At Bracebridge Animal Hospital we recognize the importance of being proactive in the healthcare requirements for your senior pet. As part of your pet’s Comprehensive Wellness Program we have developed some guidelines for senior pets in order to help identify potential health concerns earlier in their lives and thus allow us to act quickly, as owner and healthcare provider, to give your pet an improved quality of life.
Pets age at a much faster rate than humans, and all pets, even cats and small dogs are considered “senior” at seven years of age. Some larger breeds of dogs age even faster and can be considered “senior” at an even younger age. We recommend that all senior pets be seen at least twice yearly for comprehensive examination and consultation with one of our veterinarians.
We will also recommend at least yearly that comprehensive blood testing and urinalysis be performed. There are multiple benefits to performing these tests on your senior pet. Firstly, in the healthy pet these tests establish a “baseline” or a starting point for us to continue to monitor for changes as your pet ages. Secondly, these tests help to detect disease in the earlier stages, often years before actual clinical signs would be noticed by you or even by our veterinarians when examining your pet. Thirdly, these tests allow us to make choices about the appropriate medications your senior pet may require for any disease or illness being treated (such as arthritic joint disease , dental disease or heart disease ). Lastly, these tests enable us to monitor closely whether medications are aiding your pet in the treatment of disease or illness.
Many senior pets are now found to be suffering from debilitating diseases such as arthritic changes and joint disease, heart disease, dental disease, hormonal disease, kidney disease or liver disease that in the past was simply considered to be “getting old”. Almost all of the commonly seen senior pet diseases can be treated, often at a very reasonable cost, to improve the quality and longevity of life in your senior pet. Please ask us if you have concerns with your senior pet’s health and quality of life.
We understand and appreciate the considerable bond that forms between people and their pets. Together we can help develop a comprehensive healthcare plan for your senior companion so as to maximize the potential for a long, healthy and rewarding relationship with your pet.