When your dog turns 7 or your cat turns 8 years of age, we consider them to have reached their “senior” years. That is the age, statistically, when we can start to notice changes in organ function, osteoarthritic changes may creep up and behavioral changes may become evident. Keep in mind that our pets age faster than we do – a senior pet will age about 5-8 human years between annual examinations.
Even though you may believe your pet is perfectly healthy, there are many disease processes that do not show any outward symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as they would be if we could discover them early.
We recommend that your senior pet undergo a wellness examination twice a year, including health screening tests (blood and urine) to ensure that, if any problems are developing, we catch them early.
Many symptoms that historically have been attributed to old age and considered untreatable are now treatable because we understand them to be early signs of disease.