When pets reach seven years of age, they’re considered geriatric patients. As they age, our pets have some of the same concerns we do: aches and pains from arthritis, proper weight management, and an increased risk for certain diseases and cancers. As their bodies change, so do their needs and care requirements.
The best way to help pets age gracefully and be as happy and healthy as possible as seniors is through prevention and early catches. With regular wellness exams beginning at the start of their lives, we get to know our patients, catch any problems as early as possible, and form their healthcare around individual needs.
That said, here’s some of what we cover during senior wellness exams.
Chest and Abdomen Radiographs
During our senior wellness exams, we perform five-view radiographs of the chest and abdomen.
This tool is just one way in which we check out the overall health of pets’ organs. It gives us an inside view of the heart, lungs, kidney, liver, and intestinal tract. When we take these pictures, we’re looking for signs of cancer or other disease or abnormalities.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A complete blood count helps give us a picture of a pet’s overall health. It measures the amount, size, and health of red and white cells and platelets. With a complete blood count, we can detect signs of infection and disease.
Blood Pressure Check
More often than not, high blood pressure, or hypertension, in pets is a symptom of a disease rather than a primary condition. High blood pressure can indicate the presence of various health concerns including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and hyperthyroidism. Whether hypertension is a symptom of an underlying condition or the primary condition, it can cause major damage to pets’ bodies.
Part of a senior pet’s wellness check involves analyzing their urine. A urinalysis is a powerful diagnostic tool when evaluating the health of a pet’s urinary tract. It clues us in on how the kidneys, bladder, and even the liver are functioning. The test can indicate the presence of infection, inflammation, and blockages.
Lifestyle and Care Plan
In addition to checking your pet from head to tail, inside and out, we discuss with pet parents the transition into this next life stage. We’ll go over any necessary changes, including those in nutrition, activity levels, supplement use, visit frequency, aches and pain management (read about laser therapy for arthritis here), and anything else that pertains to individual patients.
As we escort our beloved furry family members into their golden years, it’s necessary to cater their health care to their changing bodies. This means regular, senior-specific, exams that help us stay on top of potential disease and discomfort that often affect our elderly patients.
At Sandia Animal Clinic, we offer discounts on senior wellness exams during our Geriatric Pet Month. Give us a call at 505-299-9533 and make an appointment to get your aging babe checked out.