Your pet might have only been a member of your family for what seems like a few short years. But did you know that dogs and cats are considered to be Seniors at just seven years old?
Unfortunately for pets, that means Senior as in elderly, not school or college! That’s because pets age much faster than humans and like us, they tend to have more medical complaints as they grow older.
For example, senior pets are at higher risk of developing health problems such as:
We see problems like these in senior pets every day and there’s nothing more heartbreaking than having to tell a client that their fur baby has a potentially life-threatening condition.
The good news is that a lot of these health conditions can be treated or even prevented…if they are diagnosed early enough. You see, an important part of our job as Veterinarians is to look for early signs of disease in your pet. It is, obviously, much better for your pet if we can catch the disease early before it develops into a stage where it may become untreatable.
One of the best ways to check for early signs of disease is by running wellness bloodwork. This involves drawing a small amount of blood (don’t worry, your pet won’t feel a thing) and then testing it.
It is extremely important for your pet because we have seen many pets for wellness checkups that outwardly seemed healthy but their bloodwork showed signs of health problems such as early kidney disease or diabetes.
Another benefit of running wellness bloodwork year after year is that we can compare previous results and track subtle changes that can be an indicator of a developing problem.
Wellness bloodwork for seniors should include a full serum chemistry profile, a Complete Blood Count, a thyroid test and a urinalysis. Heartworm and fecal tests should be included for both dogs and cats.
CMAC TV is a video series created by our Veterinary team and is made to promote greater knowledge about God's creatures!