One focus during your senior dog check-up will be to question you on any changes you’ve noticed with your pet, whether they seem significant to you or not. Our goal is to catch signs of illness at an early stage, so that more options exist for us to better manage what’s going on with your pet. We want to help our friends age gracefully. Some common concerns we see with our senior canines may include an underactive thyroid (hypothroidism), decreased kidney function, development of heart disease, vision or hearing problems, cognitive dysfunction, and pain or mobility issues. There are of course more that we should discuss at your appointment as well, and if you have a specific concern, please voice it to us to that we can help.
Hi everyone, I'm here with Layla. She's a 15 year old boxer mix, and she's my senior girl. I want to talk a little bit about some of the things that we do for our senior pets when they come visit us in the vet clinic. These visits are especially important. Senior pets really are aging faster. When a pet turns seven or eight, it really is time to get them in if the very least once a year, ideally twice a year. We're wanting to catch things early before we're seeing irreversible or major changes with them. So some of the things that we'll talk about, of course we'll do a good thorough physical exam, nose to tail exam, and we're looking for things like new lumps or bumps, are they benign growth? Are they a more concerning cancer? If they're growth, that needs to be addressed.
We're looking at their teeth. Do they have something painful in their mouth? Are they eating okay? Looking in their eyes, do they have some age related changes such as cataracts, so much more that goes into that physical exam, really. We may also talk about some diagnostics such as blood work. Kidneys are one of the big organ systems that we're looking at with senior pets because we will definitely see some age related changes with kidney numbers, same for the liver. May even talk about some x-rays to actually visualize what's happening in the chest, things that we can't hear with our stethoscope, with the heart and lungs. So outside of the medical side of things, we may actually talk about some behavioral issues that maybe your senior pets are having. So really tailor these appointments to what the pets, and you as owners express those concerns to us. So very much a tailored experience, but super, super important to get your senior pets in on a regular basis.
Adult dogs should be seen by their veterinarian yearly, and we recommend seeing your senior dog semi-annually. Based on your dog’s lifestyle, we will discuss vaccines and parasite prevention, of course. Additionally, we will talk about any changes you may have noticed since your last visit. It is important for all dogs in this area to remain on a heartworm prevention year-round.
- Signs of Illness
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Bad breath
- Changes vision or hearing
- Pain or mobility concerns
- Lethargy (tiredness, listlessness)
- Pale gums
As a special member of your family, your senior canine deserves the best possible care. One way to do this is to ensure they have annual preventative care check-ups, and semi-annual check-ups for senior dogs and dogs with chronic conditions. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.