Senior Pet Care
Did you know that many breeds of dogs and cats are considered geriatric at age seven? Just like humans, our animal companions need more care as they age. During their “golden years,” pets are more prone to a variety of conditions and illnesses, including arthritis, diabetes, gum disease, vision loss, kidney failure, and cancer.
Regular wellness visits become even more important as your pet ages. Depending on your pet’s health, you may want to start coming in twice a year. Your veterinarian will also probably start to recommend more tests for your senior pet. Regular health screenings help your veterinarian detect problems in their early stages, when they are usually able to be resolved or treated with greater success and less difficulty. Even if your pet seems healthy, it is a good idea to have him or her tested regularly, because your veterinarian could detect a problem that has not shown symptoms yet.
Some important tests for senior pets are:
- Blood work: Blood work helps your vet expose age-related problems, including kidney disease, liver disease, and diabetes. These tests also monitor white and red blood cell counts to detect infections, anemia, and other issues.
- X-rays: X-rays allow your vet to identify signs of arthritis and detect types of cancers that go into the lungs.
- Urinalysis: A urinalysis can reveal a lot about your pet’s overall health and detect diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, and urinary tract infections. If you notice any change in the color, odor, or amount of your pet’s urine, or that your pet has trouble urinating or starts having accidents, it is important to have a urinalysis conducted.