Senior Clinic

9th May 2024

As our pets get older, they may start to show signs of slowing down or begin to struggle with certain day to day activities and this can affect their quality of life. In many cases, however, we can prevent this happening. 

At PHP we are dedicated to maximising the quality of life of your pet for as long as possilbe. We can only do this, however, if we recognise when age related changes are occuring. Our old friends are great pretenders and will often suffer in silence. 

We are now offerring senior clinics for cats and dogs over 7 years of age. These will be appointments with the nurse for only £25 and will include a complimentary blood pressure check. We are hoping through these clinics to be able to give your pet an ‘MOT’ and discover any conditions with which we can help.

Common issues for our older pets include:

Cognitive dysfuntion 

With increasing age , damage can occur to the nervous systems of dogs and cats. This can cause symptoms similar to dementia in humans and you may see the following behaviours: aimless wandering, staring into a corner, confusion, changes in eating and drinking habits, lack of interest in activities, not wagging their tail or greeting their owner like they used to, vocalising at strange times and difficulty sleeping. 

There are a few ways that we can help to ease these symptoms and whilst it isnt uncommon in older pets, it doesn’t have to be accepted as part of getting old. 

A really good way of keeping our pet’s brains active is through using environmental enrichment, for example, using toys such as puzzle feeders regularly to keep their brains stimulated. We often think of training as something that only young animals need to do. As our pets get older and their brains start to struggle a little bit, this can be a really good time to re-introduce training as it will keep their brains active and also discourage behaviours we may see in senior pets such as toileting in the house.


Arthritis is sometimes thought of as a disease of older pets, however it can affect pets at a much earlier age. 24% of  animals aged 8 months to 4 years can struggle with arthritis. There are many ways in which we can help arthtritic animals. For example, using omega 3 oils which help to reduce joint inflammation in the early stages of disease where it may not yet be clinically apparent. Pain relief is a very important part of treatment alongside complimentary treatments such as accupunture, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. 

Signs of arthritis to look out for:  becoming slow to rise from sitting or lying down, not jumping up onto the sofa or into the car so easily, avoiding touch due to pain, resource guardingand possible grumpiness, unwilling to move or walk, struggling to go to the toilet as they are unable to squat effectively, struggling with stairs and licking the affected leg.

Arthritis can be made worse by obesity. Not only is there extra body weight on the struggling joints, adipose (fat) cells release inflammatory mediators which exascerbate the arthtitic pain and inflammation.

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, usually in the legs, causing joint stiffness, pain and lameness. An arthritic joint is painful so the leg is not used as much as normal. This leads to loss of muscle, stiffness and changes in gait (the way the leg moves). All of these changes in the leg can lead to extra stress and strain being put on the animal’s other legs and back. 

Kidney Disease

Approximately 44% of cats over 15 years old and 12% of dogs over 10 years old will suffer from a form of kidney disease.

When kidneys function normally, they remove toxins from the blood and excrete them through the urine. They also regulate blood pressure, maintain fluid status and an overall healthy metabolic balance. When pets have kindey disease, they are unable to to regulate these functions and therefore require medication and dietary support.  

Dental Disease

As many as 80% of dogs and 70%of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the time they are just 2 years old! If left untreated, dental disease can lead to further health conditions such as kindey disease. Have you noticed a build up of plaque on your pets teeth, bad breath or gingivitis? Older pets tend to suffer more from dental disease as they have had a lifetime of wear and tear and bacteria building up in their mouth. Dental procedures are really important in maintaining good oral health. 

These are just a few of the health issues our elderly family members can potentially suffer with. We will discuss these further with you and any other relevant problems for your pet at the clinics. 

You can download our Senior Wellness Questionnaire by clicking here.

The Pet Health Partnership 6 The Parade Moorland Way Upton Poole BH16 5JS 01202 624140
The Pet Health Partnership 17 East Street Wareham Dorset BH20 4NN   01929 552599
In An Emergency

Outside our normal opening hours please phone our Out of Hours Emergency cover:-

01202 747678

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