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Senior Care

10 Senior Care Tips

  1. Note changes in behavior or appearance. Treat simple medical problems, such as incessant ear-scratching, immediately.  A trip to the veterinarian can get problems under control early, before they become major problems requiring more extensive treatment.

  2. Switch to a quality senior food that provides enhanced levels of key nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamin E and beta-carotene, reduced fat and added joint support.

  3. Ask your veterinarian to clean your dog’s teeth regularly and follow the cleaning with recommended dental care at home.

  4. Provide light to moderate exercise. This will help with weight control and keep muscles toned

  5. Groom your senior pet at least once each week. Check for lumps, sores, parasites and foul-smelling ears or discharge. Older pets may need to he bathed with medicated or moisturizing shampoo.

  6. Maintain a familiar routine and environment to minimize stress.

  7. Keep your senior pets as comfortable as possible in the summer and in the winter. Provide them with warm comfy beds off the cold floor, coats to provide a little extra comfort and in the summer think about clipping hair shorter to keep them cool.

  8. Visit the practice for a senior health care exam at least every six months to monitor changes in your pet’s health.

  9. As your pet approaches senior status, your veterinarian may recommend basic blood and urine tests as a baseline for measuring future changes. Regular blood testing can help identify diseases in their earliest and most treatable stages.


Senior Wellness Testing

Why do I need to have my healthy senior pet tested? What are we looking for?

Although some age related diseases in your pet cannot be treated, the early
detection of others can delay or at least minimize their effect on your pet's quality of life. Other diseases can be very effectively treated.

It can be very difficult for us to detect the early sub-clinical signs of age-related disease in our pets, as many treatable or preventable diseases may have no obvious early signs. This is why physicians often suggest routine laboratory tests during our own physical exams. Early diagnosis is an important key in the preventative health care of pets and is possible only through routine laboratory testing of apparently 'healthy' animals.

The following is a description of the most commonly suggested diagnostic screening tests, together with the most frequent abnormalities discovered:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) - Blood test to evaluate the number and type of red, white, and clotting cells. Abnormal values can be associated with bacterial or viral infection, anemia, clotting diseases, and certain types of cancers.

  • Chemistry Profile (chem) - Blood test to evaluate the function of many internal organs. Abnormalities can indicate systemic disorders including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and electrolyte abnormalities.

  • Urinalysis (U/A) - urine samples provide valuable information about kidney function as well as screening for infections and diabetes.

  • Thyroid Hormone Level (T4) - Blood test to measure the amount of circulating thyroid hormone. Deficiency is common in dogs resulting in lethargy, weight gain, and dermatological problems. Increased levels are common in senior cats resulting in weight loss, increased appetite/thirst and heart problems.


For patients over seven years of age, we recommend testing every 12 months. This allows us not only to spot when something abnormal, but also to track changes in values which may be a concern.

Caressing a Cat
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