Middlesex Veterinary Center

31 Stevens St.
Littleton, MA 01460

(978)952-8500

middlesexvetcenter.com

SENIOR CARE

Like people, pets are living longer.  We all cherish the companionship of our canine and feline friends and it is important that we help ensure these extended years are the happiest and healthiest possible.  Working closely with Middlesex Veterinary Center, you can make a significant difference in the life of your senior pet.

As animals move into the senior phase of life, they experience changes that are very similar to aging humans.  Diseases and conditions that are commonly known to affect older people also affect our animal companions.  Understanding these changes and how you can provide for your pet's needs are essential to quality of life.

Several non-invasive tests and procedures can be performed regularly to help your veterinarian detect problems early in the disease stage- before a pet appears ill to you. They also provide a baseline for each pet as an individual, so changes to your pet's normal levels can also be detected early.  These tests include: a complete blood count (CBC); chemistry profile; urinalysis; thyroid level; fecal exam; and heartworm testing.  And while an annual exam may be sufficient for a younger animal, we recommend a visit every 6 months for the older pet.  Special attention will be paid to your pet's teeth and gums, skin and coat, heart, lungs, kidneys, digestive system, eyes and joints. Also, since a proper diet and suitable environment are critical to your pet's continued health and comfort, we may recommend modifications to your pet's diet based on their specific needs, as well as an exercise regimen. Additionally, conditions such as arthritis are very common in older pets and new medications are available that are both safe and effective for pain management.

There are a number of things to watch out for to see if your pet is experiencing signs of aging.  If you notice any of these signs, please call us to schedule a complete physical examination for your pet: change in water consumption; change in appetite; lethargy;  increased urination; constipation; irritability; change in sleeping patterns; decreased vision; vomiting; diarrhea; weight gain; weight loss; bad breath; drooling; lumps and bumps; excessive panting; stiffness.