Lower East Side Animal Hospital is committed to maximizing your senior pet’s quality of life, happiness, and longevity. Comprehensive veterinary care is essential to extend your pet’s golden years. As pets age more rapidly than humans, early detection of disease or illness provides the best possible outcome for your pet. Many common problems of senior citizen pets, such as kidney, heart, and thyroid disease, can be treated successfully if diagnosed early. The costs for treatment and stress on pets can be significantly reduced when a condition is diagnosed and treated early, so we always recommend pet wellness exams every 6 months for our senior patients.
Senior Pet Wellness Exam
Once your pet reaches 8 years of age, we consider him or her a senior pet. We recommend bi-annual senior wellness exams to check your pet for health changes. The senior wellness veterinary visit generally may include the following:
- Comprehensive early detection blood testing—Checks kidney, liver, and thyroid function
- Fecal examination—Checks for digestion difficulty, internal bleeding, pancreatic disorders, and intestinal parasites
- Dental screening—Checks teeth and gums for signs of disease potentially leading to system diseases
- Diagnostic imaging—Checks for tumors, enlarged organs, heart failure, lung disease, bladder stones, and kidney stones otherwise not palpable on physical exam
- Vaccine antibody titers—Determines if vaccination booster shots are necessary without adding unnecessary vaccine or chemicals into the senior pet’s body
- Blood Pressure—Shifting blood pressure may allow our veterinarians to detect changes in your pet’s body prior to other clinical signs
Vaccinations and the Senior Pet
Older pets have decreased resistance to disease; therefore, keeping their vaccinations current is very important. We may adjust your pet’s vaccine regimen based on his or her vaccine antibody titer results. We want to ensure your pet has an effective level of vaccination protection without needlessly overstimulating your senior pet’s immune response. During your pet’s senior wellness exam, we will discuss all of your pet’s vaccination options and determine the most sensible protocol for you and your pet.
Senior Pet Nutrition
One of the most important keys to helping your dog or cat live as long as possible is proper nutrition. As your pet ages, obesity and weight loss are both common. In some instances, these changes can be attributed to illness or disease. There are many specialty diets available to support the nutritional needs of your aging pet. During your pet’s senior wellness exam, we will discuss available food options and find one that is best for your dog or cat.
Please contact us to schedule a senior pet wellness exam or so that we may answer any questions you have regarding your pet’s health.