For a small dog age seven is equivalent to a human in their mid forties. Big dogs at seven years old are similar to people in their early to mid fifties. When humans reach these stages in their lives their doctors start recommending more screening for various cancers, blood work and other diagnostics to catch disease and age changes early. We recommend the same for your dog.
Even though you may believe your dog is healthy, there are many age-related disease processes that do not show any outward sign until the disease is quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as diseases diagnosed early.
Early detection of kidney, liver and thyroid diseases, to name a few, allow us to administer the appropriate treatments to make your dog comfortable help extend their life.
As well, nutritional needs change as your dog ages. We can discuss an appropriate diet to meet those needs.
For senior dogs, the Annual Visit to their veterinarian is more important than ever.
An annual visit includes a thorough nose to tail examination as detailed below, appropriate vaccinations, parasite control, and nutritional, weight and behavioural counselling. As well, your veterinarian will be able to advise you on any preventative care measures you can be taking to help your dog live a long and healthy life. Of course, you can request your choice of veterinarian for your visit.
- Bone, Joint and Muscle Examination
- Skin & Coat Examination
- Heart & Lung Evaluation
- Eye & Ear Health Examinations
- Abdominal Check
- Urinary Tract and Genital Exam
- Neurologic Check
- Nutritional & Weight Assessment
- Lifestyle & Behaviour Consultation
- A thorough dental exam. People often don’t notice how bad their dog’s teeth are. Dental disease can lead to the spread of bacteria through the bloodstream, settling in vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver and causing serious illness.
- Recommendations for any age-related screening that may be indicated
- Recommendation for a Nail Trim if Required
Health problems are always easier and less costly to treat when they are detected early.
There are many vaccines available to protect your dog from many diseases. Our philosophy at Blue Cross Animal Hospital is to use vaccines only for diseases that our patients are at risk of contacting. We follow the Guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association in choosing our “Core Vaccines.” From the time a dog is two years old we stop vaccinating for every disease every year. At your Annual Visit, your veterinarian will discuss your dog’s lifestyle and vaccines will be prescribed as needed. As well, we now have titre-testing as an alternative to some vaccines.