Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Importance of Senior Bloodwork

So your beloved companion is starting to get a little older, graying around the muzzle and slowing down some, how can you make sure that there is no underlying disease lurking? We recommend that owners have with pets over the age of 9 years have a complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel and urinalysis performed yearly as part of their senior pet’s wellness exam. These tests not only alert us to diseases that may already be present but also serve as a base line for problems that may occur in the future.

I often find that people will decline, and instead opt to wait, reasoning that “Fluffy seems healthy, I’m not concerned”. I know it is expensive and more often than not everything is normal, but if we catch something early then perhaps we can start treatment now before it becomes a problem

One pet that recently benefited from early detection is Sox, a perfectly healthy-seeming 10-year-old cat whose owners elected to do senior blood work during his annual exam. We found mild elevations in kidney values accompanied by dilute urine indicating decrease in kidney function. Since this was caught early we can switch Sox’s diet and start medications to protect the remaining kidney function that is present.

Catching diseases we can manage or treat early will ultimately lead to a longer and healthier life for your pet, which is what we all want.

1 comment:

  1. Very important information!! Kidney disease is certainly one of the biggest problems cats will face as they age and, as noted with Sox, the signs are often subtle and go unnoticed by owners.