For many pet lovers, watching our companions grow older is a comforting, rewarding experience. Hard to believe the same bundle of energy tearing around the yard so many years ago is now the calm and kind old friend curled at our feet.
Old age itself is not a disease but we are aware that certain diseases can be age related. Older pets need more extensive examinations, more often. This is why we recommend having senior check-ups for your older pets.
A properly formulated diet will have a significant impact on the health of a senior pet and our health care teams are trained to advise you on the best nutrition for your companion.
The approach to your senior pet is that of a pet care partnership combining your observations at home with an examination. Typically most of the diseases we are keeping an eye out for in senior pets are controllable with simple diet changes and/or medications.
What to look out for
As your pet’s owner, you are in the best position to look out for the early warning signs of aging and age related diseases. Here are some of the signs that can indicate change and require action:
- Change in appetite
- Discomfort on rising or after exercise
- Weight loss or gain
- Loss of housetraining
- Excessive drinking and/or urination
- Bad breath, plaque, or bleeding gums
- Confusion or disorientation
- Persistent cough
- Change in sleep patterns
- Appearance of lumps and bumps
What we can do for your pet
At the senior check-up vets are identifying subtle changes in body function. If there are abnormalities detected in initial testing, further investigation or more frequent testing may be recommended.
What should your Senior Check Include?
- Wellness overview – a chance for you to tell your veterinarian any changes of behaviour or physical appearance you have noticed. Use our checklist as a reminder of the changes you should be looking out for.
- Hands on physical examination – your veterinarian will palpate or feel your pet’s musculoskeletal system, abdomen, and head and neck areas for abnormalities. A stethoscope will be used to listen to your pet’s heart and lungs. Your pet’s eyes, ears, and mouth will also be checked for age-related problems, such as cataracts, dental problems, and ear canal disorders.
- Diagnostic tests – such as blood work, urinalysis and possibly x-rays (based on your veterinarian’s recommendations).
Ongoing monitoring allows your veterinarian to ensure they have the correct combination of treatment in place for your pet. As well as assisting you to provide the best lifestyle and home environment possible.
The aim of the Senior Program is to make the life of your furry companion long and healthy. We take pleasure in helping you to achieve this.