Preventative Care for Adult and Senior Pets
Our pets age 5 – 7 times faster than we do, which means health problems can progress 5 – 7 times faster in your pet. The average dog or cat 7 – 10 years of age and older qualifies as a senior. There is a progressive decline in organ function, immunity and physical and mental abilities as a pet ages. While some age-related diseases may not be preventable, early detection and intervention are the keys to successful management.
We recommend all adult pets receive annual examinations and that senior pets receive a thorough physical examination every 6-12 months. These visits help us to detect changes and provide you with further diagnostic or treatment options.
We recommend annual blood work (CBC, chemistry profile and thyroid function tests), urinalysis and fecal examination. These tests help us to detect changes that may indicate a disease is present and may allow us to slow or stop its progression.
We will also assess your pet’s body condition and make dietary and exercise recommendations to help your pet maintain its ideal body weight. In addition, we will carefully assess the health of your pet’s teeth and gums, as dental disease can be a significant problem for senior pets. We will also update your pet on any vaccinations they may need.
Watch your pet for the following changes that may indicate an underlying disease:
- Change in appetite or weight loss/gain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Urination or defecation in the house
- Increased thirst
- Increased urine frequency, volume, straining etc.
- Difficulty rising, walking or climbing stairs
- Confusion, disorientation, anxiety or changes in sleep patterns
- Persistent cough
- New lumps or bumps
It is common to assume these signs are a normal part of the aging process; however, these symptoms may indicate underlying disease. If you notice any of these signs, please call us at 401-943-0500 to have your pet evaluated.