Pets cannot live forever but with good healthcare management they can live to their full potential. This may well be over the equivalent of 100 human years! The key to a longer life is being able to detect problems early. We do this by regular wellness check-ups and thorough physical examinations. Early detection of any disease process gives us many more treatment options. Starting treatment of any disease process early will ensure a longer life and a better quality of life.
How to help your pet achieve 100 years of health!
Did you know your pet is ageing around seven times faster than you? Taking your dog or cat to the veterinarian once a year is the same as a person seeing a doctor or dentist once every seven years. That is why all pets need a twice a year health and wellness check-up.
Twice a year wellness check-ups allow your veterinarian to detect, treat and help prevent problems before they become life threatening. They also provide you with the opportunity to ask your veterinary healthcare team questions about nutrition, behaviour, dental health and other issues.
Australian pets are living longer than ever, and are increasingly suffering from many of the same chronic diseases that affect humans.
How old is your pet?
Ageing varies by breed, body size and individual pet. Larger breeds of dogs age more quickly than smaller dogs. Typically a cat reaches their senior years at age 8, small dogs at age 7, and large dogs at age 6. Use this chart to calculate how old your pet really is.
What does a wellness check up include?
Regardless of whether your pet is 6 months old, 12 months old, 2 years or 15 years old, a wellness check up provides you with an opportunity to raise any questions you have about your pet and to tell your veterinarian about any changes of behaviour or physical appearance you have noticed.
Hands on physical examination
Your veterinarian will palpate or feel your pet's musculoskeletal system, abdomen, and head and neck areas for abnormalities. A stethoscope will be used to listen to your pet's heart and lungs. Your pet's eyes, ears, and mouth will also be checked for age-related problems, such as cataracts, dental problems, and ear canal disorders. In younger pets our veterinarian will also be looking for growth related abnormalities such as hip and knee health.
We can now perform very sensitive tests on blood and urine to check the inner workings of your pet. These tests are the key to early disease protection and are vital for pets young and old. If your pet requires a test, your veterinarian will discuss this with you first.
Early warning signs of disease related problems
Your role is extremely important in your pet's care. Armed with the correct information you can become a powerful ally in your dog's care. Looking out for subtle changes at home, can help us identify and treat problems before they become life threatening. Treatment can be as little as changing your pet's schedule or their diet or may even include providing medication.
When you visit for your pet's wellness check-up here's some of the things we ask you to discuss with us be on the lookout for at home:-
Change in appetite
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Changes in housetraining such as unexpected accidents
- Changes in the ability of your pet to rise, walk or climb stairs
- Confusion or disorientation
- Persistent cough
- Appearance of lumps or bumps
- Bad breath, plaque, or bleeding gums
- Diarrhoea or vomiting
- Change in sleep patterns
- Ear odours, redness, scratching, or head shaking
- Excessive scratching or licking
- Excessive drinking and/or urination
If you have an older pet you may assume some of these signs are a normal part of the ageing process. The reality is, these signs often indicate underlying age-related disease which in many cases we can alleviate or at the least, slow down the progression of the disease.
To make an appointment for your pet's wellness check-up please contact your closest practice or complete our booking request form.