Skilled, Compassionate Care for Senior Pets
As you know, pets age faster than people and before you know it, your pet is considered a senior. Just like people, senior pets start to slow down a little bit with age and can develop common age-related health problems like arthritis and impaired vision. We consider most cats and dogs to be seniors at 7 years of age.
What to Expect in the Senior Years
Part of our senior pet care program includes monitoring the following checklist of common symptoms found in senior pets. Please review this list and be sure to mention it to your veterinarian during your older pet’s checkup.
- Decreases in vision or hearing
- Lumps or growths
- Change in water consumption (watch carefully for an increase in volume)
- Change in appetite or consumption
- Lethargy or depression (listless behavior)
- Change in attitude (irritability)
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Bad breath
- Stiffness, trouble jumping
- Confusion, disorientation
- Loss of house training
- Change in sleep/wake cycle
My Pet’s Senior Wellness Examination
When your senior pet comes to Androscoggin Animal Hospital, he or she will receive a comprehensive physical exam, including:
- Muscles and joints
- Internal organs
Diagnostic Screening Tests for Seniors
In addition to a full physical exam, if indicated, we will also order the following common diagnostic screening tests:
- CBC—Complete blood cell count that tests for anemia, inflammation, infection, bone marrow dysfunction, and other problems.
- Chemistry profile—A group of tests that aids in detection of problems associated with internal organ function (liver, kidney, pancreas, intestinal tract), endocrine system (diabetes), electrolytes, muscle/bone, and so on.
- T4 (thyroid level)—A test used to detect thyroid disease (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism).
- Blood pressure—Tests for hypertension, a disease that can lead to problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness.
- Radiolographs and ultrasound—Providing a clear view of many internal organs and used to diagnose age-related concerns such as cardiac problems, abdominal growths, and tumors.
- Urinalysis—Assesses the function and health of the kidneys and urinary bladder.
- Fecal exams for intestinal worms—Cats and Dogs
- Dogs—Blood testing for Heartworm Disease – screening and prevention and Tick Borne diseases – Lyme, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma are the most common in Maine.
Compassionate Counseling and End-of-Life Care
Of course, pets don’t live forever, and we know how difficult end-of-life decisions are when you have a beloved pet. We offer thoughtful and compassionate counseling to all of our families of senior and seriously ill pets. Our entire staff is sensitive to these issues and will reach out to you with kindness and understanding as you tread this difficult territory at the end of your pet’s life.