Dogs age much faster than humans. For a small dog age seven is equivalent to a human in their mid-forties. Large dogs at seven years old are similar to people in their early to mid-fifties. When people reach these stages in their lives, their doctors start recommending annual blood work and screening tests to detect disease and age changes early. We recommend the same for your dog.
Although your dog may appear healthy, there are many age-related diseases that do not show any outward signs until the disease has progressed. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat, and are not always as responsive to treatment as when diagnosed early.
Early detection of kidney, liver, and thyroid diseases allow us to administer the appropriate treatments to make your dog comfortable and to help extend their life. Prevention is the key to a longer, healthier lifetime.
In addition, nutritional needs change as your dog ages. We can discuss an appropriate diet to meet those needs.
For senior dogs, the annual visit to their veterinarian is more important than ever. Dogs over twelve years of age require geriatric care. A check-up is recommended every six months for geriatric dogs.
An annual visit includes a thorough nose to tail examination as detailed below; appropriate vaccinations; parasite control; and nutrition, weight, and behaviour counseling. In addition, your veterinarian will be able to advise you on any preventive care measures that can be taken to help your dog live a long and healthy life. Of course, you may request your choice of veterinarian for your visit.
There are many vaccines available to protect your dog from disease. Our philosophy at Annex Animal Hospital is to use vaccines only for diseases that our patients are at risk of contracting. We follow the guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association in choosing our “core vaccines.”After the age of two years, we stop vaccinating for every disease annually. During your next annual visit, the veterinarian will discuss your dog’s lifestyle and vaccines will be prescribed as needed.