Senior Pets: Preparing for their veterinary exam

When you’re at the clinic and you’re trying to calm and comfort your pet while the veterinarian performs her examination and is asking you endless questions, it can be hard to focus and give detailed and accurate answers.  Or sometimes there is one person in the family who may have noticed something another has not.  Please read over the following questions and discuss with all members of your household, so you can provide the most accurate information to your veterinarian:

  • Have you ever found an unexplained wet area where your dog sleeps or relaxes?
  • Do you ever small unexplained urine-like or sour odours associated with your pet?
  • Does your dog ever leak urine in her sleep?
  • Does your pet ever display unusual behaviours such as drooling or panting, trembling, or hiding during certain situations?  If so, which situations?
  • What do you do when your pet is behaving this way?
  • Has this behaviour gotten worse or better over the past few months?
  • Has your pet seemed less social and unwilling to play, walk or be petted?
  • Has your pet‘s sleeping pattern changed?
  • Does your cat vocalize more, and at night?
  • Has your pet had any accidents in the house?
  • Has your dog appeared confused, disorientated, or wandered aimlessly?
  • Has your pet’s appetite changed?

Also, you may want to prepare your pet for the possibility of having blood work drawn at the time of your exam.  It is best to be fasted for at least 12 hours beforehand.   If possible, please collect a fresh sample of urine for the urinalysis; this can be helpful in differentiating between urinary infections, kidney disease, urinary incontinence and cognitive dysfunction (senility).