At Chestermere Veterinary Clinic we recommend annual physical exams when your pet is young and healthy. When pets get into their senior years (which is typically around the age of 7, but can be as early as 5 for giant breeds), we recommend an exam every 6 months.
You may be wondering why you should bring your pet to the vet twice as often in their senior years, here are some of the reasons to consider:
- Pets age much more quickly than people do. A person is recommended to see their Doctor for an annual physical exam. You may have heard the rule before that a pet ages approximately 7 years for every year a person ages. Thinking about it this way, even when a pet is getting a physical exam once a year, they are aging approximately 7 years in this time! That would be the equivalent of seeing your Doctor every 7 years instead of yearly!
- As pets become seniors they have an increasing likelihood of developing various health issues (just like people)! These include: Kidney and liver disease, cancer, diabetes, dental disease, arthritis and joint disease and cognitive problems. They will also experience changes in their sight and hearing, energy levels, and metabolism, which may mean they need to eat a different type/amount of food.
- Pets are excellent at hiding pain and signs of illness, and in their senior years rapid changes in health can occur in a very short period of time. Frequent examination allows us to catch the little signs earlier so we can intervene right away to help slow down or prevent progression of disease.
Other times pets should see the vet include:
- when you have any concerns about their health
- when they are due for vaccination and parasite prevention
- when they require a surgical procedure such as spay/neuter or dental
- if they have a health condition or are on long term medication, more frequent monitoring and testing will be required
If you have questions, need more information, or would like to book an appointment, contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or visit us on Facebook!