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AAHA Life Stage Guidelines

At Sumner Veterinary Hospital, we follow your pet through the many phases of their lives. From specialized and preventative care during their younger years to regular wellness checks as they age in order to prevent and detect problems before they arise. We know your pet is important to you, that's why we work hard to ensure they are given only the best in care through all the years of their lives. Read below for more information on life stage care for your pet.

Dog on Course
Dog on Course

Click here to see your pets wellness schedule.

Proposed Definition of Life Stages

Stage - Puppy

Definition - Neonate until reproductive maturity

Stage - Junior

Definition - Re productively mature, still growing

Stage - Adult

Definition - Finished growing, structurally and socially mature

Stage - Mature

Definition - From middle up to approximately the last 25% of expected lifespan (a window of time around half life expectancy for breed)

Stage - Senior

Definition - From maturity to life expectancy (approximately the last 25% of expected lifespan)

Stage - Geriatric

Definition - At life expectancy and beyond

What Does Bloodwork Test?


  • Liver function

  • Kidney function

  • Electrolyte disturbances

  • Dehydration

  • Pancreatic function

Complete Blood Count:

  • Red blood cell count

    • Anemia from immune, parasitic or toxicities

  • Platelet count

    • Immune  Parasitic or metabolic disease

  • White Blood Cell count

    • Infections, immunosuppression


  • Presence of Bacteria and White Blood Cells

    • Urinary Tract Infections

  • Presence of Crystals

    • Indicating need for different diet, or presence of infection or bladder stones

  • Urine Specific Gravity

    • Kidney function, other metabolic diseases

  • Presence of abnormal cells

    • Inflammatory, Cancerous, etc.

Specific Tests:

  • Thyroid disease

  • Adrenal disease (Cushings, Addisons)

  • Heartworm disease

  • Heart disease

  • Bile acids (liver function testing)

What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

Click on this link to use the AAHA Lifestyle base vaccine calculator for dogs.