Rialto Animal Hospital

1460 North Ayala Drive
Rialto, CA 92376




Senior Care - Because We Care

"Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it watching for us to come home each day" - Josh Grogan



Did you know that most veterinarians consider pets seniors starting at the age of 7 and that pets age on average seven (7) years to every one (1) human year? This means they age at a much faster pace than we do and illnesses can advance faster as well. Our doctors and staff are committed to providing you with the important information you need to give your senior pet many comfortable and happy years with you and your family. We look forward to partnering with you to provide the best of care for your best friend. Below you will find some of the many things that we look for and during your pet's senior examinations. (Don't forget to visit the bottom of this page for some very helpful tips and resources for our senior, therapy, and special needs patients!)

As your pet begins to enter their golden years, there are a variety of conditions and diseases that they become more prone to. These conditions include, but are not limited to:


Kidney Disease

Hormone Disorders

Cognitive Disorders

Heart Disease


Liver Disease

Thyroid Disease

Mobility Changes




And more...



What Does My Senior Pet Need?

Because many conditions are often internal and pets do not show signs or symptoms until they have progressed, it is essential that your pet gets a Senior Wellness Examination every 6 months AND Comprehensive Senior Lab Work Profile at least YEARLY, or as directed by your veterinarian. This ensures that your veterinarian is able to detect disease processes early, monitor lumps and bumps, and monitor/treat any known disease processes. By routinely checking your pet's lab work, your veterinarian can closely monitor changes in your pet's kidney, liver, thyroid, and many other organ functions in order to catch early disease (sometimes before your pet even begins to feel ill!) and many times allowing for early treatment that can give added quality time to your pet's life. 

When is it More than "Just Getting Old"? Many of us believe that if our pets are feeling painful or unwell, we would notice. However, according to a Canadian study, less than 50% of pet owners are able to accurately identify signs of pain in their pets. Animals are extremely good at hiding pain and illness - sometimes signs are very subtle. It is normal for your pet's behavior to change as they age, but when is it time to bring them to the vet? Below are signs to watch out for that could indicate that the changes your pet is going through is more than just normal age-related changes.


Significant increase in water consumption

Head tilting or walking in circles

Sudden unexplained weight loss or gain

Breathing heavily or rapidly, especially at times of rest

Significant increase or decrease in appetite OR failure to eat for more than 2 days

Persistent lameness

Change in elimination habits (such as increased or inappropriate urination)

Difficulty, inability, or unwillingness to eat hard food

Excessive panting, pacing, or drooling

Any new lumps or bumps, or any changes in previously noticed lumps

Hair loss

Sudden decrease in activity level

Persistent coughing or gagging

Changes in abdominal size or shape, especially if the onset is sudden

Unwilling/unable to walk up stairs or jumping up on furniture (cats)

Behavioral changes, such as grumpiness and irritability


Please be sure to let us know if your pet is experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms during your pet's scheduled examination. 



Laser Therapy


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What is Laser Therapy?  


Laser Therapy, or "photobiomodulation", is the use of specific wavelengths of light to create therapeutic effects. These effects include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation, and decreased swelling.


Laser Therapy Can Help With:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Joint Pain
  • Tendinopathies
  • Edema and Congestion
  • Ligament Sprains
  • Muscle Strains
  • Puncture Wounds
  • Post-Traumatic Injury
  • Post-Surgical Pain
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Burns
  • Chronic Wounds
  • Rehabilitation
  • Post-Orthopedic Surgical Recovery

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Laser Therapeutic Effects:  

During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.


Cat Getting laser therapy


Frequently Asked Questions


Does it hurt? What does a treatment feel like?

There is little or no sensation during treatment. Occasionally the patient feels mild, soothing warmth, or tingling. Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.


Are there any side effects or associated risks?

During more than 20 years of use by healthcare providers all over the world, very few side effects have ever been reported. Occasionally some old injuries or pain syndromes may feel aggravated for a few days, as the healing response is more active after treatment.

How often should a patient receive laser therapy?

Acute conditions may be treated daily, particularly if they are accompanied by significant pain. More chronic problems respond better when treatments are received 2 to 3 times a week, tapering to once every week or two as improvement is seen. 

How many laser therapy treatments does it take?

This depends on the nature of the condition being treated. For some acute conditions, 1-2 treatments may be sufficient. Those of a more chronic nature may require 5 to 8 (or more) treatments. Some conditions may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.

How long before results are felt from laser therapy?

Your pet may feel improvement in their condition (usually pain reduction) after the first treatment. Sometimes they will not feel improvement for a number of treatments. This does not mean that nothing is happening. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 3 or 4 sessions.

What to expect

There is no patient sedation or restraint required and the experience is usually pleasant and comforting to your pet. Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, most patients require several treatments (3 to 8) for greatest benefit.  For most conditions, we recommend a multi-visit treatment plan. Treatments vary in length, but most sites require 2 to 8 minutes. A majority of patients exhibit greater comfort and mobility within 12 to 24 hours after a laser treatment. 

Class IV Laser Therapy treatments are cumulative in nature. The length and frequency of treatments varies with your pet's condition. A sample treatment schedule is as follows:

     *   Every other day for one week (3 total)
     *   Twice the second week (2 total)
     *   Once the third week (1 total)
     *   Boosters as needed




Helpful Ideas & Resources for Therapy, Senior, and Special Needs Patients: 

Does your pet slip and slide on your floor? Many of our therapy patients and also recovering, elderly, and/or special needs pets can have trouble maintaining 'traction' on smooth surfaces (think tile flooring, hardwood, laminate) making them at risk to serious injury and irreparable damage to pets with osteoarthritis, spinal, hip and joint issues. If you haven't already, make sure to have your pet checked by a veterinarian to make sure there isn't another underlying problem that can be remedied. In addition, here are some tips on how to help your furry kid keep those legs under him and and keep him 'afoot':


Additional pain management for more comfort:

grey cat