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Senior Pet Wellness

Is your pet a "senior citizen?"

Today, people live longer, healthier lives than they typically did years ago. In large part that's due to a better understanding of the importance of factors that can influence aging, such as preventative health care and nutrition. Similarly, the dogs and cats that make up such an important part of our lives are also living longer, healthier, and happier lives. Although the rule that one pet year is the equivalent of 7 human years is not exactly correct, it is a good general guideline. Your petís human age equivalent is affected by species, breed, health, and weight.

We are observing that a growing number of our patients are canine and feline "senior citizens."

Part of the reason that pets are able to live longer now than a few years ago is the tremendous advances that have occurred in veterinary medicine. A greater knowledge of diseases, diagnostic procedures, and treatments is available to us today. But perhaps the greatest reason for why animals live longer, better lives is the increased knowledge that pet owners have about the importance of preventative health care measures - immunization, parasite control, oral health, spaying and neutering, and early disease detection.

As our dogs and cats age, they, like people, have a greater risk for developing certain diseases and conditions.

For example, we know that the incidence of problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, malignant and benign tumors, arthritis, loss of hearing, loss of vision, and oral/dental disease increases with advancing age. However, when such conditions are diagnosed in their early stages, treatment to cure such disorders or delay their progress can be given in most cases.

For that reason, we recommend our Golden Rewards program for our dog and cat patients that are 7 years of age or older.

Golden Rewards addresses the changing medical and lifestyle needs of our senior pets. Our program focuses on nutrition, dental care, and a laboratory testing schedule designed to detect potential problems early. Our Golden Rewards patients are evaluated twice yearly including a thorough and complete physical examination. Just as when people have an annual physical, in most cases the results are normal. Even then, it's good to know that everything is "all right" and the evaluation provides a valuable "baseline" on which to compare future discoveries. If a condition is revealed, you know it has been discovered as early as possible and treatment can be started. If your pet is 7 years old or older please download a copy of our Senior Pet Questionnaire before your petís next appointment. This form helps you to determine the human age equivalent of your pet and to identify warning signs of certain medical conditions. Bring this completed form in at your next appointment.

For more information on Senior Pet Care please read this valuable article.

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