We understand that your senior pets are cherished members of the family. Veterinary Medical Associates is dedicated to maintaining your loyal companion’s health and vigor into the golden years, supporting comfort and a high quality of life.
Senior Care for Your Special Friend
Wellness care, quality nutrition, proper grooming, and regular exercise are vital to good health in senior pets. When age creates challenges, such as arthritis or kidney problems, minor environmental modifications or dietary restrictions can enhance quality of life.
Aging in dogs and cats is influenced by a variety of factors, including:
- Size and breed—Smaller breeds tend to live longer
- Environment—Outdoor pets have higher risk of disease and trauma
- Nutrition—Obesity and disease increases health risks
- Health status—Diseases of vital organs like the heart, lung, kidney, and liver reduce quality of life
Generally, we consider most dogs and cats to be in the senior life stage at around the age of seven. Very large breeds may enter this stage at the age of four.
We recommend all healthy senior pets have wellness and dental exams every six months, with diagnostic testing annually. This plan allows for early detection and treatment of age-related conditions and diseases.
Diagnostic Tests for Senior Pets
Baseline diagnostics are highly recommended for our senior dogs and cats. This provides an excellent baseline for health and condition and serves as a benchmark for changes that develop in the patient.
These are the most common diagnostic screening tests for senior pets:
- Complete blood count (CBC)—Evaluates for bacterial or viral infection, anemias, clotting diseases, and certain types of cancers
- Chemistry profile (Chem)—Evaluates internal organs for systemic disorders such as diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and electrolyte abnormalities
- Urinalysis (U/A)—Evaluates kidney function and screens for infections, tumors, and bladder stones
- Thyroid level (T4)—Measures circulating thyroid hormone
Imaging studies, such as digital X-ray or ultrasound, may be ordered for diagnosing cardiac problems, cancers, and more.
Between visits, notice any changes that occur in your old friend. This may include mobility issues, weight gain or loss, confusion, changes in eating or elimination, seizures, and unusual behavior such as lethargy or aggression.
Any sudden or problematic change should be reported to us at once, for assessment and possible diagnostics. Often these changes signal a developing problem or are a sign that your pet is in pain. No animal should be allowed to suffer, especially when comfort is only a phone call away.
If your pet’s condition cannot be cured or pain cannot be alleviated, we offer compassionate end-of-life care and humane euthanasia services.