At East Valley Animal Hospital, we are proactive wellness practitioners. It is our goal to help prevent disease whenever possible and promote long, active, and healthy lives for your furry family members, no matter what their age.  But, when your dog reaches that certain age, a twice-yearly checkup can make the difference when it comes to your senior’s quality of life.

What To Expect At Senior Wellness Checkups

Most dogs are considered geriatric when they are around 7-8 years old (or younger for some larger and giant breeds). At this stage, their health and nutrition needs often require a bit of fine-tuning. That is why we recommend senior wellness checkups every six months for healthy senior dogs or sometimes more often for dogs with chronic health conditions.

A typical senior wellness checkup can include a thorough physical examination to check weight, muscle tone, joint range of motion, diet, nutritional supplements, dental health, and exercise habits. We may also include blood chemistry tests, a complete blood count, a urinalysis, blood pressure measurement, a thyroid screen, and x-rays.

The Importance Of Senior Wellness Screens

Additionally, we may also recommend a senior wellness screen for early detection of health changes. Regular screens allow us to monitor your older dog’s health and establish a benchmark to compare any changes in your dog’s condition.

Of course, the benefit of early disease detection is that treatment can be started before a condition has the chance to worsen. Early detection can also save money in the long run as it can be more costly to treat advanced stages of any disease.

What To Look For In Older Dogs

If your dog is getting older, you may be wondering if it is time to visit the veterinarian for a senior checkup. Aside from advanced age, here are some other signs to look for:

  • Vision loss or other eye problems that are noticeable if you see redness or cloudiness or if your dog is stumbling more and bumping into things
  • Increased or strained urination, which can indicate kidney disease or a urinary tract infection
  • Bad breath, especially if you have not had your dog’s teeth cleaned, can be an indicator of other health issues
  • Lumps or other skin problems that may have underlying causes.

To learn more about the health and wellness of your senior dog, please contact us at East Valley Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment. Mention this blogpost and receive 15% off our your dog’s next exam if booked in May.