Canine Wellness Care
Signs of Aging in Dogs
SENIOR DOG CARE
Annual wellness exams keep your dog as healthy as possible!
The onset of symptoms such as increased thirst, excessive barking and changes in sleeping patterns could, indeed, be signs of old age - and therefore precisely the time to worry.
A seven-year-old pet is equivalent to a 50-year-old human. An annual examination for your pet at that age is like a senior person getting a physical once every seven years. Consider that new technologies and procedures make it possible for pets to live longer and healthier lives than ever. Life-threatening problems of only a few years ago are treatable conditions today. On the other hand, the "Don't worry" mentality can result in minor problems quickly becoming major ones.
Good senior dog care begins with regular bi-annual check-ups!
Senior canine care begins during your dog's regular bi-annual (twice a year) veterinary exam. Annual blood work is recommended, but some tests may not be required.
During your dog's senior wellness exam, we will ask you a series of questions regarding any changes in your dog’s activity and behavior, perform a complete physical exam and recommend a senior panel blood chemistry test. The senior panel blood test includes a complete blood count (CBC), electrolytes, enzymes and chemical elements such as calcium and phosphorous. This information helps us determine how various organs, such as your pet’s kidneys, pancreas, and liver, are currently functioning. The results of these tests helps us formulate an accurate diagnosis, prescribe proper therapy, and monitor the response to treatment. We may recommend further testing based on the results of these tests.
In between vet visits, here are Ten Tips to take better care of your Senior Petizen:
1.) Monitor changes in health, behavior and appearance. Note difficulty with urination and irregular bowel movements, which could be indications of something more serious.
2.) Spay or neuter your pet. Ask your veterinarian if the procedure is advisable at his age, but doing so now could avert serious tumors.
3.) Begin regular but moderate exercise. Start with ten minutes and increase based on your pet's capacity. If you note difficulty with breathing or ability to exercise, alert our office.
4.) Switch to a senior-appropriate diet to provide higher quantities of important nutrients.
5.) Don't change surroundings. Familiarity can be a blessing in their old age.
6.) Inspect the mouth, gums and teeth regularly. Loose teeth and inflammation can be early signs of internal troubles.
7.) Increase groomings and examinations. Check for rashes, lumps, sores and bad odors. Use senior specific products designed to maintain and protect their healthy coat. Daily grooming and brushing not only strengthens the bonds the two of you share, but also stimulates their oil glands, and promotes a healthy, shiny coat.
8.) Modify the environment to prevent sickness and injury. Keep rooms warm and dry. Senior pets, like their owners, can't fight off common diseases and infections like they once could. Watch for difficulty climbing stairs and general disorientation.
9.) Control food portions and observe weight gain. Obesity in older cats and dogs, caused by slowing metabolism, can trigger arthritis, diabetes and other painful conditions that decrease life expectancy.
10.) Keep up the TLC. Mature pets need your love and affection more than ever. Such intangibles can absolutely add to your pet companion's life expectancy. It may not be scientific, but it's true.