Senior Canine Care

We love senior dogs!  

At Van Meter Veterinary Clinic, we are dedicated to helping your dog through every stage of life—from their curious puppy years to their relaxing senior years!  Aging happens to all of us, but dogs age at a faster rate than humans.  There are many changes in health that your dog will experience as he or she ages.  Some may be subtle; some develop slowly and are easy for pet owners to miss.  Because your dog’s aging process significantly faster to yours, you may notice dramatic changes in your dog in as little as three months! 

Your dog can be considered a “senior” between 6 and 8 years of age depending on several factors, such as his or her lifestyle history, breed, medical history, etc.  When your dog reaches his or her “senior” years, we believe it is critical to intervene and catch health issues early through bi-annual senior care exams.  These bi-annual exams can help us determine problems early enough to begin treatment.  The best time for you to begin your dog’s senior care program is before age-related conditions begin.  Together we will manage your senior dog’s good health, vitality and increase his or her well-being.

Senior Dog Wellness Care

As your dog ages, the types of medical care your dog needs changes too.  We recommend semi-annual senior wellness exams that include an in-depth analysis of your dog’s overall health.  During these exams, we may perform additional diagnostic testing and begin a dialogue about the factors that may be influencing your dog’s aging process.  Your vigilant observations from home are an important part of senior dog care.   

Your dog’s senior wellness exam will include:

  • A comprehensive senior pet physical exam and extensive consultation.
  • Diagnostic testing as needed, such as blood work, urine, and fecal analysis.  X-rays, blood and eye pressure testing.
  • Vaccinations as needed in accordance with your dog’s vaccination schedule.
  • Heartworm testing and parasite prevention.
  • Discussion with you of your observations of any changes in behavior, such as difficulty getting up, changes in sleep patterns or lapses in housetraining. 
  • Nutrition and weight management counseling.  Knowing your pet’s ideal weight will help you keep him or her slim and your senior dog healthier.   Allowing your senior dog to gain weight will compound and/or create health problems. 
  • Recommendations for regular exercise.  Senior dogs benefit from long walks and playtime with you.  While you do not want to overdo it, there is no reason older pets can’t enjoy physical activity.

If your dog is exhibiting any of these common signs of canine geriatric disease, please call us for a senior canine wellness exam:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Weight Loss/gain
  • Loss or decreased appetite
  • Increased thirst or urination
  • Lethargy
  • Inappropriate urination or defecation (indoors)
  • Limping
  • Difficulty rising, walking or climbing stairs
  • New lumps or bumps
  • Limping
  • Difficulty rising, walking or climbing stairs
  • Itching
  • Shaking head
  • Foul smelling ears
  • Foul breath
  • Eye or nose discharge
  • Wounds that are not healing
  • Confusion, disorientation,  anxiety or changes in sleep patterns
  • New lumps or bumps
  • Any other sudden or progressive change you note in your pet’s attitude or behaviors

It is never too early to talk to us about senior care.  Providing high quality preventive medicine throughout your dog’s lifetime is the best way to ensure happy and healthy golden years for you and your dog.  Early medical detection and treatment of diseases in your senior cat can only be accomplished through regular examinations and screening tests.  Please give us a call today to schedule an exam for your senior dog.

Hospital Hours

Monday – Thursday:
7:30am – 5:30pm

8:00am – 5:30pm

7:30am – 12:00pm