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By Scott Allen
Published: August 14, 2013

Seven is almost twelve years old now and has lived with me her entire life. We’ve been through a lot: training and titling in Schutzhund during her first three years, then sheep herding in the German style (she has the HGH title) for four years, all while living in Manhattan. These years of high activity saw literally no health problems.

When we moved from Manhattan to NJ six years ago, we started going to Allenwood Veterinary Hospital for regular checkups. The team and in particular, Dr. Stockett, could not have been more friendly and helpful. Seven started to act sluggish and her coat was very dry. Skin infections developed, and through a routine blood test during one of her regular checkups, Dr. Stockett discovered she was hypothyroid and prescribed the necessary medication. Seven bounced back quickly. Then during another routine checkup, Dr. Stockett discovered a mammary gland tumor. This early detection likely saved her life as he was able to remove the tumor successfully, and since then she has been her normal outgoing, happy self; always eager to go for a jog or search for an object I’ve hidden.

I can’t stress enough how crucial regular check-up visits have been. As Seven aged and I noticed the changes in her coat and energy levels, more frequent check-up visits were needed. This is a dog whose energy level and eagerness to train have never been low, but she can’t talk and she can’t tell me how she feels different, or “off”. If we hadn’t stepped up the frequency of check-ups, the thyroid condition and skin infections wouldn’t have been corrected early, and most importantly breast cancer wouldn’t have been caught early. And as difficult as it is to think about hard financial reality when it comes to a loved pet who is like a family member, it’s absolutely true that more frequent, senior check-ups wound up SAVING me money overall.

Scott Allen and his faithful companion Seven