Like People, dogs and cats are living longer. We all cherish the companionship of our furry friends. It is important that we help ensure these extended years are the happiest and healthiest possible. By working closely with our veterinarians, you can make a significant difference in the life of your senior pet.
There are a growing number of ways we can help "slow the clock" and promote healthy, long lives for our senior pets.
Diagnostic "Senior at 7" Wellness Exams
Several non-invasive tests and procedures performed regularly can help your veterinarian detect early-stage disease when control or even prevention is possible and more cost effective. Senior at Seven Wellness Exams also provide a baseline from which your veterinarian can measure changes. These tests include:
- Complete physical / Orthopedic Exam
- Complete Blood Count / Chemistry Profile
- Complete Urinalysis
- Thyroid Hormone Levels
- Fecal Exam
While an annual physical exam may be sufficient for your younger pets, we would ideally like to see your older pets every 6 months. For a cat this represents 4-6 years in the life of a human, and for a dog this represents 5-8 years! Special attention at this visit is paid to your pets teeth and gums, skin and coat, heart, lungs, kidneys, digestive system, eyes and joints. Annual laboratory tests can detect the onset of disease or abnormal health conditions.
A proper diet and suitable environment are critical to your pets continued health and comfort. We can help advise you on modifications for your aging pet. This may include a special diet based on your pets specific needs, or an exercise regiment for your senior pet.
Conditions such as arthritis are very common disorders in older pets, and most pets are very good at hiding when they are in pain. New medications are now available that are both safe and effective for pain management, Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome and other age related diseases.
Senior Wellness Checklist
This checklist can help you observe behaviors and symptoms that may indicate a potential health problem in your senior pet. If your pet is experiencing one or more of these signs please inform us. Even if you do not feel that your pet needs to be seen we can make note of it in their chart. Our goal with the Senior at Seven Wellness Exam is to maintain the highest quality of life for the longest possible time. Together, we can make the senior years the most rewarding you and your dog have ever shared.
- Change in water consumption
- Change in appetite
- Lethargic or depressed (listless behavior)
- Difficulty getting up from a resting position
- Reluctant to go up or down stairs
- Limping, Walking on three legs
- Change in urine production (watch carefully for increased urination)
- Change in attitude (irritability)
- Change in sleep pattern
- Noticeable decrease in vision
- Weight gain / Weight loss
- Bad breath or drooling
- Lumps and bumps on the skin
- Excessive panting
- Breathing heavily or rapidly at rest