Adult Dog Wellness
How Old Is My Dog Really?
Dogs are considered to be adults between the ages of 12 to 24 months, depending on the breed. Larger dogs mature at a later age.
During their adult years (1 to 8 years for dogs), we recommend an annual comprehensive physical examination, appropriate vaccination for infectious disease, examination of a stool sample for intestinal parasites, and heartworm testing.
Why Is an Annual Physical Examination Important?
Dogs have a relatively short adult life compared to humans, since every year of their life represents 5 to 6 human years.
Dramatic changes in their health can occur over this time period. It’s important to bring your dog to see us at least annually, to ensure your pet lives the longest and healthiest life possible.
Dogs don’t always show their symptoms, and they can’t tell us when something is wrong. Bringing your dog in for an examination helps us find any hidden illnesses and treat them right away.
What About Protecting My Dog from Heartworm?
In dogs, an annual blood sample will be taken to screen for heartworm disease.
This will enable your dog to safely go on heartworm preventive medication during the summer and fall months.
Does My Dog Need Any Preventive Tests?
Annual blood and urine tests may also be recommended at vaccination or heartworm testing time.
This wellness screen will serve to identify early kidney and liver problems, and evidence of infection or anemia before your pet has shown any outward signs.
If all test values are normal, these results will also serve as a helpful frame of reference for any future testing.
If a surgical procedure, such as a dental cleaning or mass removal, is determined to be necessary during the physical exam, these test values will serve as a pre-anesthetic screen prior to surgery. Anesthetics are metabolized by either the liver or kidneys and therefore it is extremely important that these organs are functioning normally in order to design an individualized anesthetic protocol.
Does My Dog Need Vaccinations?
The appropriate vaccination protocol for your pet will be discussed during your vaccination appointment.
Dogs who spend time outdoors or associate with other animals will be at higher risk for some diseases. Additional vaccines may be recommended for these dogs compared to their indoor counterparts. This would include vaccinating for Leptospirosis and possibly Lyme disease.
Yearly vaccinations provide an ideal opportunity to identify and treat any problems that your adult dog may be experiencing before they become significant health concerns.
Early detection and treatment of a problem may allow your adult pet to enjoy many healthy, happy years as a senior member of your family.