Years ago veterinarians used to focus on treating disease. Over time vaccines were developed and veterinary medicine began to emphasize prevention. From your puppy or kittens first visit, we promote regular health checkups, proper nutrition and control of parasites (heartworm or intestinal worms), weight management, dental care and personalized vaccine plans. These services along with sterilization (neutering) lay the foundation for a long, healthy relationship between you, your pet and our health care team.
Pets are living longer, just as we are, and we need to offer our senior pets the increased level of care they need before age related illness occurs. Just as in humans, age related health problems can occur well before a pet shows any signs of this aging. Senior care begins by recognizing that older animals differ from young or adult animals due to the effects of aging, yet understanding that age in itself is NOT a disease.
Senior care in dogs and cats parallels the increasing focus on senior or “wellness” care in humans. For example as we enter our 40’s, screening for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or heart disease becomes more important. In veterinary medicine, early detection of kidney, liver, thyroid or heart disease and management of chronic disease such as arthritis can begin at eight years of age or earlier. Some may ask the question, “Why 8 years of age”? Well, a pet doesn’t become suddenly old at 8 years any more than a person at age 50. But this generalization helps us to understand that it is at this time in your pet’s life we must work together to pay a closer attention to your pet’s health status. Senior pets need more frequent physical examinations, more comprehensive diagnostic testing and an increased awareness of abnormal symptoms by the owner beginning around age 8. Use this chart if your pet is over six years of age to identify (by weight) your pets relative age in human years.
**for example, if your pet is 7 years old, and weighs 65 pounds, that would be equivalent to 50 human years old.**
Statistics show that 1 out of 5 pets over the age of 8 will have one of these problems. Early detection often allows the disease process to be treated or at least slowed.
- Periodontal disease/ gingivitis
- Heart disease
- Kidney/Liver disease
- Thyroid Disease
- Behavior Changes (Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome)
- Urinary Tract disease
Our solution: We offer a senior screening composed of:
- complete blood cell count (CBC)
- chemistry profile
- thyroid analysis
- complete urinalysis
- fecal exam
Other testing, such as: blood pressure, EKG, x-rays, ultrasound, tonometry (eye pressure), or dental x-rays may be recommended based on your pet’s breed, physical examination or results of the senior profile. The diagnostic equipment necessary for this testing is all located in the hospital and can be done by experienced veterinarians.
It is our goal to increase the standard of care for our canine and feline senior citizens. This will result in patients living longer, happier, healthier, pain free lives, and give you more precious time to treat them like family.