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Veterinary Care for Senior Dogs

As your dog ages he will go through changes and it is important to have the special care that is needed to make your pets later years comfortable and long lasting.

Veterinary care for senior dogs has come a long ways with many new programs in place. Among them are “geriatric wellness programs” and “senior care programs” designed by veterinarians to manage your dog’s health in it later years.

Through proactive care, the many health problems that are associated with old age can be minimized and preventive measures can be put into place to protect your dog.

Dogs live longer and with longevity there comes more issues as a dog ages. Diseases such as kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes are all common problems of the older pet. It is not uncommon for a slowing down of the metabolism, thyroid problems, and canine arthritis of the joints.

Veterinarians recognize this and with today’s technology have the tools to diagnosis and treat those ailments before they become life threatening.  The average small dog will live up to twelve years old, with the larger dogs having a shorter life span. The vet will be able to tell you when your pet has reached its golden years based on the dogs breed and size.

What Is A Senior Care Plan And Why Is It Important

Veterinary care for senior dogs consists of a series of tests that will identify the health of your pet. These tests consists of blood tests to determine how the kidneys, heart, and liver is functioning, feces tests for worms, urine test for diabetes, kidney problems and dehydration, and blood count tests for anemia and infections.

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All of these tests give the vet a snap shot into the dog’s health and what is needed to keep him healthy. It is recommended that these series of tests are given every year to a younger dog and every six months to the older dog. From these tests the veterinarian will be able to formulate a health program designed specifically for your pet.

How You Can Help Your Senior Friend

The veterinarian will be able to recommend your dog’s diet and exercise program according to the tests that were taken. For instance, when a dog has diabetes there normally is given insulin along with a specialized diet. The vet will be able to guide you through the process of maintenance.

The main thing that you can do to assist the veterinarian with the care of your dog is to report any changes that appear between visits and to call the vet when something seriously becomes noticeable.  The vet will have many questions on your visits so it is best to be prepared.

What to Watch Out For

There are some distinct signs to watch for that will indicate that it is time to call for veterinary care for senior dogs. There are many signs, some of the more important signs are; drinking excessive water and urinating more than usual, dramatic change in consumption of food, and sudden weakness or extensive panting.

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