Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and technology, pets are now living healthier and longer lives than ever before! So, at what age is your pet considered a “senior citizen?” A general guideline to go by is large breed dogs are seniors at seven years of age, and small breed dogs and cats are considered “seniors” at nine years of age. Though it may seem like just yesterday that your companion was just a puppy or kitten, your senior pet now needs a slightly different healthcare plan than before. Our veterinarians and highly-trained staff are able to help your pet make the transition into their senior years, ensuring optimal health and a long, enjoyable life!
At Bloomsburg Veterinary Hospital, we understand the medical changes and healthcare needs of your senior pet, which is why we have developed our exclusive “Senior Wellness Exam.” Preventative healthcare is a vital aspect of a senior pet’s life due to the increased risks they develop as they age. Such risks include an increased likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and endocrine diseases, among several others. All too often these types of diseases can easily go undetected due to your pet not showing noticeable symptoms. It is recommended that senior pets visit our animal hospital twice yearly for physical exams, in order to monitor these potential changes closely. We know that early detection results in quicker treatment and better health in general.
The physical exam portion of a “Senior Wellness Exam” is not all too different from what you may be accustomed to for a typical examination. Your veterinarian will listen to your dog or cat’s heart and lungs to check for signs of heart murmurs and irregular beat patterns. We will also evaluate your pet’s vision, hearing, dental health, cognitive function, and even range of motion tests to assess muscle and joint health. Our senior wellness exam also includes checking lab work including blood, urine, and fecal tests, and a full-body physical palpation checking for tumors, infections and other diseases. We may also take radiographs among other tests if your veterinarian should find reason to further investigate any aging concerns with your loved one. Bloom Vet encourages you take charge of caring for your senior pet.
Issues involving weight gain, dental disease, energy fatigue, decreased vision or hearing, and skin issues are all common signs of old age in your pet. Some other signs to keep an eye out for include the following:
• Behavior changes
• Slow movements, including slow rising
• Trembling or shaking
• Seizure activity
• Change in water intake or urination behavior
If any of these signs should begin to appear, we recommend that you contact our animal clinic in order to inform your veterinarian so that we may monitor changes in your pet’s overall health and behavior.
Should you have any concerns or if you are ready to schedule your pet’s senior wellness exam, please contact us today! We look forward to serving your senior pet and ensuring their optimal health for years to come!