Geriatric Care


Caring for an animal as they age is part of our responsibility as pet owners and caregivers. It is important to understand that as an animal ages, their lifestyle and needs change. Thus, our approach to veterinary care must change and evolve as well. These patients often require more attention and an understanding of what their bodies are experiencing.

Once a dog or cat reaches the middle-aged years (typically 6-9 years old), it is recommended to begin performing annual baseline bloodwork panels in addition to their routine annual visit. This is done to screen for early signs of diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, Cushing’s disease, thyroid disease, and others. Often times we can detect early bloodwork changes before clinical symptoms are seen in the patient. With any illness, early detection and intervention typically allow for a better prognosis and management of the disease.

Annual bloodwork (possibly more comprehensive panels) and urinalysis tests, are recommended for senior pets (typically 10 years and older). A physical exam is recommended for senior pets every 6-12 months. If your pet is experiencing signs of lameness or stiffness, your veterinarian may discuss arthritis management with you. This often begins with daily, long-term glucosamine and omega-3-fatty acid supplements (fish oil). If further pain management is needed, your veterinarian will discuss safe medication options for your pet.

Monitoring for the onset of symptoms at home is crucial in early detection of age-related illnesses. It is important for you to inform your veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms with your pet: weight loss, change in appetite, increased thirst or water consumption, increased urination or urinary accidents, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, distended abdomen, lethargy, etc. A physical exam is always recommended if you have any concerns about the health of your pet.

While the aging process is an inevitable part of life, we can do our best to make the transition for our beloved animals as smooth and comfortable as possible. The doctors and staff at Goodfriends Veterinary Clinic are here to help you provide the best quality of life for your pet.

Veterinary Specialist Referrals


Our experienced team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians provides many services at our clinic, ranging from routine to advanced procedures. Although we handle the majority of your pet’s medical and surgical needs in-house, we occasionally refer patients to veterinary specialists or specialty clinics when advanced training or equipment will be beneficial.

Board-certified specialists, such as oncologists, ophthalmologists, and neurologists, have extensive experience and training in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. Specialty clinics and university-affiliated referral centers have specialized equipment to perform procedures that are not routinely performed by general veterinary practitioners.

We make referral decisions because we want to ensure that our patients receive the highest standard of care and best possible outcome. Be assured that when we refer a patient to another hospital, we continue to stay involved with his or her care, consulting with the treating specialist and often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation.

Microchip Pet Identification


Imagine if your dog or cat got lost. You’d want to give him or her the best chance of getting home. With microchipping, you can.

Microchipping is a safe, permanent way to identify your pet in case he or she becomes lost. A microchip, which is a tiny device about the size and shape of a grain of rice, is placed just under the loose skin at the back of the neck. When a lost dog or cat without an ID tag is found, a veterinarian or veterinary technician will use a handheld microchip scanner to check for a chip. If the pet has one, it will transmit its ID number to the scanner via a low-frequency radio wave. The veterinary hospital or shelter then calls the chip manufacturer, retrieves the pet owner’s contact information, and calls the owner.

Even the most responsible pet owners can’t always guarantee their pet won’t get lost. A leash could break or slip out of your hand, a pet could push through a screen door or window, or a contractor or friend might accidentally leave a door or gate open.

We recommend that you use a microchip, along with a collar and ID tag, to identify your pet. An ID tag is still a reliable identification method. Pets that have tags with current contact information are more likely to not end up in shelters and tend to get home faster than those without tags. However, collars and ID tags aren’t permanent and can be removed (overnight or for grooming); pets can also lose them. With a microchip, your pet will have a much better chance of being identified and returned to you. Pets without microchips that end up in shelters may be adopted out to another family or even euthanized.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment to microchip your pet. Although we hope your pet never becomes lost, we want you to be prepared. We can also suggest a plan to have in place so if your pet does go missing, you’ll be able to act quickly.



Just like any member of our family, we never want to see our pet suffer. We can examine your pet to help you understand your options, and when all other options have been explored and the decision is made to say good-bye, we’ll do our best to make the process as stress free as possible – for both you and your pet.

Euthanasia is a service that we provide here at the clinic. An appointment can be scheduled at your family’s convenience and we will discuss pet cremation services and other available options.

The decision to euthanize is difficult – even if it is a gift of love to let your pet go with peace and dignity. We are here to help you through this transition, and make the process easier for you.