Once your dog or cat turns 7 years of age,we recommend that they undergo a thorough Senior Wellness exam and diagnostic work-up. Even though it may appear that your pet still behaves as they did when they were younger, there are many diseases with symptoms that remain invisible until the disease is quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as diseases diagnosed early.
Almost every human disease shows up in pets in some way, so some of the more common that we check for include kidney disease, diabetes, weakening hearts, arthritis of the back and hips.
A chemistry blood panel evaluates the status of all the internal organs like the kidney, liver, pancreas and a set of simple x-rays can evaluate the status of the heart and can reveal the presence of any arthritis in the hips or along the back. All pets of course should be current on vaccinations and the monthly heartworm medicine or the 6 month heartworm shot.
Our hospital is equipped to run all of these tests and more, and often while you wait. We also have the availability of outside veterinary labs, that will run the more sophisticated lab tests involving cortisone levels, and histopathology for biopsy samples.
Many symptoms that historically have been attributed to old age and considered untreatable are now treatable. For example, some dogs that appear to have lost their mental alertness can be returned to a mental status indicative of a younger age using appropriate therapy.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss our senior wellness program in more detail.