All of us who have had the privilege of having and loving a pet, no matter the type, can reflect warmly on the names, personalities, and stories that each holds in that special place in our heart. For me, Patches, Aspen, Lucy, Norm, Maggie (pictured), and now Murphy, have all left their own distinct paw print in my heart. Some lived long, healthy lives and succumbed to the natural decline of old age, while others left us too early due to accidents or illness. One of the more common questions I get as a veterinarian during a consultation with an older patient is ” How long do you think he/she will live to be Doc?”. Of course this is impossible to predict, although the general rule for dogs at least, is the bigger they are, the shorter they are expected to be with us. We have marvelled at the stories of, and have as patients, 20+ year old felines, but these are the fortunate exceptions, far at the end of the statistical bell curve. If we are blessed to have a pet with us until old age takes them, that is all we can ask for.
I am not surprised that our pets are indeed living longer, as the advances in veterinary diagnostic testing, medicines, and nutrition have been incredible over the last decade. It surprises some of our clients at the age when we start to consider our pets as senior, which is at 7 years of age for both dogs and cats. Although some at this age are still bouncing off the walls and full of life, it is at this age that animals statistically become more likely to develop diseases associated with old age- cancer, arthritis, diabetes, renal disease, to name just a few. An important aspect of our team’s vision at Lockerby Animal Hospital, is striving to achieve not only longer lives for our patients, but to maximize their quality of life also for the time they are with us. This is why we are promoting a “Celebrating Seniors” awareness program for the month of November here at the hospital. This program will have all of our team members focusing on educating our clients about senior conditions that are prevalent in our patients, and we will be providing a special consultation and diagnostic package, including nutritional management, that will allow us to assess your senior pets health status very thoroughly. By detecting age related illnesses as early as possible and obtaining baseline parameters going forward we will be able to give the best guidance for you to maximize their quality of life during the senior years. Of course these tests and professional assessments are available throughout the year and not just in November, but we will be providing them for a 40% discount this month only.
Our animal health care team at the Lockerby Animal Hospital understands how important our pets are to our clients, and we are honored that our clients allow us the privilege of caring for them as health care professionals. We know how important detecting disease early is in our ability to lengthen and strengthen our patients lives, and we hope our clients will appreciate this also. A mail out and email flyer is being sent to all our patients over 7 years of age, so please contact us today for more details and to book an appointment for our “Celebrating Seniors” program.