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Senior Clinics

The best of care for our older patients

Caring for your pet in their Golden Years

Just like us, your pet’s health will start to deteriorate as he/she ages. This may be observed in numerous ways, such as changes in:

  • His/her behaviour and mentation (cognitive dysfunction)
  • Body condition (either storing more body fat, or losing it, as well as muscle mass)
  • Coat, skin, and claw condition
  • Stiffness and reduce mobility (often related to osteoarthritis problems)
  • Bowel and urinary tract function, and loss of control
  • Oral health and dental disease
  • Eye health and a reduction in vision (blindness)
  • His/her ability to hear (deafness)
  • Organ function, such as kidneys, liver, and heart
  • The development of skin and subcutaneous masses and tumours
  • Breathing and other respiratory problems
  • Cardiovascular function
  • Appetite (increased with conditions such as diabetes and hyperthyroidism, and decreased with hypothyroidism, for example)
  • Urogenital health, such as prostatic disease (male dogs) or uterine disease (most commonly Pyometra, in unspayed female dogs and cats)

Early detection of these changes gives us the best opportunity to manage them promptly and appropriately, which in turn may improve your pet’s quality of life and promote longevity. 

The best way to achieve this is by performing a thorough and complete history and physical examination, in addition to clinical screenings.

Clinical screenings help establish baselines for future comparison, and detect subclinical abnormalities at a time when preventative and therapeutic intervention may have the most benefit.  In addition, subtle changes in laboratory test results may give an early indication of the presence of diseases developing. 

Detection of early disease in a healthy-appearing individual, is going to be much more successful in its management than detection of a disease in its latter stages, in a sick pet.
 

Senior Health Assessment

To prioritise the needs of our Golden Oldies, we have developed a Senior Health Assessment Package. This clinical screening and examination package is available for all middle-aged patients and above. For the sake of argument, we have designated this as 8 years old or above. Senior patients are those that have reached the last 25% of their expected lifespan.

As part of the package, your pet will receive:

  • A full clinical examination with one of our vets, as well as a thorough history by the Vet or a Nurse
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Full in-house urinalysis and microscopy, specific gravity using refractometer, the detection of microalbumin, and protein: creatinine ratio measurement (culture and sensitivity, if indicated on account of these results, will be chargeable as extra following your consent to proceed)
  • Complete in-house blood count and biochemistry (including SDMA, urea, creatinine, TT4, potassium and other electrolytes, protein measurement, bilirubin, liver enzymes, total calcium, and glucose) as part of our Internal Senior Profile
  • Cystocentesis included at no extra charge, if this sampling method is required (for cats)
  • Schirmer Tear Testing (for dogs) - to assess for the presence of Dry Eye
  • Body weight, body condition, and muscle condition assessment

You will also receive:

  • A complete REPORT of our findings 
  • And a recommended treatment and management PLAN going forwards, to ensure the best possible care and quality of life for your pet

(Please note that treatments and/or recommended diets are not included as part of this package).

So don’t delay, and book your pet in today!  After all, none of us are getting any younger!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we offering this package starting at 8 years old?

This is because, starting at middle-age helps establish baseline values and to insure that there are no clinically silent health abnormalities.

At this age, retesting is recommended at least once a year (which is equivalent to 4 or 5 human years), unless your pet is already on chronic medication(s) or early disease is detected, in which case retesting frequency will be increased.

Once your pet reaches his/her Senior years, then a reduced interval between tests is recommended to every 6 months (equivalent to 2 to 3 human years).  Again, this interval may need to be reduced further, depending on the individual. 

What does it cost?

The cost of the package provides more than £60 discount, compared to the items charged individually. Plus, Pet Health Club Members receive an extra 10% off, as well as 20% off Chronic Medications and cost price Royal Canin food purchased from the Practice.

What’s more is that our Senior Health Assessment can be used for ALL pets 8 years old or above, healthy or sick, as a further sign of our commitment to the health and welfare of our Golden Oldie patients. 

Is this claimable through my pet’s insurance provider?

This will depend on your pet’s policy, and whether or not there are any exclusions. Furthermore, screening for prospective diseases may not be covered.

However, should an abnormality be detected in your pet, then this may be claimable relating to this specific change. Ongoing monitoring may then be continued under this diagnosis.

Note that in the case of 12-month Policies, then this will only be possible for a period of 12 months, after which it shall be excluded by your insurance provider.

Also note that with many policies, a payment percentage is required for each claim, after payment of your excess, for senior patients over a certain age (as stipulated in your pet’s policy details). 

How many times can I use this offer?

This offer is available to you whenever our full clinical screen and examination will be of benefit to your pet, as advised by one of our Vets or Nurses. As discussed above, the frequency of this increases with age and/or underlying disease(s).

You can therefore take advantage of this package as often as you like! The only stipulation is that all tests within the clinical screen must be performed together - they cannot be spread out over the course of days or weeks. (The one exception being the urine test, which may be performed 1-2 days later, if a urine sample was not available on the day of clinical screening).

How do I take advantage of this great offer for my pet?

