As dogs and cats get older, they need more attention and special care. We recommend an annual physical exam to help your pet remain fit and healthy as he or she ages and help us catch any potential problems earlier, when they’re easier to treat or manage. Regular veterinary exams can actually help your pet live longer, too!
Diagnosing diseases and certain conditions early is important throughout a pet’s life, but it becomes even more critical when your dog or cat enters his or her senior years. The risks of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hormone disorders, and kidney and liver problems all increase with age. In addition, dogs and cats may not show any signs of even serious diseases until they are advanced past medical intervention.
Senior status varies depending on your pet’s breed and size. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs, and cats generally live longer than dogs. We can help you determine what life stage your pet is in.
If we do not see your pet on an annual basis as recommended, schedule an exam before your dog or cat reaches senior status so we can determine your pets ideal health as a baseline and use it as comparison for the future years. We may recommend diagnostic workup which may include a senior blood panel and urinalysis. In most cases, we suggest a diagnostic workup when your dog turns 7 years of age or your cat turns 8 years of age.
We can treat many symptoms that are commonly attributed to age, including those associated with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (similar to Alzheimer’s in humans). We can also improve your pet’s quality of life in many ways: by identifying and preventing or reducing pain, recommending a nutrition and exercise plan, and suggesting environmental modifications.
We at Northwestern Veterinary Hospital have adopted one price for an annual physical exam and vaccines, this is regardless of how many vaccines your pet receives. We believe the annual physical exam is the most important part of your annual visit. This allows you and your veterinarian to pick the best vaccines and vaccine protocol based on you and your pets lifestyle, degree of risk and overall health. This decision is made together and is according to the best health advice rather than the cheapest price.
We look forward to meeting your and your senior pet, and welcome those back from last year!