Anderson Creek Mobile Veterinary Service

Mobile Practice
Spring Lake, NC 28390


Anderson Creek Mobile Veterinary Service - Canine Senior Wellness

Your senior dog needs essentially the same vaccines and routine laboratory tests as our adult dogs. However, the aging process brings changes we need to consider. You may expect to see changes in body system functions, advancing joint health issues, and possible diet changes. We can anticipate some of these changes and predict what our pets may need by monitoring senior wellness laboratory tests on an annual basis. Supportive care recommended by ACMVS is shaped by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines for senior dogs and will be tailored to your pet's individual needs. 

Rabies booster: North Carolina requires all adult dogs and cats to receive a booster one year after their initial vaccine and then once every three years. A current rabies vaccine is required by groomers, boarding facilities, and for all health certificates. Most veterinary practices, including ACMVS, also require a current vaccine while providing care to your pet in order to protect their staff. This is a "core" vaccine as defined by AAHA. 

Distemper combination booster: AAHA recommends all adult dogs receive a booster of their distemper combination vaccine one year after their puppy shots were complete and then once every three years. The content of this booster is individualized to the patient and their risk exposure. This is also a "core" vaccine and is required to be current by most groomers and boarding facilities. In the areas surrounding Fort Bragg, canine distemper and parvovirus has made a strong resurgence in the last several years. Both of these diseases are potentially deadly but almost completely preventable with a good vaccine protocol so it is important to keep your pets up to date.

Bordetella booster: Unfortunately, resistance to kennel cough does not increase with age and the length of protection our available vaccines offer is only 9-12 months. This booster is recommended at least once a year and up to every six months for pets that have high risk exposure like frequent boarding, playing at dog parks, etc. This is not a "core" vaccine per AAHA but because it is so highly contagious, the majority of groomers, boarding facilities, and doggie daycares require it not only to be current but also to be given within the last six months. Make sure you ask the facility specifically what their kennel cough requirements are so we have the opportunity to booster this vaccine in time for protection to develop. 

Fecal testing: While the deworming that comes along with your dog's heartworm preventative is very effective, it is not perfect. Your dog gets exposed to intestinal parasites as easily as going for a walk around the neighborhood. Many of these parasites can be spread from your pet to family members so ACMVS, and AAHA, recommends being on the safe side and double-checking them every year. 

Heartworm test: We need to test your adult dog once a year for heartworms in order to keep them on their monthly preventative. This is an easy test that takes just a few minutes each year. 

Heartworm preventative refill: After your dog tests negative for heartworms, we need to refill their medication for another year. Keeping them on a preventative every 30 days without fail is important in avoiding this potentially deadly disease. It is as easy as giving a flavored treat once a month and helps ensure a lifetime of health.

Senior laboratory tests: Quite often, changes in body system functions are detected by laboratory tests before they are seen on a day to day basis. With regular monitoring and physical exams, we can stay on top of those changes and anticipate what our pets' future needs may be. A Complete Blood Count (CBC) gives us information about red and white cells and how the immune system in functioning. A blood chemistry panel gives us insight to the body's organ systems and we routinely include a thyroid check in our older patients. To round it out, a urinalysis demonstrates kidney and urinary tract health.