There are three ways that this can be achieved, including:

1. You can contact us to request an appointment to see one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses, quoting Senior Health Assessment at the time of booking. The appointment scheduled will be a longer consultation lasting 30 minutes, during which time a full history will be taken in the form of our Senior Pet Questionnaire, your pet’s blood pressure will be measured (preferably with you in the room, as this aids their relaxation), a blood sample will be taken in our hospital area, and dogs will have a Schirmer Tear Test performed. Your pet will then be discharged by the Nurse, and an appointment scheduled with one of our Vets to re-examine your pet, discuss all the results, and make recommendations relating to his/her ongoing care.

(Please note: You are kindly requested to bring a sample of your pet’s urine in with you to the appointment with the Nurse, or you can drop this in later, after collecting it in one of our sterile urine pots. The first sample of the morning is best. For cats, non-absorbable litter in their tray can be used to collect a sample, or the Vet can obtain this via cystocentesis. For samples dropped in, please mark with your pet’s name, and state that it is for their Senior Health Assessment. Samples should be submitted within one hour of collection, or can be refrigerated for a maximum of four hours).

2. Following your pet’s routine examination with one of our Vets or Nurses, the package will be recommended to you, and you can proceed to make your appointment at Reception, to see one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses for a Senior Health Assessment. It is likely that this will require you returning on a different day, due to the extended appointment time that we allocate for these consultations (30 minutes). The same process as above (Option 1) then applies when you see the Nurse, followed by a repeat appointment with the Vet to re-examine your pet in light of the test results, discuss the findings and ongoing treatment plan, Next Appointment recommendations etc.

(Please remember to submit a urine sample from your pet, as per Option 1.)

3. In the case of a sick pet 8 years old or above, then the package will be recommended to you as the most cost-effective means of obtaining all the important information that we require to best diagnose and treat your pet (including our extended in-house senior blood profile, urinalysis, blood pressure measurement, and Schirmer Tear Test in dogs). The price will also include your consultation with the Vet, rather than this being charged as extra.  You will be asked to complete our Senior Pet Questionnaire as part of the admissions process, and the Nurse will perform all inclusive tests whilst your pet is hospitalised with us. All results shall then be discussed with you at the time of your pet’s discharge appointment later that day.

(Your pet’s urine sample shall be collected during their hospitalisation, so you will not need to submit this yourself).

What Else Should You Know?

Internal Laboratory Features

Internal Laboratory Expansion

We are pleased to announce an increase in the scope of our internal lab. This means a wider range of in-house test results, resulting in faster diagnosis and treatment for your pet(s)!

New tests include:

  • Total T4
  • SDMA
  • Fructosamine
  • Phenobarbital
  • C-Reactive Protein

These tests are critical for senior patients, as well as those with specific diseases, such as diabetes and epilepsy. 

Please note: If your pet is already undergoing monitoring via our external lab, then the recommendation is that this is continued, on account of consistency of results and sample processing.  

We have also expanded our urinalysis range to include:

  • Microalbumin
  • Urine protein: Creatinine ratio
  • Urine deposit microscopy 

Again, these tests are critical in the diagnosis of our senior and critically ill patients.

Our in-house Senior Profile blood test includes full haematology, biochemistry, electrolytes, SDMA, and Total T4. Same day results! 10% discount for Pet Health Club members. 

We also offer a Senior Health Assessment for dogs and cats, which includes our Senior Profile blood test, extended in-house urinalysis, and other features. Charged as a reduced fee package price, with further 10% discount for Pet Health Club members.

Please ask a member of staff if you’d like any further information.

Blood Pressure Measurement

Let’s talk about blood pressure!

Did you know that high blood pressure is a common problem as pets age? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, may be primary or secondary.

Secondary diseases include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cushing’s disease

High blood pressure leads to damage of organs with a rich blood supply, as well as the cardiovascular system. The eyes, brain, kidneys, and myocardium are therefore particularly vulnerable to hypertensive injury.

Blood pressure measurement of dogs and cats is a non-painful and relatively short procedure. A cuff is used around their limb or tail, much like when we have our blood pressure taken. This is often done in the presence of the owner, due to the calming influence that they have on their pet.

It is recommended that senior pets (over 8 years old) have their blood pressure measured at least every 12 months. For healthy geriatrics (over 11 years old) then this should be performed every 6-12 months. Patients with recognised risk factors will require immediate measurement, and then monitoring every 3-6 months.

Please note: Certain dog breeds may be classified as senior and geriatric below the above ages.

Our Senior Health Assessment for dogs and cats includes blood pressure measurement. This is available at a reduced package price.

Please ask a member of staff if you’d like further information, or to book your pet in with one of our veterinary nurses.

Practice information

Congleton Veterinary Centre

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  • Mon
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Tue
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Wed
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Thu
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Fri
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Sat
    8:30am - 4:00pm
  • Sun
    10:00am - 1:00pm

Emergency Details

Please call:

01260 272131
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Find us here:

West Heath Retail Park Sandbach Road Congleton Cheshire CW12 4NB
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Please call this number for emergencies:

01260 272131