Regular wellness exams allow your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s general health and become aware of any health problems before they become serious illnesses. Since your pet cannot vocalize his feelings, you must rely on regular physical examinations by a veterinarian and your at-home observations to assess your pet’s health. Your veterinarian may also wish to perform diagnostic tests, including blood tests and/or x-rays, to evaluate your pet’s health.
Routine blood testing, urinalysis (urine testing) and other tests are recommended for all pets in their “senior years.” Your veterinarian may recommend routine blood testing and urinalysis for younger pets to establish baseline values, which can be used for comparison as pet’s age.
How often does my pet need a wellness exam? Every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to five to seven human years, so it is important that your pet receives a wellness exam at least every year, and more often when he enters his senior years. Many aspects of your pet’s health can change in a short amount of time, so make sure your pet does not miss even one exam!
Similar to people, pets need to visit the veterinarian more often as they get older in order to prevent and treat illnesses that come with age. AAHA recommends that healthy dogs and cats visit the veterinarian once a year for a complete exam and laboratory testing. Healthy senior dogs and cats should receive a wellness exam and lab testing every six months. Depending on your pet’s age and health, we will suggest an appropriate physical examination schedule to help keep your pet in tip-top shape.
We offer the most advanced surgical techniques and technology. All patients are carefully screened for safety, and anesthetics are specifically tailored to your pet. Surgical services and facilities include: fully trained veterinary and technical staff, to ensure the safest, most efficient, state-of-the-art procedures for your pet; heated surgery tables for greater comfort; ECG and oxygen saturation monitors; intensive after surgery care and full blood testing.
Managing your pet’s pain is something we take very seriously. Pets feel pain and discomfort for the same reasons and under the same circumstances as people do. The effects of pain can actually delay the healing process. That is why we use a variety of methods and medications to control your pet’s pain. These include a combination of oral and injectable medications for all surgeries.
For excellent x-ray image quality, we have converted to digital radiology. Digital radiology is a new technology and produces better diagnostic images than the traditional film and plate radiographs.
- The benefits for your pet: Images can be sent to specialists via email when a faster response time is needed. This ultimately allows your pet’s health care team to easily collaborate, and provide your pet with the best veterinary care possible.
- Since fewer radiographs are needed, exposure to radiation is greatly reduced. After the x-ray has been taken, the image density and contrast can be manipulated to enhance the quality of the image, and thus generally eliminates the need for additional x-rays.
- Fewer radiographs and no time needed for film development means less time that your pet remains on the x-ray table. Less time on the table, means less stress for your pet!
- Our medical staff has access to your pet’s radiographs almost instantly since images appear on a computer screen within 6 seconds. This saved time is crucial in emergency situation, and allows our staff to begin your pet’s medical care more rapidly.
Ultrasound / Sonogram
Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure similar to x-ray. Specially generated sound waves are focused towards the chest, heart, abdominal organs or other tissues of the body. The returning "echoes" give us information about changes in the size, shape, density, and disease patterns in those organs and tissues. When appropriate, a biopsy can be taken during the ultrasound procedure.
Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulation Emission of Radiation. Medical lasers utilize light radiation to cleanly cut through tissues when the beam of light is focused on the tissue itself. When the beam of light is defocused, the laser can then be utilized to decrease the size or "debulk" the tissue.
Laser surgery benefits for patients
Less Bleeding: As it cuts, the laser seals small blood vessels. This drastic reduction in bleeding enables a number of new surgical procedures that are not practical with conventional scalpel.
Less Pain: The CO2 laser beam seals nerve endings and lymphatics, resulting in less edema and pain. The patient experiences a far more comfortable post-operative recovery.
Reduced risk of infection: This is one of the unique features of the CO2 laser beam. It efficiently kills bacteria in its path, producing a sterilizing effect.
Quicker recovery time: Reduced risk of infection, less bleeding, less pain and less swelling often allow the patient a far quicker recovery after the surgery.
We are excited to be able to offer you a new solution for your pet Laser Therapy “Laser Liaison.”
Pets will benefit from Laser therapy … if your pet is in pain, has inflammation, or has a wound, laser therapy can be beneficial. This includes patients that have the aches and pains of old age, or who have just had a surgical procedure, or who have an open wound, or recent injury.
Laser therapy is … safe, noninvasive, pain-free during treatments, a drug-free treatment alternative, less stressful for your pet than other treatments, and often soothing for your pet.
Laser Therapy Is Used To … reduce pain and discomfort, speed healing, increase mobility and motion in joints, and reduce swelling by photons of laser light penetrate deep into tissue. These photons are absorbed into the cells which initiates a photo-chemical response. This response in the cells blocks nerve impulses, accelerates tissue repair, increases circulation, and reduces swelling.
Senior Pet Care
Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever before. However with this increased lifespan comes an increase in the types of ailments that can afflict senior pets. As pets reach the golden years, there are a variety of conditions and diseases that they can face, including weight and mobility changes; osteoarthritis; kidney, heart, and liver disease; tumors and cancers; hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance; and many others. Just as the health care needs of humans change as we age, the same applies to pets. It’s critical for pet owners to work closely with their veterinarian to devise a health plan that is best for their senior pet.
- Gerontology (science of aging) is a burgeoning field of science not only for people but also, for our pets. We expect to see certain changes as they age but depending on the species and breed the earliest signs of change may vary. Toy breeds of dogs often have changes of the heart whereas; cats may start with declining kidney function.
- Our goal is to keep your pet as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Early detection of changes can be achieved by screening urine and blood for any values (liver, kidneys, glucose, and blood cells) that are not in a normal range. An ECG at this time will tell if the heart is experiencing aging and a chest X-ray will show if the heart and lung tissue is normal. Usually, eight years old, is a good time to start although you might want to start earlier if you own one of the giant breeds.
- Going forward; these test results allow the veterinarian to establish a baseline that enables them to evaluate when these changes might start and the degree of change over time. Supportive treatment at the beginning of a problem can slow the aging process and provide a healthier and longer life for you and your pet.
For your convenience, we put together a Wellness Screen at a discounted price.
If you have any further question, please contact us Cross River Animal Hospital.
When Does “Senior” Start? So when is a pet considered a senior? Generally, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. Beyond that, the life span will vary with each individual, and your veterinarian will be able to help you determine what stage of life your furry friend is in. Keep in mind that some small dog breeds may be considered senior at 10-13 years, while giant breeds are classified as seniors at ages as young as five. Your veterinarian is your best source for more information to determine when your pet reaches the golden years.
Senior Health Exams Scheduling regular veterinary examinations are one of the most important steps pet owners can take to keep their pets in tip-top shape. When dogs and cats enter the senior years, these health examinations are more important than ever. Senior care, which starts with the regular veterinary exam, is needed to catch and delay the onset or progress of disease and for the early detection of problems such as organ failure and osteoarthritis. Keep in mind that every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to 5–7 human years. In order stay current with your senior pet’s health care, twice-a-year exams are a must. During the senior health exam, your veterinarian will ask you a series of questions regarding any changes in your pet’s activity and behavior.
The veterinarian will also conduct a complete examination of all of your pet’s body systems. Client education and laboratory testing are also key components of the senior exam.