Did you know that pets age faster than people and can be considered “seniors” at around seven years of age? Just as our health care needs change as we age, your pet’s healthcare needs also change. Nutritional needs, exercise habits, and many aspects of your pet’s daily routine can change as your pet ages. So how can you tell the difference between “normal” aging and a medical problem? As with humans, some health issues that affect older pets can begin with very subtle changes that may go unnoticed until the problem has become more serious. Some of these health issues that go undetected while developing in your pet can be diagnosed and treated before you see outward or lasting symptoms. This early detection is not only optimal for your pet’s health but most issues can be treated early with a more cost-effective plan than they could be after the chronic onset of the issue. Due to the increased aging factor in our senior pets, Buzzards Bay Veterinary Associates recommends preventative care examinations every 6 months along with yearly senior comprehensive blood work and a yearly urine sample screening.
Here are some of the changes we look for with routine preventative care exams:
- Eye and vision changes
- Arthritic changes
- Major organ changes- kidney and liver changes
- Cardiac conditions
- Dental issues- general wear and more advanced issues- periodontal disease
- Cognitive and behavioral issues