It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact age that your pet can be considered a senior, but there are general guidelines available to help determine if your dog is ready for senior wellness care. At Timberline Animal Hospital, we are here to help you and your companion through every life stage and to support you when your dog reaches their senior years.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, small dogs are considered to be seniors at the age of 7. Larger breeds of dogs tend to have shorter life spans, and therefore are considered to be seniors at the age of 6. Knowing at least the approximate age of your dog is extremely helpful in determining if it’s time to talk to us about senior wellness care for your companion.
Early diagnosis and treatment of age-related illness and disease are important for your dog’s long-term health and quality of life. It’s important to recognize any changes in your dog’s behavior or regular routine.
These symptoms may indicate conditions such as arthritis, kidney and heart disease, urinary tract disease, cancer, or other serious medical problems. Please contact us if your dog is experiencing any signs of age-related disease or illness.
During your dog’s senior wellness exam, we will obtain a complete medical history for your dog and to determine if there have been any changes in health or behavior since their last visit. During the comprehensive physical exam we check for signs of arthritis or muscle weakness and perform a visual dental examination. In addition, we will check for signs of internal/external parasites and heartworm. We also recommend yearly screening lab work for your senior dog, including a complete blood cell count, chemistry panel, and urinalysis. In some cases, a thyroid hormone assay may also be indicated. Catching and managing chronic diseases in their early stages can help give your dog a longer more healthy life.
Obesity is also a concern for older pets, and should be taken seriously. It can lead to a number of health problems and increase the risk of diseases your senior dog is susceptible to including heart, liver, kidney or joint disease. During your senior dog’s wellness exam, we will discuss weight management and proper nutrition to keep your dog at a healthy weight. We can use morphometric measurements to determine your dog’s proper body weight and design a nutritional plan
Regular exercise and mental stimulation is very important - don't let your senior dog become a couch potato!
Dr. Pulver and his staff are here to help you and your dog through every life stage. Please contact us to schedule your dog’s senior wellness exam and with any questions you have about your dog’s healthcare.