Strokes, vision problems, arthritis and other conditions don't just affect people. Pets also develop serious health problems that change their lives. Fortunately, you can help your handicapped pet ...View Article
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If your pet seems to be gaining weight, slowing down, or perhaps getting a bit stiff after what seems like just a few years, don't be alarmed. Animals age more rapidly than humans, and your beloved companion may be entering the geriatric phase of his life. But since older pets face some particular health and wellness challenges, you'll want to make sure yours takes full advantage of the senior pet wellness services available at our animal hospital, Antelope Creek Veterinary Healthcare Center P.C.
Dogs and cats are both thought to enter their geriatric or senior years around the age of 7, although some large breeds of dogs age even more rapidly. While your pet may continue to seem happy and healthy even at this stage, it's not unusual to see some age-related changes. For instance, arthritis and other generative musculoskeletal conditions typically affect older animals, causing them to move more slowly and resist jumping or climbing. This imposed lack of activity, coupled with a slowing of the metabolic rate, may make your pet prone to obesity -- a serious condition in its own right for its associations with many other chronic ailments.
Obese or not, your pet's risk for a number of health disorders rises with age. Senior pets may be prone to periodontal disease, vision and hearing loss, cognitive issues, diabetes, hypertension, and diseases of the heart, liver, kidneys and thyroid. The risk for various types of cancers also goes up. For all these reasons, you'll be making a wise investment in your best friend's well being when you seek senior wellness care from any Lincoln veterinarian on our team.
Your veterinarian in Lincoln NE will recommend twice-yearly preventative wellness exams for your geriatric pet, as opposed to the annual exams younger animals usually receive. The increased frequency enables us to spot early-stage health problems so we can provide immediate treatment. In addition to extensive lab testing, we will also examine your pet's skin and eyes for any external signs of disease. Weighing your pet can help us determine whether he is at risk for obesity. Your Lincoln veterinarian will also ask you about any behavioral changes you may have noticed lately.
If your pet is experiencing age-related issues, our animal hospital can provide a number of treatments and therapies to help. These may include:
Comprehensive Physical Examinations are the most critical part of our wellness program. We recommend annual examinations on all adults and for our senior patients every 6 months. Remember most dogs age 7 years for every 1 year of a person’s life, so detecting problems early is very important to provide successful treatment for many conditions.
Vaccinations are a critical part of our preventative health care plan. We tailor a vaccination program for your pet based on its needs and risk of exposure. There has been a lot of research and debate in the veterinary profession over appropriate vaccination protocols. We have followed the research and discussion carefully searching for the best protection for our patients without vaccinating more frequently than necessary. New research shows that some vaccinations provide immunity for more than 1 year. Therefore, a vaccination program will be recommended for your pet based on their exposure and according to the most current knowledge regarding vaccinations.
Parasite prevention is an important health care concern not only for your pet but for your family as well. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports many cases each year of parasitic diseases which are transmitted between pets and people. Most of these diseases could have been easily prevented with routine veterinary care. We recommend annual fecal tests in adult dogs to check for these internal parasites. In addition, we recommend monthly heartworm prevention for all dogs, which in many cases, also provides some protection against internal parasites (worms). Fleas and ticks are external parasites that are frequently a problem in Nebraska in the spring through fall. We carry a variety of product that can provide your pet with safe, effective protection against these pests. We will create a comprehensive internal and external parasite prevention program based on your pet’s lifestyle.
Wellness blood work can be a crucial tool in our preventative healthcare program. Depending on the age and health of your pet, at the time of the annual physical exam we may recommend blood work or urinalysis. These tests help us with early diagnosis of diseases like diabetes, anemia, thyroid and kidney disease. These types of diseases can not be detected by physical exam alone and early intervention can significantly affect your pet’s response to therapy.
In addition, our veterinarians will discuss nutrition, behavioral issues, breed specific conditions, and any other topics of importance to you and your pet during the wellness examinations. Through prevention, early detection and timely intervention, you can have a tremendous impact on the quality of life and longevity of your pet.
Antelope Creek Veterinary Healthcare Center P.C. cares about your longtime friend. Schedule senior pet wellness care with our veterinarian in Lincoln. Call 402-488-0993 today! We look forward to meeting with you!