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Senior Pets & The Geriatric Health Profile (GHP)

In their Golden Years, senior pets need special care. The age when your pet reaches senior citizenship varies by size and breed, for small dogs and cats we start looking at senior status at age 9 and for large dogs at 7 years of age. At the FAN VET, we believe senior wellness is important.

To find out more about your aging pet, we recommend a complete Geriatric Health Profile (GHP) when your pet reaches senior status. We also recommended the GHP for any older pet who has one or more of these symptoms: weight loss or gain, increased thirst or urination, lethargy, vomiting, and or diarrhea, limping, poor coat, coughing, seizures, or unusual behaviors that make you say: “he just isn’t himself.” Senior wellness screening in our senior pets often begins with you, the owner. You may notice subtle changes in your pet’s activity, such as an increase or decrease in appetite or thirst, behavioral problems, signs of vision or hearing loss, dental problems, arthritis, constipation, or obesity. Make sure you share your observations with your veterinarian during the GHP.

In the GHP, we can diagnose conditions in their early stages and recommend treatment. The GHP starts with a comprehensive physical exam, the most important step for detecting such chronic conditions as dental disease, osteoarthritis, or heart disease. We investigate for ailments common to older pets like thyroid, heart disease, glaucoma, diabetes, and kidney and liver diseases. The GHP testing includes blood chemistry tests, urinalysis, hematology (CBC), thyroid panel (T4), electrocardiogram (EKG), tonometry (eye pressure), blood pressure, and radiographs (x-rays).

If your senior pet is healthy, the GHP, gives our veterinarians baseline health values. These results are compared at your pet’s next visit as we continue to monitor your senior pet. If a condition or health issue is detected, treatment can start immediately.

Because pet’s age more rapidly, each pet year is considered equal to 5 human years, we recommend twice-yearly senior wellness exams. These exams help ensure your pet has the best care as he or she ages. It is important to watch carefully and frequently for any developing problems.

Our goal is to work with you to ensure that your pet lives a long healthy and happy life. We know senior pets are precious.

Call to schedule your senior pet’s GHP.