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Geriatric Dog and Cat Preventive Care


Geriatric veterinary medicine is concerned with the effects of aging and age-related diseases on your dog or cat. The difference between your senior dog or cat and a geriatric dog or cat is dependent on several factors. First, the size and age of a dog affects when your dog is considered geriatric. Typically dogs are considered geriatric between 10 and 14 years old. Cats are considered geriatric when they are 14 years old. Obesity can cause your pet to become geriatric at an earlier age. Finally, we consider senior pets with certain medical conditions to be geriatric at an earlier age.

While all dogs and cats are affected by the temperature extremes and environment of Northeast Ohio, geriatric dogs and cats can be affected more by these extremes. Our Cleveland, OH veterinarians will make recommendations to help your pet get through a cold, snowy winter to 90+ degree summer weather, not to mention both spring and fall allergy seasons.

Pets age faster during the last third of their life

Pets age faster during the last third of their life. And just like us when we become senior, it is extremely important your geriatric dog or cat be seen on a regular basis – our Cleveland, OH veterinarians recommend at least twice a year.

During your geriatric dog’s or cat’s Preventive Veterinary Care visit, your pet will receive a thorough physical examination by the veterinarian, age appropriate vaccinations/immunizations, preventive care testing, and we will discuss different aspects of keeping your geriatric pet healthy.

Your Geriatric Dog’s Yearly Schedule

Problems with your geriatric dog can come on gradually and you may not spot them. That’s why our veterinarian will need to see your geriatric dog for a checkup, booster vaccinations, and preventive care testing at least twice a year.

Visit 1:

  • Senior Preventive Care Exam
  • We are going to evaluate which vaccinations are needed. Booster Vaccinations most dogs will receive the following vaccinations (you may also consider getting titer testing to determine if your dog’s vaccinations are still strong enough to protect your pet).
  • Rabies (required in Cuyahoga and most surrounding counties). This booster is good for 3 years
  • Distemper, Hepatitis/Adenovirus, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (DHLPP) The DHPP portion is good for 3 years once boostered at 16 months old. The Leptospirosis vaccine is only good for 1 year.
  • Bordetella – we recommend this vaccination, which protects against kennel cough, if your dog is “social”, meaning it comes into contact with other dogs (even through a fence). Bordetella needs to be boostered yearly.
  • Lyme – unfortunately Lyme disease has come to Northeast Ohio. So if your dog plays in the backyard or goes into the woods we recommend this vaccination which needs to be boostered yearly.
  • Blood work – Heartworm/Tick Disease Test, Basic Blood Chemistry, and Complete Blood Count
  • Infrared Imaging Screen (Middleburg Hts. Office only)
  • Fecal Test – We only need a fresh, teaspoon size stool sample. Senior pets are more susceptible to intestinal parasites, so pleas make sure they are tested twice a year.

Visit 2:

  • Senior Preventive Care Exam
  • Fecal Test – We only need a fresh, teaspoon size stool sample. Senior pets are more susceptible to intestinal parasites, so please make sure they are tested twice a year.
  • Blood work – we will perform a more detailed Blood Chemistry and a Thyroid check
  • Urinary Test – we will perform a more detailed urine test
  • Infrared Imaging Screen (Middleburg Hts Office only)

Monthly Preventative

Your dog should be on a broad-spectrum, monthly, parasite preventative all year round. Geriatric dogs are more susceptible to parasites and need to be protected.

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Your Geriatric Cat’s Yearly Schedule

Problems with older cats can come on slowly and combined with cats being notorious for hiding health problems. That’s why we recommend your geriatric cat be seen at least twice a year for preventive veterinary care, We will perform a checkup, booster vaccinations, and preventive care testing. Every year we will do the following:

Visit 1:

  • Senior Preventive Care Exam
  • Booster Vaccinations – most cats will receive the following vaccinations. You may also consider getting titer testing to determine if your cat’s vaccinations are still strong enough to protect your pet.
  • Rabies (required in Cuyahoga and most surrounding counties). This booster is good for 3 years
  • Booster Vaccinations – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Feline Calicivirus (C), Feline Panleukopenia (P)(aka Feline Distemper) (FVRCP), The FVRCP vaccine is good for every three years once boostered at approximately 16 months old. If your cat goes outdoors, or comes in contact with outdoor cats we recommend your cat receive the Feline Leukemia vaccine yearly.
  • Blood work – basic Blood Chemistry and Complete Blood Count
  • Infrared Imaging Screen (Middleburg Hts. Office only)
  • Fecal Test – We only need a fresh, teaspoon size stool sample. Senior pets are more susceptible to intestinal parasites, so please make sure they are tested twice a year.

Visit 2:

  • Senior Preventive Care Exam
  • Urinary Test – we will perform a more detailed urine test
  • Blood work – we will perform a more detailed Blood Chemistry and a Thyroid check
  • Fecal Test – We only need a fresh, teaspoon size stool sample. Senior pets are more susceptible to intestinal parasites, so pleas make sure they are tested twice a year.
  • Infrared Imaging Screen (Middleburg Hts Office only)

Monthly Parasite Preventative

Your cat should be on a broad-spectrum, monthly, parasite preventative all year round. Geriatric cats are more susceptible to parasites and need to be protected.

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Questions to ask us at your geriatric dog’s visit

  • What physical and behavioral changes should I be watching for?
  • Should I change or supplement my pet’s diet?
  • Does my dog need a dental cleaning?
  • Are there things I can do to keep my pet in better physical shape?
  • Does my dog need any special blood tests or urinalysis?
  • Are there things I can do to keep my dog even healthier?

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Questions to ask us at your geriatric cat’s visit

  • Should I change or supplement my cat’s diet?
  • What physical and behavioral changes should I be looking for?
  • Do I need to modify my litter box?
  • What’s the best way to deal with fleas, ticks and other parasites?
  • Does my cat need any special blood tests or urinalysis?

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How can I save money and budget my Geriatric Dog’s or Cat’s preventive veterinary care?

First, by getting preventive veterinary care, we can protect your pet from many problems and detect others before they become too serious. It is always better for your pet’s health and your wallet to prevent problems!

For those of you that would like to save money on your dog’s or cat’s preventive care, we offer ABC Pet Health Plans. These are Affordable, Bundles, of Care and include the services we recommend for your dog or cat at a particular life stage (Puppy/Kitten, Adult, Senior, Geriatric). These plans also include unlimited exams and discount on certain services and products.

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How do I make an appointment for my Dog or Cat?

To make an appointment for your 4-legged family member, call (440) 234-5831 or click here to Request an Appointment online

Please let us know what office you would like to bring your pet.

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