Did you know that an aging pet’s body often goes through gradual changes in its ability to function properly? We use Wellness tests to promote early detection and treatment of disease. Our goal is to maintain health and hopefully prevent illness during your pet’s senior years. Early detection of disease gives us more effective and less costly treatment options. If your pet is in good health then the normal baseline values can create a point of reference for future laboratory testing.
Is my pet a senior?
If your pet is of 7 years of age or older, we consider him/her a senior. Your pet may seem healthy as it enters into its senior years. Please remember many health problems like diabetes, certain types of cancer, liver, kidney, and heart disease can arise without exhibiting clinical signs until your pet becomes seriously ill. A comprehensive senior care program can help us identify problems early and initiate a customized treatment plan for your furry friend.
What is a senior wellness program?
Your pet’s complete senior wellness program includes these following elements:
- A physical exam is the most important part of the senior care program. We will assess all body systems to check for any abnormalities and consult with you on any behavioral changes you may have noticed recently. We also will discuss nutritional needs for the aging pet.
- Blood chemistry tests measure levels of various substances in the blood to screen for diseases such as diabetes, liver and/or kidney failure. This will enable us to present you with a reasonable and effective plan to maintain your pet’s health.
- A complete blood count (CBC) provides a detailed look at your pet’s red blood cell and white blood cell values. This test is used to screen for Anemia, Leukemia, Infection, etc.
- A urinalysis gives information on kidney function, urinary tract infections, urinary stone/crystal formation, and metabolic disease such as diabetes.
- The thyroid screen (T4) helps diagnose thyroid disease, which is an especially common ailment in older cats and dogs.
- Did you know our pets can develop diseases of the eye much like we see in human medicine? We are able to screen for Glaucoma by measuring your pet’s Intraocular Pressure in the eyes quickly and painlessly using a tonometer. If left undetected, glaucoma can lead to irreversible blindness. A thorough retinal exam will be performed after the pupils are dilated. This will allow us to evaluate the internal structures of the eye as well.
- Blood pressure measurement allows our team check for hypertension. Just as in humans, high blood pressure in pets can lead to kidney disease, heart disease, blindness, and other complications.
- Radiographs (x-rays) and/or Ultrasound come as part of the senior care program as well. Generally, we perform chest radiographs to assess the heart and lungs. Additional abdominal radiographs/ultrasound may be necessary in order to assess the internal abdominal organs (spleen, liver, kidneys, bowel, urinary bladder, etc.).
I’d like my pet to participate in the Senior Wellness Program. What do I do?
Please call us to arrange the early morning drop off and afternoon pick up times for your pet to participate in our Senior Wellness screening tests. We request that you do not allow your pet to eat after 10:00 pm the night before the scheduled appointment to ensure we can obtain a fasted blood sample. Water can be kept available for your pet as usual. Throughout the day we will carefully collect all the samples needed so not to cause stress to our patients. The necessary tests will then be performed using the samples collected. The doctor will review the results of your pet’s comprehensive wellness package with you during a 15-30 minute appointment at your afternoon pick up time.