So, at what age does a pet qualify as a senior? It’s been observed that smaller dog breeds tend to outlive their larger counterparts, and the same is true of cats. Several health issues can affect senior pets, including changes in weight and movement, arthritis, renal, heart, and liver illness, tumors and malignancies, and hormonal abnormalities like diabetes and thyroid imbalance.
When we reach different ages, our bodies have different requirements for how we should be cared for medically; the same is true for our pets. A senior pet’s health plan should be developed in close collaboration between the owner and veterinarian.
Evaluating Senior Pet Health
As your pet ages, regular vet visits are essential to ensuring that it remains in tip-top shape. Fortunately, several veterinary hospitals have developed geriatric or senior care programs across the country to provide additional preventive treatment for older animals. These usually involve having your pet undergo a battery of diagnostic tests to determine the problem.
1. Complete Blood Count
This standard test determines the total amount of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets present in each individual’s blood sample. The quantities and varieties of these cells provide the information necessary for the veterinarian to assist in the diagnosis of anemia, infections, and leukemia.
A complete blood count is also helpful for an internal medicine veterinarian in Westfield, NJ in monitoring how well certain medicines work for your pet.
2. Urine Analysis
It is common practice to analyze a pet’s urine and report on its chemical and physical characteristics through a process known as urinalysis. Evaluation of kidney function and detection of urinary tract inflammation and infection are possible through urinalysis. In addition to aiding in detecting cancer in the urinary system, it can also be used to spot signs of diabetes.
Routine wellness testing should include a urinalysis as part of a comprehensive evaluation of the kidneys and urinary system. Because of the increasing prevalence of kidney illness in older dogs, this is especially crucial for senior and geriatric canines. You can check here for more info about geriatric pet treatment.
Radiographs performed in a veterinary diagnostic laboratory should be taken for a more thorough diagnosis if your pet has a history of cardiac, respiratory, hepatic, renal, or digestive problems.
Your vet may recommend radiographs (x-rays) or another testing to help diagnose issues like arthritis. These symptoms may indicate arthritis, or they may indicate a more serious underlying condition.
4. Fecal Analysis
The examination of the feces of your pet can reveal information concerning various problems, including issues with digestion, internal bleeding, and disorders of the pancreas, amongst others.
However, the essential thing that this test reveals is that intestinal parasites such as roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm, and giardia are indeed present in the patient.
5. Blood Chemistry
An array of tests like these can aid in the early diagnosis of conditions including diabetes, renal illness, liver disease, and others by providing information on the body’s organs and tissues. Your vet may recommend repeating the biochemistry profile in a few days, weeks, or months if it reveals only subtle deviations from normal.
The severity of the anomalies will determine the scope of the diagnostic workup, which may include additional tests like a complete blood count (CBC), a blood pressure reading, and imaging studies like radiography (X-rays) or ultrasound.