Important facts about senior health screens
An aging pet's organs gradually deteriorate and may lose their ability to function properly. We use senior testing to promote early detection and treatment of disease, so we can maintain health and prevent illness during your pet's senior years. Early detection of disease often gives us more effective and less costly treatment options. Also, senior testing helps establish normal baseline values for your pet, creating a point of comparison for the future.
What pets should take part in senior health screens?
We recommend senior testing for all senior pets as well as any pet who is exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms: weight loss or gain, increased thirst or urination, lethargy, vomiting/diarrhea, poor hair coat, coughing, seizures, unusual behavior, or overall decline in condition.
Is my pet a senior?
As a general rule of thumb we consider your pet a senior if he/she is over 10yr of age. If you own a giant or large breed dog however, your pet may actually be considered a senior at a much earlier age such as 6-8yr old. Your pet may seem healthy well into its senior years. However, many problems common to senior pets (like kidney or heart failure) may not present symptoms until your pet becomes seriously ill. A comprehensive senior care program helps your veterinarian identify problems early enough to institute preventative healthcare measures.
What is included in a senior health screen?
Your pet's complete senior testing program includes these elements:
A physical exam is the most important part of the senior care program. Your veterinarian will assess all body systems to check for any abnormalities.
Blood chemistry tests measure levels of various substances in the blood and diagnose diseases such as diabetes, and liver and kidney failure.
A complete blood count(CBC) provides a detailed look at the blood itself and helps the doctor diagnose anemia and infections.
A urinalysis gives information on kidney function and checks for urinary tract infections.
A thyroid screen (T4) helps diagnose thyroid disease, which is an especially common ailment in older cats and dogs.
Blood pressure measurement lets our team check for hypertension. Just as in humans, high blood pressure in pets can lead to kidney problems, heart disease, blindness, and other complications.
By scheduling these tests all together, as a senior health screen, you save around $20.
I'd like my pet to participate in the Senior Care Program. What do I do?
Call us to schedule a senior health screen. Please withhold food the morning of the appointment. Make water available for your pet as usual.