Older Dogs

Progress in veterinary medicine over the past few years has led to many of our dogs leading longer, healthier lives.  It is not unusual for us to see dogs at the practice that have made it to the great age of 16 or 17 years - particularly smaller breeds like the Terrier family.

Of course with advancing years there is an increased incidence of age related diseases.  Some of the more common changes that you may notice that should prompt a visit to the vet include:

  • Increased thirst and/or urination
  • Weight increase or decrease
  • Stiffness or lameness
  • Changes in coat quality, particularly hair loss on the flanks or tail
  • Halitosis (malodorous breath)
  • Coughing/breathlessness or exercise intolerance

These changes may be due to some common diseases that are seen in older dogs in particular, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Dental disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal diseases such as Cushings disease

Particularly in the early stages it can be difficult to appreciate if your dog is suffering from any of the above problems because symptoms may not be apparent.  For this reason we recommend bringing any dogs aged over 8 years for large breeds and 11 years for small breeds for an older dog check up.  This is a great opportunity to perform a thorough clinical examination, as well as addressing any other concerns you may have.  If deemed necessary by the vet, we will also take a blood sample at the time of the appointment to investigate any potential problems further.  Many of these problems can now be managed very effectively, leading to significant improvements in both quality and quantity of life of your canine companion. 

The older dog check up

Cost of consultation and urine sample analysis: £30

Cost of blood sample: £35

Please contact us by phone to make an appointment for an older dog check up. You will need to bring a urine sample from your dog with you if possible.