Senior pets are among some of the best companions, so they deserve the best care we can give them, usually by keeping up with their routine veterinarian appointments. Unfortunately, animals' bodies can change quickly, potentially causing medical complications to arise out of seemingly nowhere. The more testing and checkups that are done on a scheduled, consistent basis, the better the chance there is of keeping up with their overall health. An additional benefit to bringing in your older pets more frequently is that addressing potential issues before they can become serious is a lot easier and also more likely. It is easy to assume the behavioral or physical changes we see in our animals are simply "old age" or "nature taking its course." While that could certainly be the case, do your pet the justice of making sure and bringing them in for their recommended checkups and exams when scheduled.
Bloodwork is an important part of a senior pet's examination. The benefit of blood testing is that aids us in diagnosing disease or issues in an animal's body that appear to be healthy on the surface. Veterinarians usually employ senior blood panels to check on metabolic and organ health. Since we hold preventative medicine in the highest regard, we make sure to be as thorough as possible in our patient examinations, especially our senior patients, and draw blood routinely.
When it comes to general wellness checkups or any type of thorough examination for older animals, you can usually count on a urinalysis being done alongside blood work. Through studying a urine sample, we get insight into how kidneys and urinary system are functioning and what kind of condition they are in. This really is critical since elderly dogs and cats are more likely to develop renal and urinary system complications or infections.
As our pets age, it is normal for their energy levels to settle into a slower pace. However, there is an important distinction between getting older and suffering from arthritis. The benefit of diagnostic imaging in senior animals is that it can show us what our pet's can't tell us themselves- like if they are feeling joint pain or other physical discomfort. It can also show us if your pet has any growths that aren't detected through a routine examination. If any growths or medical conditions are discovered, we can move forward with a diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.