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Senior pets have a special place in our hearts and we know they are special to you. Because of advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer and this means that we see more animals with age-related problems than ever before. These can include:
- Organ failure
- Dental issues
At Queenstown Veterinary Hospital, we will do everything possible to work with you to make sure your senior pet is comfortable as he or she ages and will recommend the appropriate screening tests along the way to detect any possible illness or disease.
Senior Pet Care Benefits Older Cats & Dogs
It is often thought that every pet is considered a senior when he or she reaches a certain age on a chart. As pets get older, we need to examine them differently and more often. Depending on the breed and lifestyle, senior status may be attained earlier for some pets and later for others.
Queenstown Veterinary Hospital recommends more frequent wellness examinations for senior pets. We will perform a very gentle examination and, because we believe you know your pet better than anyone, we will ask about changes in behavior or appetite that may indicate more serious illness.
Senior Pet Wellness Exams: What to Expect
Just as senior pets may need some extra care as they get older, their wellness exams should be scheduled more often and will include more comprehensive testing. We will recommend screening tests as necessary and to help us provide the best care for your pet. At every senior wellness exam, we recommend you bring:
- Samples can be placed in any clean container or baggie or a pre-paid fecal collection container can be picked up at the clinic
- Stool sample should be collected within 24 hours of the appointment
- Urine collection kits can be picked up at the clinic
- Sample should be collected within 4–6 hours of the appointment and stored in the refrigerator
- If you would prefer, we can collect the urine sample from your pet during his or her visit with us at no additional charge
- Bring all medications your pet is currently taking or a list of the medications. This includes over-the-counter and prescription medications (including heartworm and flea preventives)
It is often helpful to bring along a list of any questions or concerns you may have regarding your pet’s health.
Older Pets Should Remain Active
Just because your dog or cat is a senior, there is no reason that he or she must slow down. There are many new medications and dietary supplements that we can prescribe to help improve your senior pets quality of life. For example, pain medications or dietary supplements for chronic arthritis can relieve discomfort and inflammation, resulting in your pet being more comfortable. A change in diet or variations in the type and amount of exercise he or she gets may help to keep your pet in good condition, have better mobility, and be much happier.