Senior Wellness Exams

It is hard to believe that, at about age 7, your companion pet is entering into their senior years. Like humans, senior pets have special health concerns. An appearance of health may be misleading. For example a pet can lose up to 75% of their kidney function prior to showing signs of illness. This is true of many other conditions too. That is why it is so important to bring your pet in at least once a year for a senior wellness exam. We look for changes in appearance, appetite and water consumption. We also monitor stiffness, lack of mobility and behavior changes.

To fully understand your pet’s overall health, we offer a simple blood test called a senior profile. This profile targets potential health risks that we commonly see in older pets. Once we obtain a sample of blood, we send it out to our preferred laboratory. We receive their test results back within 24-48 hours. Our veterinarians call with those results the day they arrive to us. If problems are recognized early, many conditions can be well controlled or managed.

Illnesses we look for in senior pets:

Kidney disease/abnormalities
Liver disease/abnormalities
Hypothyroidism/Hyperthyroidism
Tumors
Anemia
Diabetes
Cushing’s syndrome
Fluid imbalance
Bile duct abnormalities
Bleeding problems
Detailed information for red/white blood cells and platelet counts

Senior Blood Profile

What is a senior blood profile? It is a targeted blood panel that our veterinarians recommend doing every year when your pet reaches the age of 7. It can be performed on both cats and dogs and is simple to obtain. Typically we perform this test at their annual wellness visit. Our technicians draw a small sample of blood from your pet and prepare the specimen for transport to our area laboratory. The results are typically available in approximately 24 hours. Upon arrival of these results you will receive a phone call from one of our veterinarians. Here are just some of the tests included in this profile.

CBC (Complete Blood Count): Provides detailed information on red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. These tests can indicate anemia, infection, stress and inflammation or the ability to fight infection. Platelets are involved with clotting and low values can indicate a bleeding problem.

GLUCOSE:High levels can indicate diabetes. Low levels can indicate liver disease, infection or certain tumors.

BUN/ALT: Abnormal values can indicate dehydration and kidney and liver abnormalities.

BUN/CREATNINE RATIO: A comparison of enzymes that indicate liver or kidney disease.

TOTAL PROTEIN/ALBUMIN/GLOBULIN: These values can detect a variety of conditions, dehydration and diseases of the liver, kidney or gastrointestinal track.

BILIRUBIN: Is secreted by the liver into the intestinal tract. Evaluating levels are useful in diagnosing anemia and problems in the bile ducts.

ALKALINE PHOSPHATES: Elevated levels can indicate liver disease or Cushing’s syndrome.

T4 and FREE T4: A measurement of thyroid hormone circulating in the blood. Hyperthyroidism is relatively common in cats and can lead to serious complications if not detected early. Hypothyroidism in dogs can also be debilitating if not treated. .

ELECTROLYTES: Can help determine dehydration or if essential nutrients have been lost from vomiting or diarrhea. Results can help determine type of fluids to help correct imbalance.


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