vet examining dogYou may think, “My pet is seven years old, so what?  He seems healthy and happy and not too different than he did a few short years ago”.  So, what exactly is all the fuss over Senior Care Month, and why should pet parents of seniors pay attention?  Like us, our pets face the increased obstacles that come with getting older.  Animals are very good at masking symptoms as a way of survival, so it isn’t easy to know when they’re experiencing the negative effects of aging.  Many times when those symptoms become obvious is when the ailment has progressed further along.  This is why it’s important to monitor your pet’s health more closely as he ages.

So, how do you keep a closer eye on what your pet may be experiencing when he isn’t giving you any clues?  The best way is through twice yearly thorough wellness checks with one of our veterinarians.  Our Semi-annual Senior Exam Package gives us a window into your pet’s health and helps us to diagnose problems earlier.  It’s a 3-point check twice a year that includes: a thorough wellness exam with one of our veterinarians, comprehensive bloodwork run in our in house lab, and a urinalysis run right here in our lab as well.  During the wellness exam, our veterinarian will check everything on your pet from his eyes and ears to his heart, lungs and body condition.  He/she will look for anything that seems or sounds abnormal and may require further testing.

Our comprehensive bloodwork includes a thyroid test since many pets develop thyroid problems as they age.  Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) can cause many issues including weight loss/gain and skin/coat issues.  Luckily, both can be treated with medication.  Your pet’s urinalysis can reveal things like urinary tract infections, crystals (which can indicate bladder stones or the potential for future bladder stones) and diabetes.  UTIs can be treated with antibiotics and crystals can sometimes be resolved with a diet change before they form painful stones.  Diabetes is a serious disease, but can be managed through insulin injections and diet.  It’s very important to catch these conditions before they progress.

If your pet is seven years or older, don’t forget to take advantage of our Senior Care Month savings throughout November!  We’re offering 15% off of select veterinary services and $25.00 off of senior dental cleanings.  Give us a call today at 301-258-0333 for more information on these limited-time savings and to get your senior pet scheduled for our comprehensive senior exam package.  We want your pets to live long, healthy lives!