Volume 62 | April 2022

Altadena Valley Animal Clinic
    2898 Acton Road - Birmingham, AL 35243

Helping Your Pet Age Healthy!

“There are interventions veterinarians can recommend now that can slow aging changes and mitigate their effect on health.” – Brennen McKenzie, VMD, MSc, MA 

As inevitable as the aging process is for our pets, increasing health and happiness in their senior years is becoming more achievable than ever before. Thanks to the latest medical improvements and understanding of how to best manage age-related diseases, the average life expectancy for dogs has improved from 10.5 years in 2002 to 11.8 years by 2016. For cats, life expectancy has improved from 11 years to 12.9 during the same period.

However, extending their years and slowing the age-related process is only part of the goal toward a healthier pet – maintaining quality of life in their senior years is just as important. To help pets live a healthier, happier life into their senior years, it’s important to lay a good healthy foundation in early years – long before age-related diseases have taken an irreversible hold. 

“Surveys indicate approximately 20% to 24% of cats and 15% to 17% of dogs are 11 years or older, qualifying as senior by common standards.” dvm360® 

Here are several important ways our vets at AVAC can work with you to slow your pet’s aging process and enable them to enjoy their senior years.

Weight Management
As with humans, we know that obesity will shorten lifespan; the same is true for pets. Too often pet parents may rationalize their senior dog’s inactivity as, “slowing down” or “getting old.” These pets usually have treatable conditions. Intervention and diligence in the younger years to diet, exercise, and routine wellness exams can help pets enter their senior years better prepared to weather the storms of old age. 

For senior pets who find themselves inactive and overweight, it’s not too late to address diet and exercise. Losing weight will positively benefit your dog by increasing mobility, reducing joint stress, and improving their overall health. Exercise, even in older pets, can help slow aging and extend their life span.

In younger dogs, attention to diet, exercise, and prescribed supplements (at an early age), will have life-long benefits. By the time they become seniors, these pets will likely experience fewer age-related diseases or symptoms.

Wellness Exams
Also important in maintaining a pet’s health and happiness throughout their life involves thorough wellness exams. By following your pet regularly, our vets and groomers can spot and address any abnormalities or issues that could adversely affect them now or in their senior years. Before weight, diet, cataracts, dental, or other potentially harmful issues become irreversible, our doctors can act and develop treatment plans specifically designed for your pet’s health and wellbeing. Vigilance in preventing or treating minor issues can keep them from becoming major problems. Our vets will create a treatment plan to assure your pet’s quality of life and longevity. 

Additional Aging Issues to Address 
Whether you look at aging as a disease or the normal and inevitable part of a pet’s life cycle, there are several steps your pre-senior pet can take now that will help them reduce or avoid many age-related diseases and symptoms. These include:

  • Dental Disease – dental diseases are considered one of the most common medical problems in pets. Dental disease, if left untreated, can result in disease of the liver, kidney, and heart. Regular dental exams and cleanings can essentially eliminate most dental diseases.

  • Vision Loss – impaired vision in pets is usually caused by diabetes, glaucoma, and cataracts. When caught early, most vision problems can be successfully treated with diet, exercise, medication, and/or surgery.

Improvements in veterinary medicine and training allow the doctors at AVAC to provide effective treatment options that help mitigate age-related diseases earlier in a pet’s life cycle, as opposed to detecting and treating certain diseases later in their senior years. Keeping your pet happy and healthy throughout their lifetime is our passion!


Julie Grimes, DVM
Thorough wellness exams help us make sure your pet is happy and healthy. Early intervention and preventive treatment can help your pet age healthy. To schedule your pet's exam, call (205) 967-7383.
Our Wonderful Vets
Bobby Wilson, DVM
Lolly Wilson, DVM
ProHeart® 12 (moxidectin) Is Now Available!

Heartworm disease in our state is a year-round threat. Making sure you give your dog their monthly heartworm medication can be a challenge – until now! With only one dose of ProHeart 12 your dog will have protection all year long.

ProHeart 12 is a new safe and effective option that takes the worry out of remembering to give your dog a monthly dose of their heartworm preventative. It’s also the only FDA-approved product that prevents heartworm disease in dogs for 1 full year with just 1 shot given by our vets.

ProHeart 12 Is Effective & Safe

In three well-controlled studies, ProHeart 12

  • Was 100% effective against heartworm disease* in dogs
  • Was demonstrated to be safe for most types of dogs over 12 months, including:
  • Reproducing dogs
  • Collies sensitive to ivermectin—a common ingredient in monthly heartworm products

  • Had a similar adverse event profile to Heartgard® Plus 

*Caused by Dirofilaria immitis. Heartgard is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim.

To see if this product is right for your dog, call the clinic at (205) 967-7383
Check out our online store for savings on pet food, toys, and more! Click the link above to visit the store today!
*Terms and conditions apply. Must be of the same product, size, and purchased at one time, Ask the front desk receptionist for full terms and conditions.
Training Class Schedule
Sign Up Today!
Yappy Hour: Puppy Socialization! 

Puppy/Beginner Obedience (6-week course)
  • ​​Instructor: Anthony Rodriguez, CPDT-KSA

Impulse Control (6-week course) ​​​​
  • ​​Instructor: Anthony Rodriguez, CPDT-KSA

For complete course descriptions, start dates, and rates, visit our Training website page or sign up for classes by clicking the REGISTER link below.

If you have a question as to whether masks are required, check with your instructor prior to the first week of class. We want our students to learn and have fun in a way that is safe for everyone!

Pet Picture of the Month
Our sweet friend Ava shows that getting your pet's nails trimmed can be like a day at the spa. Our groomers LOVE their furry friends. Making them look and feel good with a soothing bath and stylist grooming are just several of the ways they can make your pet's day. If your pet could use some "me time" with our groomers, call (205) 967-7383.
Altadena Valley Animal Clinic | Phone: 205-967-7383 | Fax: 205-967-7395
 Email: admin@altadenavalleyanimalclinic.com | www.altadenavalleyanimalclinic.com
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A Passion For Pets
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