Although we may wish our pets’ life spans could mirror our own, their lives compared to ours are short and sweet. Some large breed dogs are considered seniors as early as the age of seven. Cats typically enter their senior years around the age of nine. By the time they are in the double-digits, both dogs and cats are always considered geriatric. And with age, your pet’s energy levels and immune systems will slow down.
Seniors are more likely to develop chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, blindness, dental disease, kidney disease, or dementia. For this reason, regular wellness visits are even more crucial for senior pets, and we often recommend them more often than once annually.
Bringing your pet in for wellness visits allows us to check for signs of discomfort or disease and treat them before they grow more serious. Performing routine tests and exams on senior pets is the best way to safeguard against pain and sickness.
Here are some examples of routine tests we perform on senior pets:
Blood work is an excellent tool, which can provide an invaluable understanding of your pet’s health. Blood work also effectively identifies many conditions, such as anemia, diabetes, kidney failure, and more. It will also let us know if they are deficient in any necessary minerals such as electrolytes.
X-rays can help us to diagnose issues, such as arthritis or cancer, by allowing us to see the musculoskeletal system.
Urinalysis aids us in examining many aspects of your pet’s health, such as hydration levels, and can detect the presence of diseases including kidney disease and liver failure.
If you ever notice a sudden change in your senior pet, please give us a call to let us know your concerns. Healthy habits such as exercise, regular veterinary check-ups, and proper nutrition can help your pet to stay healthy and happy into their twilight years.