Older pets (8 years and older) should be checked by their veterinarian at least twice a year. Dogs and cats age faster than we do, so their health problems progress faster too. Because of the higher risk for illness and disease, older pets need more extensive exams. Senior pets should receive the following each year:
- Health Consultation - To discuss any changes in your pet's vahavuir or other new provblems.
- Physical Exam - A doctor will physically check for abnormalities or changes on the skin, musculoskeletal system, eyes, ears and mouth, as well as listening to the heart and lungs.
- Diagnostic Tests - Blood work and urine tests are performed to identify any problems not found on the physical exam.
- Fecal Test - To check for intestinal parasites.
- Age and Risk-appropriate Vaccines - Healthy pets should continue to receive vaccine boosters. Your veterinarian will tell you if vaccines are recommended based on your pet's medical condition.
To keep your long-time companion healthier and happier, keep them fit and well fed. Good nutrition and regular exercise have health benefits for pets as well as people. Be aware that different pets age at different rates. Large breeds of dogs trypically age faster than smaller dogs, and may need more medical attention earlier in life. Many diseases affecting older pets are preventable or are easily managed if detected early. In order to catch these disease, have your pets seen regularly.
Be especially aware of the signs of failing health. See your doctor immediately if you notice:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Excessive drinking and/or urination
- Loss of appetite or lethargy
- Behavioral changes
- Diarrhea or vomiting
You can learn more at VCAHOSPITALS.COM.