No need to worry. We have your pet covered.
Remember, your pet can’t tell you when something is wrong, so it is up to you to take preventative measures to ensure your pet is healthy and happy. Wellness exams are the primary tool for pet preventative care, and they allow your veterinarian to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease in its early stages, often before any noticeable symptoms begin.
Frankfort Animal Clinic recommends annual wellness examinations for young to middle-aged pets. Our veterinarians may recommend semi-annual (twice-yearly) exams for senior dogs and cats with chronic health conditions. Dogs and cats are considered seniors once they reach seven years of age depending on breed and species. Regular exams ensure that your pet’s health is always professionally monitored so that troubling health concerns can be recognized while still manageable.
Frankfort Animal Clinic’s wellness exams comprehensively assess every aspect of your pet’s health. Standard testing during wellness exams includes:
- Vaccination updates
- Intestinal Parasite and Heartworm Testing
- Ear (audiology) exams
- Eye (optometry) exams
- Dental exams
- Musculoskeletal exams
- Reproductive and urinary system exams
- Skin (Dermatology) exams
- Lymphatic system exams
- Neurological exams
- Heart (cardiovascular) exams
- Lung (pulmonary) exams
- Nutrition consultations
- Behavior counseling
During our examination, it is important for you to discuss with us any changes in your pet’s lifestyle. Some of these subtle changes that are important for us to know may include:
- Weight loss or gain
- Increased water consumption
- More frequent urinations or straining to urinate
- New or fast-growing bumps
- Lethargy, reluctance to climb stairs, decreased activity
- Shaking their head or scratching at their ears
- Excessive licking, chewing, or scratching
- Coughing more or panting
Any of the above changes, along with the information from our physical exam, may lead to us recommending additional diagnostics bloodwork, urinalysis, ultrasound, radiographs, or biopsy.
It can be hard to admit when we see the signs of old age in our animal companions, but the fact is that most dogs are considered seniors when they hit seven, cats around eight. Pets age much more rapidly than humans, which means diseases and illness progress quicker as well.
To ensure that your pet has the longest, healthiest, most comfortable life possible, Frankfort Animal Clinic encourages you to bring your senior pet for exams and blood tests yearly. This way, we can track how your pet is aging, and we’ll be more likely to catch any developing diseases before they are big problems.
Blood tests are one of the most important parts of a senior exam. These blood screenings—often referred to as a “senior panel”— monitor red and white blood cell counts and reveal how well the kidney, liver, pancreas, and thyroid are functioning. Your veterinarian may recommend chest x-rays to ensure that the heart is a normal size and that there are no masses in the lungs should a new cough or heart murmur be detected.
Dental disease is always a threat to our pets’ health and comfort, and it’s particularly tough on older pets. That’s why a dental exam is always part of any senior pet screening as well.
Another sign that your pet is getting older is a tendency to move more slowly than before. Maybe your best friend isn’t getting up the stairs as well as he used to. Perhaps she’s started refusing walks. A certain amount of slowing down is to be expected as our pets age, but stiffness and other symptoms of joint pain could be a sign of a more serious condition like arthritis or hip dysplasia, which should be treated sooner rather than later.
Is your housetrained best friend suddenly having accidents at night while they’re asleep? Incontinence is particularly common among spayed females but can hit intact females and males as well. The cause of your pet’s accidents might simply be age, but more complicated issues, like bladder infections and sphincter mechanism incompetence, could be to blame. A wellness check will help your veterinarian pinpoint the root problem, after which treatment options can be discussed.
To schedule a wellness exam for your senior pet, call us at 502-227-9611.