Senior Dog Care
Although your pet may seem healthy well into its senior years, many common problems to senior pets such as kidney and heart disease may not show symptoms until your pet becomes seriously ill. A comprehensive senior care program helps our veterinarian identify problems early enough to institute preventative health care measures.
When is a dog considered a senior pet?
The most significant factor in ageing is a dog’s breed. Different breeds age at different rates. Large dogs tend to age more quickly than small dogs. Generally, if your pet is 7 years of age or older, we would consider them a senior. It is always recommended to consult an age chart.
How should I care for my senior dog (example: schedule regular check-ups, exercise, special diet, etc.)?
An ageing pet’s organs gradually deteriorate and may lose their ability to function correctly. We use senior testing to promote early detection and treatment of disease so we can maintain health and prevent illness during your pet’s senior years. Early detection of disease often gives us more effective and less costly treatment options. Senior testing also helps establish normal baseline values for your pet.
A physical exam and a complete history are the most important part of the senior care program. Our veterinarian will assess all body systems to check for any abnormalities. Topics that will be discussed during the exam include dental/oral care, diet and nutrition, weight control, parasite control, mobility and the necessary vaccines needed for your dog’s specific lifestyle and mental health. It is recommended to have a physical exam for your senior pet performed every 6 months, including a blood chemistry test, a complete blood count and a urinalysis.
- Blood Chemistry Test includes measuring the levels of various substances in the blood to evaluate organ function and help to diagnose diseases such as kidney and liver disease.
- Complete Blood Count provides a detailed look at the blood itself and helps the doctor diagnose anemia, infection, or bleeding tendencies.
- Urinalysis provides information on kidney function and checks for urinary tract infections.
Additional testing may be required based on the breed, age, sex, previous medical history and ongoing medications of your pet.