No matter the age of your cat or dog, proper diet, regular exercise, and routine medical checkups should be a basic part of their lives. Our best defence against health problems is awareness and prevention. This becomes even more critical when your pet becomes a senior. Depending on the breed and size of your cat or dog, they may be considered a senior between the ages of 7 to 10-years-old. Our hospital offers senior preventive plans that include different services to keep your cat/dog happy and healthy.
How often should my senior cat or dog have an exam?
Senior cats and dogs should have bi-annual veterinary exams. A senior wellness exam is the first step to helping your pet. These visits are necessary to monitor their health, catch diseases early, and provide prompt treatment. After a comprehensive geriatric physical examination, including an orthopedic and neurologic assessment if necessary, our veterinarians may suggest one or more of the following options:
- Bloodwork (biochemistry and/or complete blood count)
- Urinalysis to check the urinary tract, including kidney function
- Fecal testing to check stool for parasites
- Chest X-rays to check the heart and lungs, abdominal X-rays to check abdominal organs, and orthopedic X-rays to help diagnose arthritis
- Thyroid Profile to check that the thyroid gland is functioning properly
Why are wellness exams important for seniors?
Senior cats and dogs require special attention to maintain good health in their golden years. These wellness exams will keep their health on the right track. As a senior, your pet’s immune system will become weaker, making them vulnerable to diseases. Senior cats and dogs are vulnerable to the following health conditions:
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Dental disease
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid changes
What can I expect now that my cat or dog is a senior?
The signs that your cat or dog is aging will resemble what you typically see in humans. It’s normal for them to experience physical and health changes. Here are some signs that your feline or canine companion is aging:
- Eating less
- Weight loss
- Tiredness/sleeping more
- Losing their appetite
- Soiling the house
- Taking a longer time to respond
- Moving around less or harder to move
- Grey hairs
- Vision/hearing issues
- Matting on your cat’s back or hard-to-reach areas
To schedule a veterinary checkup for your senior cat or dog, please call us at 905-332-4014.