Geriatric Senior Care

Thanks to the many advances in veterinary medicine, pet lifespans have increased beyond our wildest expectations. However, with a longer lifespan comes an increase in the types of ailments that can afflict our senior pets. As your loved ones begin to reach their senior years, there are a variety of conditions and diseases they can face, including weight and mobility changes; osteoarthritis; kidney, heart, and liver disease; tumors and cancers; and hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance.

Many veterinarians consider an animal to be in their senior stage of life at the age of seven. Generally, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. Keep in mind that some small dog breeds may be considered a senior at 10-11 years, while giant breeds are classified as seniors at ages as young as five.

Common testing for senior patients:

  • Glaucoma check
  • Complete blood count
  • Complete urinalysis
  • Heartworm test
  • Abdominal and chest radiographs
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Full chemistry blood panel
  • Internal parasite test
  • Thyroid test
  • Electrocardiogram as recommended

These tests are not time intensive or difficult to do and can be performed during routine wellness exams. We recommend that this baseline laboratory testing be conducted at least once a year in senior pets. A smaller panel is often performed every 3-6 months if there is medication monitoring or disease process management, a common occurrence in our senior pets.