Did you know that approximately 40% of the pet population in the U.S. are considered seniors, but sadly only 14% of these pets receive regular senior care?
We love our gray faced dogs and cats here at East Bend Animal Hospital and want to change those statistics!
So, when is your pet considered a senior?
- Over 9 years of age in a Cat or Small Dog
- Over 7 years of age in Medium or Large Dog
- Over 6 years of age in a Giant Breed
How can you ensure your senior is receiving adequate care?
Senior exams are recommended every 6 months which is the equivalent of going to your doctor every 2-3 years. The importance of senior wellness exams and screening (bloodwork) became apparent in a recent study where veterinarians found health problems in 80% of the dogs examined over 9 years of age. Many of the findings and diagnostics results were not noticed by owners prior to the screening. Pain was also identified in 1 out of 4 dogs which had not previously been noted by the owner.
Senior wellness screening includes a full examination of all body systems including screening for pain and orthopedic disease, sensation changes (vision/hearing) and cognitive disorders. We also recommend annual bloodwork which includes; complete blood count (white blood cells, red blood cells), biochemistry profile (liver, kidney, electrolytes, blood proteins, diabetes screening), thyroid screening and urinalysis. These blood panels are designed to detect early disease processes which may not yet be recognized symptomatically in your pet. Remember that dogs and cats are VERY good at masking illness and disease. We also have the capability here at East Bend Animal Hospital to provide a variety of early intervention based on our findings. This can include nutrition recommendations (food IS medicine), supplemental and herbal support, acupuncture or chiropractic care as indicated. We also love to focus on antioxidant therapy for our seniors which have years of accumulated oxidative damage to their cells/bodies. When these interventions are started early, we can help prevent permanent damage or the development of chronic illness.
Our furry gray-faced friends deserve optimum care for their years of unconditional love and devotion and we can’t wait to be a part of making their senior years the best possible!