Dogs and cats age faster than we humans (7x faster in fact). This means that at age 7 your cat or dog is already 49 years old! While most animals are quite vigorous at age 7 inside their metabolism, abdominal organs, brain, heart and other internal processes are starting to change.
We recommend examinations at least once a year for all our “senior” pet friends. It is better for them if we see our "senior" pets twice a year (every 6 months) as their conditions can change rapidly.
For each senior pet examination we recommend a full Physical Examination, Blood panel, Urine analysis and Fecal analysis. We will also take an extensive history to try to determine which diagnostic test is best for diagnosing your pet's condition (if he/she has any health problems) and whether or not we need to schedule any additional tests. We do recommend that if you are bringing your pet in for his/her "senior" examination that you fast your pet except for those pets who are on regular medication (for example, thyroid supplement). Then we recommend you give your pet just enough food to get him/her to take the medication. You do not have to withhold water from your pet.
Why do we recommend all this in a Senior Pet Examination? The blood tests can alert us very early to the development of changes in the kidney or liver function of your beloved pet. Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease and other age related diseases can be revealed with blood and urine tests.
The Urine analysis aids us in detecting organ function changes and some endocrine function changes even earlier than the blood tests do. They can also tell us if a beloved pet has a urinary tract infection (additional urine culture will be recommended if we suspect a urinary tract infection).
Fecal analysis helps us keep your pet parasite free (intestinal).
Sometimes senior pets suffer from stiff joints (difficulty rising or limping after sleeping or laying down or after strenuous exercise). There are a large number of supplements and medications for such aches and pains. However many of the medications we use to help our pets with this problem require proper kidney and liver function. The Blood Panel and Urine test we run with each examination help us keep your senior pet safe while using some of these medications.
If your senior pet is “slowing down” or “getting old” maybe he or she is not actually doing that (remember OLD AGE IS NOT A DISEASE). Maybe he or she is ill. If your pet has decreased appetite, is drinking more or less water than normal, is vomiting, having diarrhea, is depressed (less active, sleeping more) or is hiding don’t wait. Call for an appointment today (858-484-1260). The sooner we can see your pet the better for your pet and you.