Many of the same health problems that affect us, including hearing loss, also affect our pets. Fortunately, most pets adapt very well to the disability with a little help from their owners.View Article
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Please be sure to ask about our special Senior Cat and Senior Dog packages that include recommended geriatric blood work tests, urinalysis, fecal analysis and twice a year physical exams at a discounted rate.
To learn more about senior pet care and recommendations by the American Veterinary Medical Association, click on this link https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Senior-Pets.aspx
We recommend more frequent physical examinations for older pets because important changes can occur in just a few months in their health. We believe that twice yearly examinations are a minimum in order to catch subtle changes in your pet that could reflect problems underlying in their organs, or teeth, or unusual growths,etc. We will check your pet’s heart, lungs, teeth, joints, feel their abdomens, look for lumps and bumps and discuss proper care that will help your pet’s comfort and well-being.We may suggest doing diagnostic testing such as radiographs or bloodwork based on your pet's age and the findings on the physical examination.The age at which a pet is considered geriatric may vary widely by breed. Generally, larger breed dogs age more quickly that small breed dogs. As a rule, we recommend beginning senior blood work at no later than age 7 in all dogs, but large and giant breeds should be screened as early as 5 years old to detect early changes.
The senior blood work we run can detect changes in your cat or dog’s kidney, liver, thyroid, adrenal gland and other organs. If diagnosed early, before outward signs may be obvious to you, we can often significantly help in providing your pet with a much better quality of life, and often can significantly extend their years by minimizing damaging effects on their organs from improper diets, or by giving proper medications and supplements.
A urinalysis can give us much important information-including diagnosing kidney problems, even before they are advanced enough to show up on blood work. Did you know your pet has to lose 75% of their kidney function to show a change on the blood work measurements? We also commonly diagnose diseases such as diabetes and bladder infections in older animals from simple urinalyses.
We recommend that cats over 7 years old be examined at least twice a year and have geriatric blood work done yearly. Cats have different tendencies than dogs as they age, including high levels of kidney disease, and thyroid gland tumors that can cause hyperthyroidism (with effects on the liver and heart as well). If detected early, many problems can be treated with medications and specialized diets and help extend your pet’s life by many years.
Similar to small animals, we recommend twice yearly examinations on senior horses. Though horses “age” at different rates depending on their specific use and breed, we recommend starting senior care exams at 15 years old. Dental examinations and corrections of even minor problems are very important as horses age to ensure that the teeth can function properly and the horse has no oral pain.
Proper nutrition can be discussed at examination time to ensure that your horse, dog, cat or other pet is receiving the correct nutrients that they need for their age. Nutrition is critical in keeping senior pets healthy. Senior animals can have problems with obesity or sometimes losing too much weight. Blood work to aid in the diagnosis of metabolic problems may be indicated. Diets are available to help with skin and coat issues, weight problems and joint problems as well.
Dental care is important in all mature animals, including dogs, cats, horses and even exotic animals. Many rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs and rodents will develop problems with overgrowth of their incisors and molars that need to be treated. If left untreated, these dental diseases can be a source of poor digestion and infection affecting the health of your pet’s whole body. Make an appointment today for your senior pet to have a complete physical and discuss what we can do to help them live active, happy lives for many more years.
Arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems are a frequent concern of owners of senior pets of all kinds. We here at Laporte Animal Clinic are very experienced in treating animals with osteoarthritis and other causes of decreased mobility. There are many new medications and supplements available, and pain control for older animals has improved in so many ways in recent years. We can advise you on a variety of supplements including glucosamines, msm, anti-oxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, injectable joint medications, etc and have many versions available in our store, including chewable tablets, powders, liquids, etc. for all species, from dogs and cats to horses and even rabbits. We have special palatable supplements for older cats or dogs who can be difficult to medicate. In addition, Dr. Marta Dean is always acquiring new information and anualy attends multiple continuing education seminars on pain control and mobility in older animals. We can also coordinate acupuncture treatment here at our clinic with a certified veterinary acupuncturist and have an active relationship with several rehabilitation and physical therapy facilities that can help us to offer the best care possible for your friend.