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.

2 replies
  1. Taylor Bishop
    Taylor Bishop says:

    Thanks for going over why you should have a routine veterinary care for an older pet. It’s good to know that these should be done about every six months so that you can recheck for any problems and keep your pet healthy. I wonder if there are some situations where you should go for these checks more often, depending on the condition of your pet. Either way, it seems very beneficial to making sure that they are still happy.

    • drjason
      drjason says:

      So sorry for the delayed response. We usually respond much quicker. When any sort of disease or illness is present, multiple rechecks are usually indicated. It is usually dependent on the condition and the current health status of your pet. These are typically Medical Progress Examinations specific to your pet. It never hurts for us to help understand how they are doing at home with multiple exams. That is something we can assess and discuss on the regular Wellness Examinations as well. Oh, and by the way, we always want them happy!

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