**The following is a message from Dr. Sharpe regarding senior pet care**
What classifies a senior pet? A senior pet is considered 8 years of age or older. However, larger breed dogs tend to have a shorter life span compared to smaller breed dogs and are often considered senior when they are 5 years of age.
Thanks to better care, pets are living longer. As our pets get older, they need extra care and attention. Age is not a disease. However, older pets may develop age-related problems. Thus, we at GCVH and DCAH advise bi-annual (every 6 months) comprehensive exams and yearly comprehensive labwork. This allows us to detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening. This could improve the chances of a longer and healthier life for your pet. These problems include kidney disease/failure, hyperthyroidism (cat), hypothyroidism (dog), diabetes, tumors/masses, heart murmurs, and other endocrine diseases.
The following picture is of my parents’ dog, Tatonka. At the end of the year, he will be turning 8 years old. As he does, my parents and I will be doing biannual exams and yearly senior labwork. If you have any questions regarding your senior pet, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the other veterinarians at GCVH or DCAH. I hope you all stay safe, while enjoying the holidays with your family and especially your pets!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! – Dr. Katelyn Sharpe