Preventive Care for Older Dogs and Cats
Our furry friends age faster than humans. That’s why Senior Pet Exams are so important for older dogs and cats. As your pet ages, we recommend 1 – 2 visits a year.
Regular vet vists help us detect disease and other health conditions early when they are more easily treated and less expensive. We can also prevent other health issues through lifestyle modification, diet, medication, and supplements.
Health Screenings for Older Dogs and Cats: What to Expect at Your Senior Pet Exam
Physical examination. We’ll check your pet’s weight, muscle tone, and joints. During the exam, we’ll also check your pet’s skin for lumps and bumps. Dr. Abbott will examine your pet’s belly to make sure there are no signs of tumors or other abnormalities.
Heart and lungs. Dr. Abbott will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs to check for murmurs or heart rhythm issues.
Blood pressure. Just like in humans, pets with high blood pressure are at risk for heart disease, kidney damage, blindness, and other health issues.
Blood chemistry tests. These tests are helpful in diagnosing diabetes and liver and kidney failure. We use this test to evaluate organ function, electrolytes, and hormone levels.
Complete blood count (CBC). The CBC is another important blood screening and helps us check for anemia, infection, inflammation, leukemia, bleeding problems (clotting function), hydration, and immune function.
Thyroid screen. Thyroid disease is a common issue for older dogs and cats. We’ll check for decreased levels of thyroid hormones which often signal hypothyroidism in dogs, while high levels indicate hyperthyroidism, commonly diagnosed in cats.
Urinalysis. We’ll do a urinalysis to check your pet’s kidneys and urinary tract to make sure they’re functioning normally. We’ll also look for other health indicators including glucose regulation and liver function.
Eye exam. During your senior pet exam, we’ll screen older dogs and cats for glaucoma by measuring the pressure in each of your pet’s eyes. This quick and painless test is important because undetected glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness. We’ll also perform a retinal exam to check for bleeding, degeneration, inflammation, or detachment.
X-rays. Depending on your pet’s health history, we may recommend a digital x-ray to assess your pet’s heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.
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