Senior Citizens

As your senior dog or cat ages, our Franklin, NC veterinary team can provide special care for happy, comfortable golden years.

As dogs and cats get older, many people assume they need less care. But the exact opposite is true – they need more frequent check ups. See the table below to determine your pet’s comparable “human” age, based on their weight. Because of the conditions that can “pop up” in the senior years, we recommend a head to tail examination at least once a year, just like in your pet’s younger years. But then we also recommend a short progress exam six months later. At this exam, a Noah’s Ark doctor will check you pet’s weight, blood pressure, and monitor any physical changes since the last visit. Remember six months to a senior pet is like 2-4 years passing for us.

Diagnosing diseases and certain conditions early is important throughout a pet’s life, but it becomes even more critical when your dog or cat enters the senior years. The risk of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hormone disorders, and kidney and liver problems all increase with age. In addition, dogs and cats often do not show any signs of even serious diseases until they are quite advanced.

“Senior” status varies depending on your pet’s breed and size. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs, and cats generally live longer than dogs. We can help you determine what life stage your pet is in, but the chart below provides a handy general guideline.

Before your dog or cat reaches senior status, we recommend that you bring your pet in for a baseline exam and diagnostic workup. This will give us a record of what’s normal for your pet so we can keep track of any changes. In most cases, we suggest this checkup for when your dog turns 7 years of age or your cat turns 8 years of age. Thereafter, your senior pet will benefit from more frequent veterinary exams. We can treat many symptoms that are commonly attributed to age, including those associated with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (similar to Alzheimer’s in humans), and incontinence. We can also improve your pet’s quality of life in many ways: by identifying and preventing or reducing pain, recommending an appropriate nutrition and exercise plan, and suggesting environmental modifications to keep your pet comfortable.

We have terrific packages for our senior patients, with deeply discounted laboratory testing. Call our office for full details.

The Senior Citizen Package – includes a full physical examination by one of our veterinarians; a microscopic examination for intestinal parasites, and a comprehensive laboratory profile. This panel provides a detailed look at internal organ function. It screens for early signs of disease in any of the major organs. It indicates whether anemia, dehydration, infectious disease or inflammation is present. This panel also provides basic screening for diabetes, lipid abnormalities, thyroid and heartworm disease. This package also comes with a Pet ID card- a convenient “credit card” with your pet’s picture, and a summary of their medical information.