VCA East Mill Plain Animal Hospital

Work With Your Veterinarian to Make Your Senior Pet's Golden Years Healthy

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When you have an older pet, the most important thing to remember is this: Dying isn’t optional, but suffering often can be.

In other words, don’t assume that a sick or elderly pet can’t enjoy many weeks, months or even years of pain-free, comfortable and joyful living. And your veterinarian can help make that possible, because we understand why that’s important, and we know how to make it happen. Working with your veterinarian to help a pet in the twilight of life will add a glow that will make the time precious for you and your pet both.

Start With a Veterinary Visit

To help your older pet enjoy a high quality of life, you’ll need to make sure his health problems are addressed. That starts with a complete physical, which likely will include basic diagnostic testing. The tip-of-the-nose-to-tip-of-the-tail exam your veterinarian provides will also include a dental exam and a careful evaluation of all tests for signs of problems in vital organs such as the kidneys

After the check-up — and older pets should get them twice a year — you and your veterinarian will go over the results and set priorities for care. In many older pets, years of “deferred maintenance” when it comes to dental care have resulted in broken, rotting teeth and infected gums. I’ve seen cases that looked as if a blowtorch were passed over the pet’s gums. These pets are in constant pain, and are often not eating well. These urgencies and emergencies must be addressed, and you may be shocked at how much happier your pet seems once they have been.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately.

If it is after hours please call:

1. VCA Southeast Portland Animal Hospital at 503-255-8139

2. VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists at 503-656-3999

3. Columbia River Veterinary Specialists at 360-694-3007