Animals can be very good at masking discomfort or changes as they get older. This may allow certain ailments such as arthritis or dental disease to progress to an advanced stage before detection.
We can help you interpret early changes in your pet’s behaviour in order to provide appropriate advice and treatment if required. Our aim is to provide the best quality of life for your pet as they reach advanced years.
Any pet over eight years of age is considered a senior, and for large breed dogs (over 25kg) six years of age is considered senior, although, many dogs are still behaving like puppies at this age. Their bodies do develop special needs, particularly with regards to nutrition, oral care and exercise.
Blood and urine tests can help rule out problems such as kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease or diabetes, all of which become more common as pets age. Blood tests provide provide a benchmark for any changes that develop over the years. Blood samples can be taken during a senior health check consultation. If you are able to bring in a recent urine sample for your pet we can perform a urinalysis which provides valuable information. Our nurses can supply you with a urine jar and advice on how to collect it.
With early diagnosis many conditions can be managed successfully, allowing our senior pets to grow old gracefully.
Pets need regular check-ups. They can be very good at hiding any pain or discomfort, so we recommend an annual check up (usually coinciding with their booster vaccination) as a good way of spotting any underlying problems, which often respond better to early treatment. Health checks may need to be more frequent for younger or more senior pets or those with existing health issues.
For a routine health check, one of our vets will examine your pet from nose to tail, assessing their eyes, ears, teeth, skin, coat, paws and claws as well as listening to their heart and lungs and examining the abdomen for any unusual lumps or bumps. We will always involve you fully in discussions about any subsequent steps we might recommend.