At Encanto Pet Clinic in Tucson, AZ we recommend yearly physical exams for all of our patients even if vaccinations are not due because many things can change in a pet’s health within a human year. It is generally accepted that our pets age approximately seven years to one of ours. This aging process is accelerated as the pet gets older. Smaller breed dogs live longer than large breeds. Smaller dogs and cats tend to age more rapidly after age ten. Larger dogs begin aging faster around seven years of age.
Therefore we will be recommending six- month ‘senior exams’ for dogs and cats at age seven. But as our veterinarians in Tucson know, even in the earlier stages of life, changes occur that the average owner may misinterpret or not see at all. Changes like weight gain or loss, gate abnormalities, coat changes and increased water consumption may be attributed to a pet “getting older” but could be the signs of underlying treatable problems. Dental disease, heart murmurs, some eye problems and ear conditions are usually not detected without a thorough exam and specialized equipment.
We appreciate the attention that most of our clients show their pets and the numerous questions that are asked about conditions noticed at home. We try to address these questions during the in-office veterinarian visit and make the exam a collaboration with the owner.