Adult and Senior Wellness
It should come as no surprise to you that most animals age much faster than we do as humans. Your canine companion may only be ten years old, but in dog years he is classed as a ‘senior’. This is because experts have found that one human year is around the equivalent to living seven years as a dog, making your furbaby an impressive 70 years old! This isn’t quite so simple to figure out for cats, but it is widely accepted that the first two human years of a cat’s life make them around 25 in ‘cat years’, with every subsequent year after that equating to roughly four years.
These different rates of aging mean that our pets become adults and eventually seniors much sooner than we might expect. However, as our pets get older, the type of care that they need will change to reflect their advancing age. You must be prepared to adapt some of the elements of their lifestyle to suit these changes, and the best person to help you do this is your veterinarian. One of the ways in which your vet can support you in supporting your aging pet is through comprehensive wellness care.
What is wellness care?
Wellness care is a type of service provided by veterinarians that is designed to monitor the health and wellbeing of your pet even when she isn’t sick. This is important for several reasons. Firstly, animals naturally try and mask their vulnerabilities, including illness, and this can make poor health difficult to spot. Secondly, the sooner a potential health problem is spotted and treated, the better the outcome is likely to be for your pet. In some instances, irreversible damage to your pet’s health and even her life could be saved thanks to comprehensive wellness care.
Wellness care exams are usually recommended on an annual basis for adult pets, and twice-annually for senior pets. However, if your adult is already suffering from health problems, the frequency of her wellness testing may also be increased.
What is included in adult and senior wellness care?
Exactly what will be included in your pet’s wellness care will depend on her age and individual circumstances. However, some of the services that you can expect to be carried out during your adult or senior pet’s wellness appointment include the following:
Routine observations. These include checking your pet’s temperature and weight.
Blood tests. Blood tests are important for checking how your pet’s body is working on the inside. In addition to blood tests, urinalysis and fecal testing may be required.
Thyroid testing. As your pet gets older, her thyroid function will begin to deteriorate. This can trigger weight gain and associated health problems. As such, thyroid testing is typically included in wellness care for senior pets.
A physical examination. To check how your pet’s body looks and feels on the outside. This includes palpating her abdomen to check the size and placement of her organs.
Parasite screening and prevention. This includes for ticks, fleas, heartworms and more.
Vaccinations. If vaccination boosters are needed these will be provided. Your vet will explain to you what vaccination schedule your pet should be following and if any adaptations are needed based on any changes in her circumstances.
Advice and support on a variety of aspects of her care. This includes her nutritional requirements, if she requires a special diet for her health, exercise recommendations and managing behavior changes – something which is particularly common in senior pets. Your vet will also be able to advise you of any other positive changes that you can make at home to support the health of your pet.
If you would like more information on adult and senior pet wellness care, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for your furbaby to visit our experienced and dedicated veterinary team, please contact our offices today.