Senior Canine Care

Aging happens to all of us. When a dog reaches his or her “senior” years, we believe it is critical to be vigilant and catch health issues early through proactive, specialized senior care exams and diagnostic testing as needed. These exams, coupled with your experiences at home, can help us determine problems early enough to begin treatment. The best time for you to begin your dog’s senior care program is before age-related conditions begin. Together we will manage your senior dog’s good health, vitality and increase his or her well-being.

How do you know if your pet is considered a “senior”?

Your dog can be considered a “senior” between 6 and 8 years of age depending on several factors, such as his or her lifestyle history, breed, medical history, etc. There are many changes in health that your dog will experience as he or she ages. Some may be subtle, some develop slowly and are easy for pet owners to miss

Some common age related issues include:

  • Changes in your dog’s nutritional requirements.
  • Dental disease resulting in pain, a decreased appetite, or possible infection.
  • Changes in your dog’s weight.
  • Noticeable orthopedic problems associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Changes in or loss of hearing and/or eyesight.
  • Behavioral changes.
  • Fluctuating bowel or urinary habits.
  • Evident development of lumps and bumps, and/or other skin/coat changes.

Senior Dog Wellness Care

As your dog ages, the type of medical care your dog needs changes too. We recommend semi-annual senior care exams that include an in-depth analysis of your dog’s overall health. During these exams, we may perform additional diagnostic testing and begin a dialogue about the factors that may be influencing your dog’s aging process. Your vigilant observations from home are an important part of senior dog care.

Your senor dog exam will include:

  • A comprehensive senior pet physical exam, dental exam and extensive consultation.
  • Diagnostic testing, such as blood work, urine and fecal analysis. X-rays, blood and eye pressure, or other testing as needed.
  • Discussion with you of your observations of any changes in behavior, such as difficulty getting up, changes in sleep patterns or lapses in housetraining.
  • Nutrition and weight management counseling. Knowing your pet’s ideal weight will help you keep him or her slim and your senior dog healthier.
  • Allowing your senior dog to gain weight will compound and/or create health problems.
  • Recommendations for regular exercise. Senior dogs benefit from long walks and playtime with you. While you do not want to overdo it, there is no reason older pets can’t enjoy physical activity.

If your pet is exhibiting any of these common signs of geriatric disease, please call us for a senior wellness exam:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Weight Loss/gain
  • Loss or decreased appetite
  • Increased thirst or urination
  • Lethargy
  • Inappropriate urination or defecation (indoors)
  • Limping
  • Difficulty rising, walking or climbing stairs
  • New lumps or bumps
  • Limping
  • Difficulty rising, walking or climbing stairs
  • Itching
  • Shaking head
  • Foul smelling ears
  • Foul breath
  • Eye or nose discharge
  • Wounds that are not healing
  • Confusion, disorientation, anxiety or changes in sleep patterns
  • New lumps or bumps
  • Any other sudden or progressive change you note in your pet’s attitude or behaviors

It is never too early to talk to us about senior dog care. Providing your dog high-quality preventive medicine throughout your dog’s lifetime and knowing the facts are the best way to ensure happy and healthy golden years for you and your dog. Early medical detection and treatment of diseases in your senior dog can only be accomplished through regular examinations and screening tests. Please give us a call today to schedule an exam for your senior dog.