Thanks to caring pet parents and a dedicated veterinary team our pets are living longer and longer. However, during their golden years our senior companions need a little extra TLC. As their bodies begin aging, cats and dogs are susceptible to numerous conditions such as arthritis and mobility issues, behaviour changes, dental disease, liver disease, kidney disease, hormone imbalances, weight changes, and cancer. Our healthcare team is ready to work with you to create a plan to help your furry family member live their happiest and healthiest life!
Is My Pet a Senior?
Typically around a pet’s seventh to ninth birthday (depending on their size) they are considered a senior. Though they still may act like a puppy or kitten this is when we need to start paying extra attention to any changes in their health. The best way to do this is to monitor your pet daily and schedule yearly (or twice yearly for geriatrics) visits with your pet’s veterinarian and healthcare team.
What Can Pet Parents Do?
You know your four-legged family member better than anyone. Symptoms that once may have been labelled part of “getting older” can now be addressed, and more often than not, effectively treated. We have included a handy checklist for signs to watch for. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following, report them to us immediately.
- Just not acting like himself/herself
- Interacting less often with family
- Responding less often or less enthusiastically
- Showing changes in behaviour/activity level
- Increased time spent sleeping
- Having difficulty climbing stairs
- Having difficulty jumping
- Exhibiting increased stiffness or limping
- Drinking more often
- Urinating more often
- Changing eating patterns or amounts
- Noticeably gaining or losing weight
- Losing housetraining habits
- Changing sleeping patterns
- Becoming confused or disoriented
- Changing fur, skin, or new lumps and bumps
- Scratching more often
- Exhibiting bad breath/red or swollen gums
- Showing tremors or shaking
Blood and Urine Testing
While a physical examination is vital to your pet’s health, there are many conditions that cannot be diagnosed just by looking. This is why blood and urine testing is so important. We can tell a lot about your pet’s health through quick, simple, and affordable chemistry and hematology blood tests. Chemistry blood tests provide useful indicators of the health and function of your pet’s organ system. Hematology blood tests provide a detailed look at blood cells. When combined with urine testing we can gain insight into your pet’s health and provide necessary treatments, start preventive care, or monitor for future changes.
The Top 4 Benefits of Senior Wellness Testing
- Comparing baseline values – comparing current values to baseline values established earlier in your pet’s life will help identify subtle changes to your pet’s health.
- Identify unseen disease at an early stage – identifying disease before signs and symptoms are evident increases the likelihood of a successful outcome and can often lessen the cost of treatment. Many pets (especially cats) are excellent at masking disease until it has progressed to extremes.
- Medications – many senior pets require medications for common age-related illnesses. A blood profile can help avoid using medications that may be unsafe for a pet’s medical condition or health status.
- Anesthesia – senior pets often require anesthesia more frequently than younger pets, as common problems including dental disease and skin growth/tumors are more common. Senior Celebration is a great time to have this done!
Call us today to book your Senior Wellness Exam and Blood Profile!