Adult and Geriatric Care

Dr. Buffington with an adult client Pets age much faster than people do: dogs and cats age about five to seven years for every human year. This suggests health problems can progress five to seven times faster in your pet. The average dog or cat seven to 10 years of age and older qualifies as a "senior." There is a progressive decline in organ function, immunity, and physical and mental abilities as a pet ages. While some age-related diseases may not be preventable, early detection and intervention is the key to successful management.

We recommend that all adult pets receive annual examinations and that senior pets receive a thorough physical examination every six to 12 months. During these exams, we will assess your pet's body condition and make dietary and exercise recommendations to help your pet maintain its ideal body weight. In addition we will carefully assess the health of your pet's teeth and gums, as dental disease can be a significant problem for senior pets (read more information regarding dental care for your pet). We will also update your pet on any vaccinations he/she may require.

Adult client with their owner We recommend annual blood work (CBC, chemistry profile and thyroid function tests), urinalysis, and fecal examination. These tests will enable us to detect changes that indicate a disease is present and may allow us to slow or stop its progression. We may recommend blood pressure monitoring, or other diagnostics to help improve your pet's health as well.

You should observe your pet and look for changes that may indicate an underlying disease:

  • Change in appetite or weight loss/gain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Urination or defecation in the house
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urine frequency, volume, straining etc.
  • Difficulty rising, walking or climbing stairs
  • Confusion, disorientation, anxiety or changes in sleep patterns
  • Persistent cough
  • New lumps or bumps

Michelle DuMond and client with their owner It is common to assume these signs are a normal part of the aging process; however, they may indicate underlying disease. If you notice any of these signs, please make an appointment and have your pet evaluated.

Physical rehabilitation is a service we offer for treatment of osteoarthritis, chronic pain, and musculoskeletal injuries. The physical rehabilitation department offers a water treadmill, massage therapy, electrostimulation of muscles and laser treatments. Animals can also be enrolled in sessions on the water treadmill as a part of a weight loss regimen. Please visit their web site to learn more.