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17 Oct 2018
Dogs age at five to seven years for every human year and are considered ‘senior’ at about seven years of age. Generally small breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds. Some small dog breeds are considered senior at about 10 years of age, while giant breeds are classified as seniors as young as five.
Dogs are very good at hiding early signs of age-related disease and it can be very difficult for both owners and veterinarians to detect early signs of disease. Many treatable or preventable diseases may have no observable signs early in their course and by the time a change is noticed, the disease may be quite advanced. Studies have shown that as many as 23% of middle aged and senior dogs that have appeared healthy upon physical examination have an underlying disease.
Early diagnosis is the key to slowing down the disease process, as well as preventing associated pain and discomfort. This is only possible through routine laboratory testing of apparently “healthy” animals. Because our pet’s age faster than we do, they can develop diseases and conditions in a short period of time. For this reason, we recommend that all dogs over seven years of age have a Senior Wellness Screen performed every 6 - 12 months. This is equivalent to you seeing your doctor every few years.
Our Senior Wellness Screen includes the following:
Only a small sample of blood and urine is required, so these tests will be minimally stressful for your dog. For rapid accurate results’ all tests apart from thyroid levels are done on site using our modern laboratory and diagnostic equipment.
What if the results are all normal?
This is great news! We will keep the results on file as a baseline to use as a comparison if your dog ever gets sick. You will also receive a Senior Wellness Report and copy of the results for your own records. Subtle changes in these results, even if your dog seems outwardly healthy, may signal the presence of an underlying disease. If a condition is revealed, you know that it was found as early as possible. We will then discuss with you any further tests that may be required and the various treatment options available. This way we can work with you to ensure your dog lives as long, healthy, and happy a life as possible.
How much does a Senior Wellness Screen Cost?
When can you do it?
A Senior Wellness Screen can be combined with your dog’s annual health check and vaccination. A half hour appointment is required, so when you book an appointment please advise the nurse that you would like this done as well. Alternatively, you can leave your dog with us for the day to complete the tests. To help us provide the best care for your dog please download and complete the Senior Wellness Questionnaire by clicking on the link the below and bring this with you to your dog's appointment.
Download the Senior Wellness Questionnaire here
Please give us a call or email us to book a convenient appointment time. We look forward to seeing you soon.Back to News and advice