Senior Pet Myths

Myth: Just like humans, it’s normal for old animals to lose weight.

Fact: Weight loss in animals could be due to many underlying issues. Some of these can easily detected through routine blood screens.

Myth: Old pets naturally slow down.

Fact: Not true. “Slowing down” is not synonymous with aging. Your pet may be experiencing arthritic pain or be in ill health with liver, kidney or heart disease. This should be investigated and treated appropriately.

Myth: Old pets get innocent lumps.

Fact: One cannot diagnose the type of tumor a pet has by the naked eye. Not all tumors beneath the skin, called subcutaneous masses, are innocent lipomas (fatty tumors). There are numerous types of malignant tumors that can initially present as a single “lump” beneath the skin but have the capacity to spread to vital organs.

Myth: Old pets will cry if they are in pain.

Fact: Dogs and especially cats, frequently don’t vocalize when they are in pain. If your pet is having difficulties going up and down stairs, jumping or walking, or resting more than usual, he/she may be in pain and it should be investigated.

Myth: It’s normal for cats to vomit more as they get older.

Fact: No, it’s definitely not normal for any aged cat to vomit. Your veterinarian at West Hill Animal Hospital may discover that your cat has hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), inflammatory bowel disease or an infiltrative gastrointestinal disease, like lymphoma.

Myth: Old pets cannot be anesthetized.

Fact: Age is not a limiting factor to anesthesia, general body health is. If your older pet is silently suffering from dental pain, don’t make the mistake of not having a complete oral health examination and treatment under anesthesia because her or his double digit age.