Senior Dog Care at Akaal Pet Hospital in Citrus Heights
While we would all love to grow old with our four-legged friends, unfortunately, dogs grow old at a relatively quick pace. Large dogs are considered "senior" by the age 5, medium-sized dogs by the age of 6 and small breeds by 7.
But the good news is that dogs today are living longer than ever. And regular trips to the vet are one of the most important ways you can ensure they age well. Health issues develop in dogs much more quickly than they do in humans, so we recommend a wellness exam at least twice a year once your dog is six, which is the equivalent of seeing a doctor every 2 to 3 years for a human. Regular checkups means our vets can detect small issues before they become a major problem.
What are indicators that my senior dog may be having a health issue?
- Bad breath or drooling
- Changes in activity level, appetite, weight, attitude, sleep pattern, water consumption or urination routine
- Confusion or disorientation
- Constipation, diarrhea, incontinence or vomiting
- Coughing, heavy or rapid breathing at rest, sneezing
- Lethargy or depression
- Lumps or bumps under the skin
- Decrease in vision
- Stiffness (trouble jumping, climbing stairs, etc)
What does senior care look like?
Senior Care at Akaal Pet Hospital means we review your dog's medical history in detail, and we order diagnostic testing in order to establish baseline lab data. Nearly a quarter of dogs older than 7 have a disease that is only detected by an advanced diagnostic workup. Many of these diseases can be treated and have favorable outcomes -- if caught early.
The evaluation also includes sensitive lab tests that can detect the onset of diseases early, when it can be effectively treated.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
This workup tests for anemia, infection, inflammation and the total healthiness of blood cells. It is vital to know the health of your dog's red and white cells. White blood cells help fight infection or inflammation, and red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissue.
The chemistry tests done by our lab technicians here at Akaal Pet Hospital or sent to IDEXX Labs assess the health of your dog's internal organs. These tests help us determine the overall functionality of your dog's liver, kidneys, pancreas and also indicate abnormality of other disease processes.
Thyroid function tests
A panel of several thyroid tests can help our vets determine if your pet is suffering from low or high thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism (too little) is common in dogs, while hyperthyroidism (too much) is common in cats.
A urinalysis is key in assessing the health of the kidney function or bladder abnormality in older animals. Your dog's urine will be tested for several chemical components, including concentration PH levels, crystal bacteria and blood cells.
A fecal (stool) sample will be tested for several parasites as well, including hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, coccidia, giardia and other intestinal parasites.
Our lab technicians will test your dog's blood for heartworm and other parasites.
We will also evaluate your dog's diet and exercise regimen. Often, tweaking their food - either the brand or amount - and helping you as a pet parent understand the best way to keep them in a good and healthy weight range can make a huge difference in their quality of life as they age.
Contact us today for an appointment. Akaal Pet Hospital in Citrus Heights (916) 729-7779