September 2017: Celebrating our Senior Pets

Celebrating our Senior Pets

Happy Fall my friends!

Keeping us senior pets happy and healthy is easy to do! My brother Tyler is 20 years old. He’s a Burmese cat and he’s very chatty to my mom. Me, I’m 10 years old. How do we stay so “young”? My Dad performs frequent check-ups on us, makes sure our bloodwork is good and checks our teeth regularly. My mom and dad also make sure we’re fed the right food for our senior bodies.

My Dad says, “When you have been in practice as long as I have you get to know your patients over a 10 to 15-year period. Clients become very special to you and you feel the love between pet and owner. That bond between them is so strong and true. Being able to witness that love is one of the most meaningful experiences a Veterinarian can have.” It’s important to my Dad to be there for his senior patients. He loves them so much and has known them their whole lives.

Read below to learn about some of the issues that can affect us seniors and what to look for. If you are achy, have lumps or bumps or a sore mouth, have your mom or dad bring you in for a checkup today! Our Veterinarians are very good at checking us seniors out from head to toe! They make sure our insides are healthy with the help of tests like blood work, listening to our heart and lungs, checking our ears and eyes, moving our legs around to make sure we can get around ok and so much more!

Seeing your veterinarian every 6 months can keep you living a longer, healthier life!

Hugs and kisses from me-Lizzie!

Achy Joints!


Bi-annual visits are crucial in ensuring that our senior pets are getting the best medical care. Things can change so quickly over just a few months, especially in a senior pet. Seeing your pet more frequently can help us look for concerning trends and implement crucial testing in hopes of diagnosing diseases in the early stages.

One of the main changes we see in our pets as they get older is the development of arthritis.

Arthritis in our senior pets is super common and most owners don’t realize that there are some great strategies for controlling their pain level and reducing inflammation. Arthritis is a degenerative orthopedic condition that occurs at the level of the joint. Bony proliferation occurs causing joints to become thickened and painful when they are flexed and extended.

Signs for you to look for are slow to rise after pet has been laying down for a long time and vice versa, decreased range of motion of the arthritic joint, slowing down on walks, limping.

While arthritis can be palpated during a physical exam, to truly confirm the diagnosis, x-rays should be taken to determine the severity of the arthritis and to rule out other potential causes of bone pain such as cancer, infection, or fractures.

We offer many ways of managing discomfort in our aging pets. Schedule your exam to learn more about laser therapy, medicinal treatments and other options appropriate for you and your pet.

Periodontal Disease in Senior Pets

One of the most common things we hear from owners of senior pets is that their pet is slowing down and not eating as much. A good percentage of the time this is due to a painful mouth, but we think it’s just old age. It’s important to have a dental exam done annually on your pet to gauge how severe their periodontal disease is.

Plaque and tartar over time mineralize and turn into what we call “calculus”, which harbors bacteria that can start to invade the gum tissue and up the root of the tooth causing underlying bone loss, inflammation, and sometimes even tooth root abscesses.

Periodontal disease can show itself through bad breath, thick films of “calculus” along the surface of the tooth, and reddened gums that may bleed when the teeth are brushed.

Periodontal disease can be diagnosed on physical exam. However, the extent of disease won’t be known until full mouth x-rays and a full oral exam are performed under anesthesia. These tools help to determine the overall health of the teeth.

Concerned about your pet’s dental health? Ask for a COMPLIMENTARY Kissability Test! One of our Veterinarians or Technicians will take photos of your pet’s mouth, look inside, and compare them with a “healthy” mouth. You will get a copy of these pictures, a definition of your pet’s stage of dental disease and treatment plan customized to your pet needs.

The “C” Word – Cancer

Although cancer can affect young pets as well, we do see cancer more commonly as our pets get older. Cancer can affect any part of the body. It can be in the form of skin masses or masses in the internal organs.

Skin masses can be seen easily by most owners. It is especially important for owner to let us know if existing masses have been growing and changing in any concerning way. Masses or cancer within the internal organs can be more difficult to know about as many pets never show any symptoms until it is too late.

For skin masses, needle aspirates can be performed to try and obtain a diagnosis, but ultimately biopsy of the mass should be performed. As for the masses we cannot see, ultrasound and x-rays can help us look for any changes in texture or size of the internal organs like the liver or spleen.

Your Veterinarian will tell you how frequently you should be seen to monitoring lumps and bumps and provide you with a treatment plan specific to your pet.

IVS is partnered with the Irvine Animal Care Center to help their senior cats get adopted.

If you adopt a senior cat from them, we will provide you with complimentary comprehensive exams for the life of that cat.

Irvine Animal Care Center also has a program called Seniors for Seniors where if you are 62 or older, you can adopt a senior pet free of charge.

For more information visit


It doesn’t get much lovelier than Pinkie. She is a 9-year-old, spayed female, Domestic Shorthair. If you like petting, purrs, and paws kneading on your lap, you may have a lot in common with Pinkie. She is looking for a new home filled with quiet times and togetherness.

Did you know that we are open 7 days a week which included morning and evening hours?

You can schedule an appointment through our website, on our Facebook page

or using the contact information below.

Both practices accept Emergency and Walk-In appointments daily.

For your convenience, we also offer Drop Off appointments. You can have your pet seen and talk to your doctor without taking off from work!

Northpark Plaza, Irvine CA 92602 veterinarians


3961 Irvine Blvd.
Irvine, CA 92602

Phone: (714) 573-1890

University Park veterinarians, in Southern California

University Park

Located at the Parkview Center
5301 University Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612

Phone: (949) 786-0990

Superstar of the Month: Casper

Irvine Animal Care Center | 6443 Oak Canyon | Irvine, CA 92618 | Phone: 949-724-7740

Spend just a few minutes with Casper and you won’t believe he is a senior! He is a 13-year-old, neutered male, Chihuahua and Pomeranian mix. Shy yet charming, Casper is looking for a patient owner with a relaxed lifestyle who understands that he may need some space from time to time. With a little work and guidance, he is sure to come out of his shell.

Keep your pet’s heart safe with our in practice on online store products!

Ask our veterinarians which is best for your pet and your lifestyle!

Northpark Online Store University Park Online Store

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