“Senior at seven”
It is well-known that dogs and cats age 5-7 times faster than people. Individual pets and their body systems age at different rates. In addition to the number of years lived, aging is affected by important factors such as genetics, nutrition and environment. Some breeds are genetically programmed to live longer on average. For example, smaller breeds tend to have a longer life span than larger breed dogs. The rate of aging depends also on the quality of nutrition fed throughout your pet‘s life and the environment provided. For example, overweight, under-exercised pets are more prone to diseases such as cancer and diabetes. As a general rule, pets are considered to be “senior at seven.”
Prevention and early detection needed to maximize senior health
We have a shared goal for your dog or cat to have an excellent quality of life for as long as possible. Many disease conditions begin to develop in middle-aged dogs without showing any outward clinical signs. Our feline friends are especially good at hiding disease until they no longer can and too often, these pets are brought to the hospital as an emergency because they appear to be suddenly ill. If I can detect disease in its early stages, I am can be more successful in the management of the disorder.
You are your pet’s voice!
Because of the importance of detecting disease early and the more rapid aging of animals, senior pets need a comprehensive physical examination every 6 months. These regular visits allow you to describe your pet’s behaviour or any changes you may have noticed which may be very significant. Remember, you are your pet’s voice! In addition, a minimum blood screening panel and urinalysis will give me a better understanding of your pet’s overall health if done on a regular basis so that minor changes will be discovered early enough to make a difference. Finances invested early into the health of your pet will reduce costs later if diseases can be identified earlier or better yet, prevented altogether!
Pain prevention / treatment
As advocates for our pets, we must make sure that above all else, they are not experiencing any discomfort or pain. Arthritic changes are extremely common amongst older dogs and cats but the signs may be subtle. I will work with you to diagnose the existence of pain in your pet and to find pain relief options that improve your pet’s life.