It can be hard to admit when we see the signs of old age in our animal companions, but the fact is that most dogs are considered seniors when they hit seven years olds, cats around nine. Pets age much more rapidly than humans, which means diseases and illness progress quicker as well.
Why Schedule a Wellness Exam?
To ensure that your pet has the longest, healthiest, most comfortable life possible, Cedar Ridge Animal Hospital encourages you to bring your senior pet in for wellness exams and blood tests twice each year. This way, we can track how your pet is aging, and we’ll be more likely to catch any developing diseases before they’re bigger problems.
Blood tests are one of the most important parts of a senior exam. These blood screenings—often referred to as a “senior panel”— monitor red and white blood cell counts and reveal how well the kidney, liver, pancreas, and thyroid are functioning. Sometimes, we may recommend a chest x-ray to ensure that the heart is a normal size and that there are no masses in the lungs.
Periodontal disease is always a threat to our pets’ health and comfort, and it’s particularly tough on older pets. That’s why a dental exam is always part of any senior pet screening, as well as, suggested pet dental care and cleaning services.
Finally, make sure to let us know about any behavior changes in your pet. Once dogs and cats get to the geriatric stage, monitoring for signs of cognitive dysfunction—such as losing housebreaking, getting lost or wandering aimlessly—is very important.
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