Your Senior Pet Companion Deserves Quality Veterinary Care
Many owners wonder about the age their pet becomes a “senior.” The answer varies depending upon animal type, breed, size, and lifestyle. Generally speaking, larger animals live shorter lives; for example, giant dog breeds may be considered senior at 5 years and small breeds from 10–13 years, while most cats reach seniority between 8–10 years of age. Your veterinarian will assist you in determining when senior care is appropriate and necessary for your pet.
The staff at Madison Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to providing your mature pet with the highest quality of life possible. We do this through disease prevention, early diagnosis, and rigorous treatment options designed specifically for your pet’s needs. Sadly, many health conditions in an aging pet show few symptoms until they are quite severe. This is why the professional standard of care for senior pets is a Wellness Exam every 6 months, with a Senior Workup annually.
The twice-a-year Wellness Exam allows our veterinarian to do a complete hands-on physical, searching for signs of disease or deterioration. We will assess your pet’s physical, nutritional, and behavioral condition in an effort to identify early markers of age-related issues and begin addressing them before they become major problems.
The annual Senior Workup is a set of diagnostic and laboratory tests that includes the following:
- General health profile (complete blood chemistry panel)
Tests the function of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas; screens for diabetes
- Complete blood count
Provides detailed information about the patient’s red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
- Electrolyte check
Tests the balance of sodium, potassium, and chloride
Allows evaluation of organ size and screens for arthritis
- Thyroid check
Screens for thyroid disease (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism)
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
Detects heart rate and electrical rhythm
Screens for urinary tract disease, diabetes, and kidney function
Our goal is to keep your senior pet healthy and vigorous for as long as possible and comfortable in the aging process. After all, health and comfort is the best reward we can give for those years of companionship, dedication, and loyalty.
Dignity at end-of-life is another issue in senior pet care. We are here to support and guide you through that time, and offer pet hospice care and a variety of resources for owners facing the loss of a special companion. The Pet Center website offers this wonderful article, Euthanasia: What To Expect, for pet owners facing that decision.
For an excellent senior care overview, read this wonderful article The Golden Years: A Little More Care Goes a Long Way for Senior Cats and Dogs on the AAHA Healthy Pet website.
View information about pet vaccines for your senior pet.