Epping Road Veterinary Hospital

120 Epping Road
Exeter, NH 03833



Senior Canine Health Recommendations

Bi-Annual Examinations- As senior pets age faster then younger pets, we recommend beginning examinations every 6 months beginning at 7 years of age.  During examination, we will check your senior dog from nose to tail.  This includes eyes, ears, nose, mouth (including a dental examination), skin, coat, legs/feet, and internal organs.  We will listen to the heart to be sure there are no changes or irregularities present.  We will also perform an abdominal palpation to examine abdominal health of the gastro-intestinal tract and internal organs.

Rabies VaccineRabies vaccination is required by law and highly important as there is no cure for Rabies infection.  As a senior dog, your dog's Rabies vaccine will need to be administered once every 3 year vaccine.  We will provide you with new Rabies tags and certification at the time of administration.

Distemper/Parvovirus Vaccine- (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza)  As a senior dog, your dog's annual Distemper/Parvovirus vaccine will also be due once every 3 year vaccine.  This illnesses that this vaccine protects against are very serious and can be fatal.

Distemper/Parvovirus TiterWe also offer Distemper/Parvovirus Titer testing.  This is a test we can perform in lieu of vaccinating for these diseases. Studies show that many of our companion animals retain protection from their vaccines for years beyond the recommended 3 year booster. In an effort to limit the number of vaccines we administer over the lifetime of your pet, we can obtain a blood sample to send to the laboratory to ensure your pet has adequate protective immunity. In the event your pet's titer is low and not considered protective, we will have your pet return for a Nurse visit and booster the Distemper/Parvovirus vaccine. 

Bordetella (Kennel Cough) VaccineBordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccine protects against common bacterial respiratory infection.  This infection is highly contagious and easily transferable.  Therefore, we highly recommend it for all dogs who will spend time around canine companions.  Although this vaccination will not completely prevent this infection, it will greatly reduce the likelihood of your pet contracting it and help accelerate the healing process if they do contract it.  We use an oral Bordetella vaccine that is effective for 1 year after administration.

Leptospirosis VaccineLeptospirosis can be a serious, even deadly, bacterial infection that can then be spread to humans.  It is obtained through contact with an infected animals urine. Therefore, we recommend that all pets receive this annual vaccination, and especially those who spend any amount of time outside or near wildlife.  

Lyme Vaccine New Hampshire is now the most Lyme endemic state in the United States.  Therefore, we recommend this vaccine for all dogs in our area.  Although this annual vaccine does not completely prevent the possibility of Lyme infection, it does decrease the likelihood of contracting it and prevents against the advance stages of Lyme infection which can be fatal.  Administering the Lyme vaccine and maintaining regular flea/tick prevention is our greatest protection against this serious illness.

Internal Parasite ScreeningWe recommend screening every 6 months to be sure that your dog is free of internal parasites, as suggested by the Companion Animal Parasite Council, to look for parasites that could be transmitted to humans.  This involves taking a sample of fecal matter and sending it to the laboratory for comprehensive testing.  With routine screening, we can be sure that we are detecting infection early and treating when appropriate.

Heartworm/Tick-Borne Disease Screening- We recommend annual 4dx heartworm/tick-borne disease screening.  This is a blood test that will screen for heartworms and 3 common tick-borne diseases (Lyme, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia).  It is important to detect these infections early and treating or performing further diagnostics when indicated before more serious illness is experience.

Senior Pet Blood ScreeningWe recommend bi-annual Senior Pet Blood Screening for adult dogs over 7 years of age.  This is a blood screening that helps measure what we cannot see, feel, or hear on physical examination alone to be sure that your pet maintains optimal health.  The Senior Pet Blood Screening offers all the same benefits as the Healthy Pet Bloodwork with the addition of thyroid function monitoring, which is particularly important in aging pets.

Urinalysis- Urinalysis is a test that shows us the physical and chemical properties of urine. We use it to assess the health of the kidneys and urinary system and it can reveal problems in other organ systems, including diabetes. It is a valuable test in both healthy and sick animals and especially important for comprehensive health examinations of aging pets.

Preventative Radiograph Screening- As pets age, we recommend preventive radiograph (x-ray imaging) screening as a part of their comprehensive health evaluations.

Microchip IdentificationLost pets who have microchip identification are 20 times more likely to return to their homes.  We recommend that all pets have this identification administered.  The process includes having a microchip injected into their skin, which then can be scanned to obtain information on returning them to their homes.  Many dogs with have this identification administered as a puppy, however, it can be performed at any age.