All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital
4549 HW 62 West
Mountain Home, AR 72653
(870) 425-5175


Senior Dog

How you and your veterinarian can help maintain the highest quality of life for your senior dog.
There are a growing number of ways we can help "slow the clock" and promote healthy, long lives for our senior dogs.

Diagnostic Wellness Exams
Several non-invasive test and procedures performed regularly can help your veterinarian detect early-stage disease and provide a baseline for measuring changes. These tests include:
Complete Blood Count
Serum Chemistry Profile
Complete Urinalysis
Thyroid Hormone Levels
Fecal Exam
Heartworm Testing
Other tests recommended by your veterinarian

More Frequent Examinations
While an annual exam may be sufficient for younger dogs, your veterinarian may want to see your older dog at least every 6 months. For a dog, this represents 5 to 8 years in the life of a human. Special attention will be paid to your dog's teeth and gums, skin and coat, heart, lungs, kidneys, digestive system, eyes and joints. Annual laboratory tests can detect the onset of disease or abnormal health conditions.

Nutrition and Environment
A proper diet and suitable environment are critical to your dog's continued health and comfort. Your veterinarian hospital staff may advise you on modifications for your aging pet. This may include a special diet based on your dog's specific needs, or an exercise regimen for your senior pet.

Medication
Conditions such as arthritis are very common disorders in older pets. New medications are now available that are both safe and effective for pain management, Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome and other age-related diseases.

Senior Wellness Checklist
This checklist can help you observe behaviors and symptoms that may indicate a potential health problem in your senior dog. If your dog is experiencing one or more of these signs, please inform your veterinarian.
The goal of a Senior Seven Wellness Exam is to maintain the highest quality of life for the longest possible time. Together, we can make the senior years the most rewarding you and your dog have ever shared.

Senior Wellness Checklist for Dogs


Signs     YES     NO
Change in water consumption
Change in appetite
Lethargic or depressed (listless behavior)
Change in urine production (watch carefully for increased amounts of urine)
Constipation
Change in attitude (irritability)
Change is sleeping patterns
Noticeable decrease in vision
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Weight gain
Weight less
Bad breath or drooling
Lumps and bumps on the skin
Excessive panting
Breathing heavily or rapidly at rest
Lapse in grooming habits
Increased stiffness, trouble jumping, or walking

Like people, dogs are living longer. We all cherish the companionship of our canine friends. It is important that we help ensure these extended years are the happiest and healthiest possible. Working closely with your veterinarian, you can make a significant difference in the life of your senior dog.

Senior Dogs have special needs
As dogs move into the senior phase of life, they experience changes that are very similar to aging humans. Diseases and conditions that are commonly known to affect older people also affect our canine companions: kidney, heart, and liver disease, tumors, cancer, diabetes, depression, arthritis, thyroid conditions, hormonal problems, neuroses and loss of sensory perception. Understanding these changes and how you can provide for your pet's needs are essential to quality of life.
Age is never just a number but rather a measure of the effect of aging to the body. Variables such as genetics, nutrition and environment all contribute to how your dog will be influenced by the aging process. However, for practical purposes, your dog is considered to be "senior" at 7 years old. Small dogs tend to have a longer life expectancy than medium to large breeds. Since dogs age more rapidly than people (see age chart), dramatic changes in health can occur in as little as 3 to 6 months.

Comparative Age in Human Years

Dog's Age     0-20 lbs.     21-50 lbs.     51-90 lbs.     > 90 lbs.    
5
36
37
40
42
6
40
42
45
49
7
44
47
50
56
10
56
60
66
78
12
64
69
77
93
15
76
83
93
115
20
96
105
120
-

Senior Seven Wellness Exams Provide Hidden Answers

Studies have shown that as many as 23% of senior dogs that appear healthy upon physical examination have an underlying disease. Once symptoms appear, the conditions may be too difficult or costly to diagnose or treat. A senior Seven Wellness Exam includes laboratory test so sensitive they can detect the onset of diseases and conditions early, when treatment and prevention are most effective.