The veterinarians and staff at Wilderness Trace Veterinary Clinic are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of your dog, from its first puppy visit, well into its senior years.

It is important to realize that the aging process is not a “disease”.  It is the normal slow down of the body’s functions, such as a decreased metabolism, a decreased ability to fight off disease, increased tissue fragility, loss of muscle mass and decreased joint flexibility.  Since the dog’s body ages more rapidly than a human body, bi-annual physical exams will help discover problems in animals that may “appear” to be healthy.  Remember that prevention and early intervention is always more cost effective than treatment of clinical disease.  Routine physical exams of the “senior” dog will help extend the years that you enjoy with your companion. 

Common problems of the senior dog include

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Dental disease
  • Cancer
  • Senility(Cognitive DysfunctionSyndrome)
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Adrenal Disease
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Loss of hearing/sight
  • Autoimmune disease

A comprehensive senior wellness program should include the following:

  • PHYSICAL EXAM:  A physical exam should include the following systems:
  1. Coat and Skin
  2. Eyes
  3. Ears
  4. Nose and Throat
  5. Mouth, Teeth, Gums
  6. Heart
  7. Abdomen
  8. Lungs
  9. Neurologic System (spinal nerves, reflexes, monitor seizures)
  10. Urogential System (urination habits, discharge, mammary tumors, anal glands, prostate)
  • Canine Vaccines: Rabies, DA2PP, Bordetella
  • SENIOR WELLNESS PROFILES: The following tests are highly recommended to determine if your dog’s liver, kidneys and thyroid are operating properly, as well as the detection of hormonal problems such as diabetes.
  • The purpose of these tests: 
  1. Help to establish baseline values that can be used for comparison when changes occur.
  2. Can identify existing health problems that aren’t detected through a physical exam alone.
  3. Can assist with monitoring progress during treatment for disease

Our comprehensive senior wellness profile includes: 

  • Complete blood count (CBC):  evaluates the cellular components of the blood stream
    • Red blood cells (RBC) carry oxygen to the body organs
    • White blood cells (WBC) are the “soldiers” of the body that fight infection
    • Platelets assist with blood clotting
  • Biochemistries:  allows your veterinarian to detect problems with the kidneys, liver, thyroid, pancreas and other glands in the body.
  • Urinalysis:  analysis of the urine is effective for detecting problems with the kidneys, diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
  • Electrolytes:  abnormalities of electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, phosphorous, and potassium, can affect many organ systems in the body.
  • Thyroid testing:  Abnormal thyroid hormone levels can have significant adverse effects in your pet’s body.
Please note that additional tests may be required depending on the presence of noted abnormalities. Those test may include blood pressure, eye pressure, ECG (measures beat and rhythm of heart), X-ray or ultrasound.