Senior Dog Wellness
Many dogs begin to encounter age-related physical changes between seven and ten years of age. Senior dogs should receive semi-annual examinations, so that disorders can be found and treated early, and ongoing medical conditions can be evaluated. We may recommend additional diagnostics, such as bloodwork, urinalysis, blood pressure readings, or radiographs to monitor your pet’s health. This care is necessary to keep your senior dog in the best possible health for the longest possible time.
Comprehensive Health Evaluation
Comprehensive semi-annual health evaluations are critical to the long-term health and well-being of your dog in his or her senior years. Because dogs age faster than people, major health changes can happen quickly, especially in senior dogs. Semi-annual exams can help us find small problems before they adversely affect your dog’s health. This evaluation will also include a nutritional and weight assessment, discussion of any behavior issues, and a dental health evaluation.
Vaccinations protect against preventable infectious diseases and help your pet live a long, healthy life. We take your pet’s lifestyle and risk into consideration when developing a vaccination schedule so that your pet does not receive any vaccinations that he or she doesn’t need, but ensuring protection against contagious diseases that are preventable. We prefer to schedule vaccine boosters on a rotating schedule for most patients, providing a lighter burden on the immune system.
DA2-P: This vaccine protects against life-threatening distemper, adenovirus, and parvovirus. This is a core vaccine recommended for all dogs. Once your dog has received appropriate puppy boosters, and a DA2-P vaccine 1 year later, then we
Rabies: This vaccine protects against a fatal disease that can be transmitted to humans. Rabies has been detected in foxes, coyotes, and bats in Oregon, and all counties in the state require that dogs be current on their rabies vaccination. The first rabies vaccine protects dogs for 1 year, and subsequent vaccines provide protection for 3 years.
Leptospirosis: This vaccine protects against a life-threatening bacterial infection that is transmitted by the urine of many species of wildlife (squirrels, opossum, raccoons, rats and mice, and sea lions). It can be transmitted by ingestion or through small abrasions in the
Bordetella: This vaccine protects against
Canine Influenza Virus: This is a newer vaccine to protect against canine influenza. We carry the vaccine against both strains that have caused flu outbreaks in the US. Canine influenza can cause upper respiratory infections, sometimes leading to life-threatening pneumonia. We recommend this vaccine for dogs who lead a social lifestyle (grooming, boarding, doggie
We follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for at least annual deworming of all dogs, both to protect
Annual Intestinal Parasite Screening
We recommend annual internal parasite screening for all dogs. We test for hookworm, whipworm, roundworm, plus protozoa coccidia and giardia, which commonly infect standing water in our wet weather (and which our routine dewormers don’t treat). When we also recommend annual deworming, we wait two weeks to have you submit a fecal sample for analysis, so we can ensure the effectiveness of deworming. Dogs with heavy loads of internal parasites may test positive for hookworms, roundworms, or whipworms, even after receiving a broad-spectrum dewormer.
Annual Heartworm Testing
Heartworms are spread by infected mosquitoes, and the number of cases in the Portland metro area is on the rise. Dogs traveling to Southern Oregon, California, and Hawaii (or elsewhere in the US) have an even greater chance of becoming infected. Heartworm disease is fatal if left untreated, and treatment can be both painful and expensive. We follow the American Heartworm Association recommendation for monthly prevention and annual testing of all dogs, which involves an inexpensive blood test.
Just as our physical exam is used to evaluate your pet’s health, blood and urine testing provide an exam of your dog’s internal
Monthly Flea & Heartworm Prevention
We recommend monthly flea and heartworm prevention for all dogs year-round. We offer a variety of preventives, and can make a recommendation for a product that will best suit you and your pet based on lifestyle and preferences. We carry the following products:
Comfortis—oral prescription flea preventive that kills fleas very quickly (within 4 hours of administration), and the main ingredient
Frontline Gold—over-the-counter topical flea preventive that kills fleas within 12 hours of administration.
NexGard—oral prescription flea and tick preventive. It is a soft flavored
Trifexis—combination oral prescription product that prevents both heartworms and fleas, and treats internal parasites (hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms). This product kills fleas very quickly (within 4 hours of administration) and its main ingredient is labeled for use in organic farming. It is a flavored pill that must be given orally with a full