As dogs and cats get older, they need more attention and special care. Our senior wellness program can help your pet remain fit and healthy as he or she ages and help us catch any potential problems earlier, when they’re easier to treat or manage. Regular veterinary exams can actually help your pet live longer, too!
Diagnosing diseases and certain conditions early is important throughout a pet’s life, but it becomes even more critical when your dog or cat enters his or her senior years. The risks of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hormone disorders, kidney and liver diseases all increase with age. In addition, dogs and cats may not show any signs of even serious diseases until they are quite advanced.
Senior status varies depending on your pet’s breed and size, but in most instances when a pet reaches six to eight years of age they are considered a senior. As a rule of thumb, small breed dogs tend to live longer than large breed dogs, and cats generally live longer than dogs. (For example, a Chihuahua may be considered to be a senior at eight or nine years of age, while a Great Dane would be considered a senior on its fifth birthday.) We can help you determine what life stage your pet is in.
Before your dog or cat reaches senior status, we recommend that you bring your pet in for a baseline exam and diagnostic workup. This will give us a record of what’s normal for your pet so we can have something to compare to when doing future diagnostic tests. In most cases, we suggest this checkup take place by the time your dog or cat turns six or seven years of age.
We can treat many symptoms that are commonly attributed to age, including arthritis and those associated with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (similar to Alzheimer’s in humans). We can also improve your pet’s quality of life in many ways by identifying and preventing or reducing pain, recommending an appropriate nutrition and exercise plan and suggesting environmental modifications to keep your pet comfortable.
We will tailor a senior wellness plan to your pet’s individual needs. If you have any questions, we would be happy to discuss our senior wellness program in more detail. Contact us today to schedule your pet’s exam!