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Ageless Bonds - A Veterinarian’s Tale

Senior pets hold a very special place in my heart, and it's a sentiment I know many of you, my dear readers at Happy's Vet, share deeply. Today, I want to share a personal story that has shaped my understanding and empathy for senior pets and their unique needs.

Growing up, I had a Yorkshire Terrier named Corky. He was more than just a pet; he was my first dog, my companion, and I often joked he was French because of his penchant for giving ear kisses. As he aged, Corky's sight and hearing faltered, but he was my tiny faithful shadow. I took him with me to college.

One fateful rainy Saturday, while the University of Alabama was alive with the sounds of a football game and friends were gathered around, my roommate let Corky out in the backyard.

In the excitement, I missed her telling me, and it was over an hour later that I realized Corky wasn’t around and the gate was open. He had just been bathed and his collar and tag sat by my kitchen sink.

Despite my frantic search and countless efforts – ads, flyers, search parties – I never saw my sweet Corky again. The guilt and grief of that loss still echo in my heart 30 years later.

Corky's loss taught me an invaluable lesson about the vulnerability of senior pets. When a lost senior pet is found, it's easy to misjudge their condition. Corky, for example, had bad skin requiring baths twice a week, and bad teeth. Within a few days on his own, he would have seemed neglected.

This brings me to a recent incident, a stark reminder of Corky's story. A tiny, elderly Yorkshire Terrier, was found confused and standing in the middle of an intersection and was brought into an emergency vet. He was blind, deaf, and clearly in need of care. Amid the chaos of a busy ER, this little dog waited, hopeful for a reunion with his family. While many offered to adopt him, I knew his family must be distraught.

I couldn’t bear the thought of him being alone in a cage, so Happy and Chewy gained a blind and deaf new roommate for a few days. After some much-needed grooming, some extra feedings, and dental care, he was transformed. It was then that his owner saw the Facebook post we had made and reached out. The reunion was heartwarming. This little guy, Scooter, is now back in the loving home he's known since he was a puppy.

It's important for pet owners to be vigilant and for finders of lost pets to consider all possibilities before jumping to conclusions. Scooter had a microchip, but it was unregistered, delaying his reunion with his family. It's a common issue, with only 6 in 10 microchips being properly registered in the U.S.

Scooter's story highlights a crucial point: Senior pets need diligent care. They can easily become disoriented and wander off, even if they've never done so before. Sometimes the gradual changes we think of as aging are actually things that we can improve.

Mostly, my passion for elderly pets stems from all of the opportunities to help! If you have a senior pet, remember that seniors need more veterinary attention than adult pets. Simple problems like a silent UTI are often written off as normal aging changes and can spiral into more serious problems. Even chronic geriatric conditions, though not reversible can be improved. Even problems that seem irreversible can be conquered. Did you know that cataract surgery is available for pets?!

If you have a senior pet, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a senior exam, labwork, and make sure that their joints are as comfortable as they can be, that their teeth aren't causing pain and that their mobility is the best it can be. Florida and New York residents can book a virtual appointment now with Happy's Vet!

For more product tips - Scroll to the bottom for a list of a few of Happy's Vet's favorite products for senior dogs!

I have some exciting news!

If you're in New York or Florida -especially the greater Jacksonville/ St. Augustine area, stay tuned for an exciting new veterinary program I'll be offering soon for your beloved senior pets. While the details are still under wraps, this service promises to bring convenient and renewed comfort and care to our aging friends.

As a community of pet lovers, let's take this as a reminder of the extra care and attention our senior pets require. Let's ensure their microchips are registered and updated, and remember, each senior pet has a story, a family, and a special place in someone's heart. Together we can cherish these ageless bonds and give our furry elders the love and care they deserve.

Happy's and Chewy's Favorite Geriatric Pet Products

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links that help support Happy's Vet. Clicking on them comes at no additional cost to you, but provides us a small commission. Thank you for your support!

Toe Grips - Mobility Support

Paw Friction Pads

Joint Suplements: Dausaquin

Mobility Harness for Large Dogs

Supplement for Cognitive Dysfunction

The Best Diet for Elderly Dogs

The Perfect Senior Bed XL

The Perfect Senior Bed S/M

Furniture Stairs.

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1 Comment

Pat Abbott
Pat Abbott
Nov 13, 2023

Great advice. Glad to have this site for real info

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