Routine Care

IMPORTANCE OF ROUTINE VETERINARY CARE FOR OLDER PETS

Our pets are family to us and we want to give them the best. Providing routine care is one way we show our love. As they age, it can be difficult to recognize what our pets need. It becomes even more important to pay close attention to changes in their habits and maintain regular visits with your veterinarian.

When is your pet a senior pet? Cats and small breed dogs are considered senior at 7 years of age while large breed dogs are typically considered senior at 6 years of age.

For pets that have not yet reached senior status, it is recommended to have yearly exams. Along with the annual exam, your veterinarian will recommend routine vaccines, internal parasite control, heartworm prevention and flea/tick control. Other preventatives may be offered based on your regional location.

Once your pet becomes a senior, routine exams should occur every six months. Diagnostics such as bloodwork and urinalysis will likely be added to the exam. Based on those findings, further tests may be recommended to investigate any findings of concern. If there are specific problems, more frequent rechecks and diagnostics may be recommended to keep your pet as healthy as possible.

Your veterinarian will most likely discuss common problems in senior pets:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Liver disease
  • Behavior problems
  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid disease (hypothyroidism in dogs and hyperthyroidism in cats)
  • Dental disease
  • Diabetes
  • Other endocrine diseases
  • Weight control

It is important to have annual (or bi-annual) routine exams, blood-work and urinalysis to maintain your senior pet’s health.  By following your veterinarian’s recommendations, you may catch problems before they progress and keep your senior pet in tip-top shape.

STOP THE PAIN!

It is our dental promo month here at the Lebanon Small Animal Clinic.  While it offers a great deal on your wallet for the procedure, it also offers a great deal for your pet’s health!  Dentals, depending on the circumstance, can greatly impact the overall wellness of your pet’s life.  There are many signs of dental disease you may notice including bad breath, not eating, face rubbing, and the color of their teeth.  However, dental disease can lead to many unseen problems including kidney, heart, and liver disease and secondary bacteria infections if untreated for prolonged periods of time.  Many times, the severity of dental disease goes unnoticed because it lies under the gum line. We take an X-ray of every tooth to make sure your pet is not suffering in silent agony.

Coming in for a dental exam is the first step.  From there we may recommend a cleaning and dental X-rays.  We then try to keep those teeth stay fresh and clean by daily brushing!  The doctors don’t even care if you brush your pet’s teeth with a little bit of peanut butter.  It’s the motion of the brushing that counts.  You can also consider dental food, Oravet Dental Treats, or toys that assist in keeping tartar off those pearly whites.