Senior Dog Care
Older dogs tend to be susceptible to many diseases. Thanks to our advancing veterinary technology, many of these diseases are easily and successfully treated if they are found early enough. Old age is not a disease. Dogs develop problems as they age, but these problems are identifiable and treatable with proper veterinary care. Our goal for your senior dog is not life at all costs, but rather, the highest quality of life possible.
Care for your dog aged 7 and older*
*Giant breed dogs have shorter life spans and are considered senior citizens at age 5.
Senior Preventive Care Examination: Twice per year
By performing healthy pet physical examinations senior pets every 6 months we can monitor for any changes in internal organ size, shape or palatability. We can also monitor ocular changes, along with arthritic.mobility changes. Most of these changes can be treated when internal signs are first notice, hopefully extending the pets life and decreasing the cost of managing these changes.
We follow the most up to date recommendations on vaccinations from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Most dogs will receive a Distemper-Adenovirus Type 2-Parvo (DA2P) injection every three years. All dogs who contact other dogs, even casually, need twice per year Kennel Cough Vaccines. We recommend Lyme vaccinations for any dog that does not test positive on the annual Lyme test. Rabies vaccination is required by law in Massachusetts for companion dogs at a one or three year interval depending on their Rabies vaccine history. Depending on your dog’s exposures, we may recommend the Leptospirosis vaccine and/or the Canine Influenza Vaccine.
Fecal Centrifugation and Giardia Elisa
By bringing a fresh stool sample (not more than 24 hours old), we can look for any intestinal parasites that dogs can obtain from contact with other dogs or by walking where another infected dog or wildlife has been. Some of these parasites are contagious to people, especially children and immunocompromised individuals. If you are unable to obtain a stool sample, we can administer a broad spectrum dewormer to your dog which will eliminate the most common gastrointestinal parasites.
Annual Lyme, Heartworm, Ehrlichia canis and Anaplasma Testing
Dedham is now considered a Lyme and Anaplasma endemic area.
Lyme disease is spread by the bite of the deer tick. Dogs that catch the Lyme bacteria may or may not develop the classic lameness and fever but are still at risk for further health problems, such as life-threatening kidney failure The four part test that we use to test for Lyme also tests dogs for heartworm disease and two other tick borne diseases called Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis.
Annual Senior Bloodwork and Urinalysis
We will collect both a blood and urine sample from your dog. The test is no more painful than a needle stick. A CBC, biochemical profile, two-part thyroid test and urinalysis will be submitted to the laboratory for testing. Bloodwork will show if the patient is starting to have changes to kidney, liver or organ function. Most of these changes can be treated when internal signs are first notice, hopefully extending the pets life and decreasing the cost of managing these changes.
Blood pressure screening may be recommended at the doctor’s discretion.
Regular Parasite Prevention and Control
Interceptor kills baby heartworms (introduced to your dog by the bite of a mosquito) and kills roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms that your dog may have picked up by walking where other dogs or wildlife have been.
Vectra 3D once per month kills fleas and ticks. Fleas carry tapeworms and ticks carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis and Tularemia.
Regular Oral Care: Toothbrushing and Hills T/D diet
Your dog will live longer and may not have to have costly dental procedures if you can maintain excellent oral health in his or her mouth. Untreated dental disease can lead to bacterial infection of vital organs. Ideally, you would brush your dog’s teeth every day and many dogs are amenable to this since pet toothpaste is delicious. We also recommend the regular use of several kibbles of Hill’s t/d diet given as a treat for your dog to prevent dental disease.
*Due to the increasing costs of veterinary products and technology, our prices are subject to change.