Once your dog turns 7 years of age, and your cat turns 8, they are considered seniors. We recommend that at this age they undergo a thorough senior wellness exam and diagnostic work-up. Even though you may believe your pet is healthy, there are many disease processes that do not show any outward signs until the diseases are well advanced. By the time they show symptoms, it can be more difficult to treat, and they are not always as responsive to treatment. Early detection of diseases such as kidney disease, and thyroid disease will allow us to administer the appropriate treatments to help extend your pet’s life.
There are many different diets available which help to maintain the health of older pets. There are foods to help with kidney and thyroid function, and restricted calories to prevent weight gain. To help those showing joint discomfort, we have foods with supplements to promote joint health.
Diagnostic work-ups, such as blood work and x-rays, can detect changes in organs that may not be showing any outward symptoms, however, might not be functioning adequately. Something as simple as yearly blood work is quick and (almost) painless, and can provide very beneficial information for the doctor caring for your pet. If you have a dog, then doing blood work at the time of their yearly Heartworm test means only one trip to the clinic and, only one quick needle poke for them!
Many symptoms that, historically, have been attributed to old age and considered untreatable are now treatable. For example, the dog that seems to be slowing down with age may just be arthritic, and with some daily medication and supplementation, can be pain free. It is important to realize that age is not a disease and many conditions that occur with advanced age can be treated effectively to provide your pet with many more senior years to enjoy.