(02) 792-7602 21-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul chungwha77@gmail.com www.cwhospital.com Hospita l hours Mon - Sat : 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Grooming hours Mon - Sat : 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For reservations, call (02) 794-9967. j (02) 797-3040 pethotelm@gmail.com www.thepethotelm.com j Korea Animal Transport (KAT) & Chungwha Animal Hospital The Pet Hotel M Chungwha Animal Hospital W hen is a dog truly senior? The answer is that it hap- pens at a different time for every animal. Individuals and body systems age differently, and this is especially true in canines due to significant size differences and the vary- ing aging rates among breeds. However, most dogs become senior at 7 to 10 years of age, and most large- and gi- ant-breed dogs become seniors earlier than their small-breed counterparts. Dogs age much more rapidly than people do. Therefore, they may appear healthy for a long time and then seem to become ill quite suddenly. As dogs grow older, their bodies become less able to cope with physical or environmental stress. Their immune systems become weaker, and they are more prone to developing certain diseases or condi- tions, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, intestinal problems, deafness, dental disease, diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis and vision problems. This is why regular senior wellness vis- its with your veterinarian are important for the long-term health of your dog. Most experts agree that healthy sen- ior dogs should see their veterinarians every six months, with the visits focusing on monitoring changes in the patient’s history and physical exam, and pursuing diagnostics as necessary. It is recom- mended that your dog gets a checkup at least once a year. The key to the wellness exam in all our animal patients — but especially those that are senior/geriatric — is to provide an early diagnosis, enable close monitor- ing and initiate treatment as necessary for pathological conditions that develop. The minimum annual checkup recom- mended for older dogs includes a CBC (complete blood count), a biochemistry panel, urinalysis and other diagnostic testing, which can be individualized for each patient. You can help your veterinarian by keeping a close eye on your dog be- tween exams. If you notice any unu- sual signs, don’t wait for your regularly scheduled checkup to see your veteri- narian: Call right away. Take steps to ensure your dog’s comfort, such as making sure that food and water bowls are easily accessible to your old friend, and giving him or her plenty of attention and affection. Itaewon Station Exit 4 Chungwha Apt. Exit 3 The Wellness of Your Senior dog Column By DR. LIM-GWON KaNG