When does a pet become a senior?
There is no real answer or formula for that question. Most Veterinary Professionals will agree that a giant breed dog like a Great Dane is considered a senior much earlier than a small breed dog like a Shihtzu. Cat breeds age equally across the board.
Senior Wellness Panel as a Screening Tool
One of our winter specials is the senior wellness panel, this panel is being offered to both dogs and cats over the age of six. We like to use this wellness package as a screening tool for the older pets to try to catch diseases early. Some examples of disease that can be caught are: Kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, Addison’s and Cushing’s are just a few.
This panel includes a complete physical exam, complete blood count, chemistry panel, thyroid determination, intraocular pressure, blood pressure determination, and a urinalysis.
The physical exam is an important part of this package as it gives the Doctor a good overall view of your pet. The blood work that is run (chemistry panel, complete blood count, and thyroid determination) allow us to get a good look at what is happening on the inside of your pet. A pet can often mask signs that something is wrong with them but the lab work will reveal areas of concern.
Early Glaucoma Detection
Intraocular pressure is used to detect glaucoma. Which is when the eyeball is retaining fluid causing high pressure. Signs of glaucoma include redness of the eye, vision loss, and the eye having a bulging appearance. Early detection of glaucoma can preserve the vision. Some breeds of dogs that are more prone to glaucoma are the Chihuahua, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Maltese, Miniature Poodle, Beagle, Boston Terrier and many more.
Heart and Kidney Function Testing
Hypertension in pets most commonly develops when there is another underlying medical condition. High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when blood flows with more force against heart and blood vessels than normal. At this point, we need to look at your pets heart function as well as kidneys. We can easily find out if your pet has high blood pressure by using an inflatable cuff around its leg, just like human doctors do!
The Urinalysis is another important test as it gives us information on how well the kidneys are working and will also identifies inflammation and infection in the urinary tract. Older pets area at a much higher risk of kidney disease because their kidneys begin to wear out as they age.
Early Detection Will Keep Your Pet Healthy
Running this package on your senior pet is a simple and effective way of monitoring the health of your pet. Early detection of medical problems will help keep your pet healthy as they enter their golden years.