement or medication to treat arthritis pain.

Dogs are also instinctively wired to hide their pain as a survival mechanism, so lethargy may be your dog's way of hiding its pain from you. In fact, some of the clinical signs of pain include becoming quiet, withdrawn and inactive, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

Bringing your older dog to the veterinarian at least twice each year is one of the best ways to spot any health problems that may be negatively affecting quality of life. This way, you can get your dog treated so you and your canine companion can enjoy every moment together.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.