Congratulations! It’s because of your efforts, love and care that your pet has reached the age when he or she will be considered a senior pet. Just like us, animals also tend to develop some health problems as they aged such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease, periodontal disease, liver disease and kidney disease. Sometimes, it is difficult for the owners to recognize the symptoms as the changes are assumed to be just related to old age. However, early diagnosis is essential to maintain the optimal health condition of your pet. When the illness is diagnosed at the early stage, it is usually easier and more cost-effective to treat it rather than when it reaches the more advanced stage. That’s why, routine diagnostic testing is recommended for senior pets apart from preventative care and vaccinations. These screening tests include the following:
– Complete blood cell count (CBC): Blood test is essential to determine your pet’s red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. It can help catch the potential signs of anemia, infections, dehydration or cancer is present.
– Chemistry panel: Blood test can also help determine various other organs of the body such as liver, kidney function, pancreas, blood sugar, and electrolytes. It is also required to evaluate if dehydration or inflammation is present.
– Total thyroid level (total T4): Blood test is used to screen pets for thyroid hormone imbalances. Senior dogs are more likely to develop low thyroid levels, on the other hand the senior cats frequently develop high thyroid levels.
– Urinalysis: Urine test will help your vet determine whether your pet is suffering from diabetes, liver disease or kidney disease.
Apart from the above tests, it is vital to take your senior pet to your veterinarian Mississauga every six months for complete physical examination. This way you can help your pet stay happy and healthy and protect them from heart murmurs, skin tumors and many other types of diseases. Depending upon the medical condition of your pet, your vet may ask for additional tests that will help detect the other problems.
When is your pet considered a senior?
Although there is no definite answer to this as the age of the pets vary with breed, genetics and environmental factors, our veterinarian Mississauga recommends that the change in the health care routine starts around 8 or 9 years of age for healthy cats, 6 or 7 years for large dogs and 8 to 9 years for small breeds. It is always good to take your pet to a reliable veterinarian for complete checkup as you never know when your pet falls victim to some serious or fatal disease.
At Mill Creek Veterinary Hospital, our vets are experienced and qualified to take care of all your pet’s health care needs. Contact us today to discuss the health condition of your pet.