a happy dog getting petted.

Chronic conditions occur in pets. Your team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is here to be your partner in your pet health management needs, and to help your furry friend live their best life, no matter their diagnosis. 

Chronic Conditions in Pets

There are many problems in our pet patients that we can fix, but some things are just not curable no matter how much we wish that they were. Chronic conditions in pets are not an uncommon occurrence, but thankfully with modern veterinary medicine, many of these diagnoses are manageable. 

Some of the more common chronic issues that our veterinary staff diagnoses in patients include: 

  • Osteoarthritis/degenerative joint disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Allergic skin disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Endocrine diseases such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, Cushing’s Syndrome, etc. 
  • Ocular problems such as dry eye or glaucoma
  • Feline asthma
  • Weight management issues
  • Chronic upper respiratory issues in cats

How Your Veterinary Team Can Help

With most chronic disease conditions, ongoing management and adjustments are necessary to provide optimal results.

At the onset of a diagnosis, a discussion of the disease process and long term plan is often the starting point. Your pet’s management may consist of:

  • Starting a pet medication
  • In clinic treatments or procedures
  • Monitoring testing to assess response to treatment
  • Screening for underlying or related disease conditions
  • Periodic reassessments

Every pet is different, and for many chronic conditions, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment that will be ideal for every pet. 

Communication with our hospital about how your pet is doing is key! Let us know if you have concerns, if your pet isn’t able to take their medication, or if things don’t seem to be going well. We can’t help if we don’t know. 

Supporting and Monitoring Pet Health at Home

When your pet has a chronic condition, they are depending on you even more than before. You are their advocate and access to care. Pet health management is a huge responsibility, but we know that you can do it.

Be sure to: 

  • Give medications as prescribed (and let us know if you can’t for some reason)
  • Take monitoring your pet’s health seriously—keeping a journal of their day-to-day mood, appetite, symptoms, etc. can be helpful
  • Make accommodations for your pet where you are able (increasing traction for the arthritic pet, adding water sources for a kidney patient, using a HEPA filter if your pet has asthma)
  • Keep up on recheck appointments—these are important for us to monitor progress and changes and keep track of how you pet is doing

A pet with a chronic condition can still live a great life. Between your attention and our knowledge, we can do a great job at supporting whatever gets thrown our direction, but teamwork is key.