Senior Pet Warning Signs

Is your pet in their golden years? Our animal companions often become even more friendly and affectionate as they age. However, just like people, they can also be prone to certain health conditions. As your furry buddy gets older, you’ll need to watch for signs of medical issues. A Murrieta, CA vet lists some common ones to look for in this article.

Changes In Hunger/Thirst

Any changes—whether it’s an increase or decrease–in the amount of food and water your four-legged friend consumes is worth taking note of. Keep in mind that increased thirst does not always result in increased urination. Filling your furry pal’s bowls at the same time every day can help you monitor their food and water consumption.


Many pets get stiff and sore as they age. This is often a sign of arthritis or hip dysplasia, which cannot be cured but can be managed. It can also be indicative of several other issues. You may notice Fluffy or Fido having trouble standing up or laying down, or limping when they first get up.

Changes In Weight

Weight loss and gain are often (and not incorrectly) associated with diet and exercise. However, certain medical issues can also cause changes in your dog or cat’s weight. Weighing your fuzzy pal regularly can help you keep an eye on things.


Incontinence is not an uncommon issue in older animals. Don’t punish Fluffy or Fido for accidents: pets are often very embarrassed and ashamed about slip-ups. Instead, have your vet do a full exam. In some cases, the issue can be managed with drugs or even surgery.

Digestive Issues

It’s not uncommon for our furry buddies to have the occasional tummy upset. However, ongoing diarrhea and/or vomiting are definitely not normal. If these are ongoing issues, talk to your vet.


Any sort of lumps, bumps, or lesions should be checked out right away. In some cases, these may be benign. Golden Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, and Labradors are prone to getting lipoma tumors. Many of these are harmless fatty tumors. However, those lumps or bumps can also be cancerous, which would necessitate immediate treatment.

Personality Changes

Pets can also suffer from cognitive decline. Any changes in your four-legged friend’s behavior or vocalizations is a red flag. Confusion, dizziness, and disorientation are also warning signs.

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