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Taking A Senior Dog To The Vet

November 1 2023
Has your canine companion started showing signs of aging? Dogs don’t all age at the same rate: some pups hit their golden years as early as age seven, while others don’t become seniors until they are ten or older. As Fido ages, he may experience many of the same changes as people do. And, just like people, he’ll likely need to see his doctor more often. A local Oshawa, ON vet offers some advice on taking an older dog to the vet in this article.

How Often Should I Take My Senior Dog To The Vet?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this one: it’s going to depend on Fido’s health. As a general rule of thumb, most senior dogs should come in about twice a year. If your canine pal has any specific medical conditions that need attention, we may need to see him more often.

What Are Signs That A Senior Dog Needs Veterinary Care?

Some medical conditions that are common in older dogs come on slowly: others can seemingly come out of nowhere. Pay close attention to Fido, and be on the lookout for any indication that something is off. Some red flags include reduced appetite, stumbling, trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lumps and bumps, changes in your pup’s weight or stance, and uncharacteristic behavior, such as acting withdrawn, restless, sullen, lethargic, or grumpy.  Contact your vet right away if you notice anything amiss.

Transporting A Senior Dog

For larger dogs, getting in and out of the car can be difficult. For smaller pups, being picked up and held can be uncomfortable. Be very careful and gentle! If you don’t have them already, it may be a good idea to get a pet ramp for your car. Ideally, Fido should always travel crated: it’s safer for both of you. Keep the car at a comfy temperature, and add comfy bedding to the crate to make the ride easier.

What To Expect When Taking A Senior Dog To The Vet

If Fido is coming in for a routine visit, you may expect a fairly standard exam. Your vet may request certain tests, such as urinalysis, blood tests, or other screenings. Fido will be examined from nose to tail. He may also be evaluated for specific issues, such as hip dysplasia. Your pet’s breed may also come into play here, as some dogs are at higher risk of developing specific issues than others. For instance, German Shepherds are prone to getting hip dysplasia, while Bulldogs are susceptible to respiratory problems. Ask your vet for more information. Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Oshawa, ON animal clinic, anytime!

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