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When should I see a vet?

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As our companion dogs and cats enter into their senior years, it becomes even more important for them to visit the veterinarian twice a year.  In addition to having a physical exam performed, blood testing is advised twice yearly to monitor for changes with any of your pet’s internal organs.  Older pets should visit the veterinarian if you notice any changes in their demeanor.  Canine cognitive dysfunction, or senility, is a condition that can be managed with medication.  Painful joints can also affect a dog’s or cat’s social behavior and may not be readily evident with limping or reduced jumping. 

Just as with the human population, cancer risks increase with advanced age in pets too.  If you see any odd lumps or bumps on your pet, they should be evaluated by the veterinarian.  The same would apply if it appears that your pet’s abdomen seems more rounded.  Appetite changes could be from dental disease that can be remedied with a dental cleaning.  Some owners report that their dog or cat seems to have returned to the behavior of their adolescence once their painful mouth is addressed.

Being proactive for your pet’s health will benefit your dog or cat by allowing the veterinarian to provide the best health recommendations.  This will help to assure a long and happy relationship between you and your furry family member.