How to Tell if Your Senior Pet Isn’t Feeling Well

Is your beloved pet in their golden years? Our animal companions all have wildly different lifespans. Some, such as gerbils, may only live a few years. Others, such as turtles, can live to be well over a hundred! No matter what type of pet you have, it’s important to do some research, and get an idea of when they might become seniors, and what warning signs to look for as they age. A Lexington, KY vet lists a few things to keep an eye out for below.

Mobility Issues

Arthritis is very common among animals that are in their golden years. You might notice your pet becoming less active, and having a hard time jumping, climbing, or walking. Dogs may have trouble climbing stairs, while cats and bunnies may have a hard time reaching their favorite sunning perches.


Many of our furry friends tend to withdraw when they don’t feel well. Your animal friend may not feel very sociable, and may retreat to a quiet spot to nap. If your normally-friendly and affectionate pet is withdrawing, there may be something going on with them.

Increase in Sleep

It’s normal for pets to sleep more as they age. However, if your pet seems to spend all his or her time snoozing, there may be something going on.

Changes In Appearance

Another thing you may notice is a change in your pet’s appearance. Fur may become thin, or you may notice patches of missing hair. Other red flags include red, runny eyes; weight loss or gain; skin infections; and lumps, bumps, or lesions.

Appetite Changes

Any time a pet loses interest in dinner, it’s a definite red flag. While your animal friend may not eat as much as he used to, he should still be interested in supper.

Tummy Troubles

Older animals often have quite sensitive stomachs. An occasional bout of vomiting or diarrhea isn’t unusual for some pets, but is a huge red flag for others. Do plenty of research, and make sure you know what is and isn’t unusual for your specific type of pet. You’ll also want to watch for things like constipation, incontinence, and straining to go.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about caring for your senior pet. As your Lexington, KY veterinary clinic, we’re dedicated to offering excellent care!

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