Anoka MN Senior Pets Deserve Special Care
The concept of senior pet care can be confusing to pet owners, as the life stages of our pets pass much more rapidly than ours. A general estimate is that they age approximately seven years for each one of ours, but the rate any pet ages is determined by factors such as breed, size, nutrition, health care, and lifestyle.
You can find your dog’s approximate human-equivalent age in the WebMD Pet Health article, How to Calculate your Dog’s Age.
For cat owners, it is a bit easier. Once cats reach about 8 years old, we automatically consider them seniors. Research tells us that indoor cats now live an average of 15 years, possibly reaching 18 to 20 years of age.
One of our caring veterinarians at Rum River Veterinary Clinic will help identify your pet’s senior stage, prepare you to manage your aging pet, and discuss how best to enrich the joys of a relationship with your loyal senior animal companion. Our recommendations for a senior wellness plan include twice-a-year physical examinations, vaccines, parasite control, appropriate diagnostic tests, and pain management, focused on a comfortable and enjoyable seniority for both pet and owner.
The early detection and treatment of age-related illnesses can result in many additional years of life for your pet. Observing carefully for early signs of developing health problems, you can assist us in maintaining your pet’s health. It can be difficult to detect age-related disease in pets because many treatable or preventable illnesses may have no early warning signs. This is the reason for laboratory blood testing during the senior wellness exam.
The most commonly suggested diagnostic screening tests for senior pets are as follows:
- Complete blood count (CBC)—Blood test to evaluate the number and type of red, white, and clotting cells and to detect bacterial or viral infection, anemia, clotting diseases, and certain types of cancers.
- Chemistry profile (Chem)—Blood test to evaluate the function of internal organs and to detect systemic disorders such as diabetes, kidney, or liver disease and electrolyte abnormalities.
- Urinalysis (U/A)—Urine samples to test kidney function and detect infections, tumors, or bladder stones.
- Thyroid level (T4)—Blood test to measure thyroid hormone; in dogs, a deficiency results in lethargy, weight gain, and dermatological problems and increased levels in cats result in weight loss, increased appetite and thirst, and heart problems.
- Radiographs/ultrasound—Imaging of many internal organs, including the bladder, liver, spleen, kidney, pancreas, and heart, which is especially useful in diagnosing cardiac problems and abdominal growths and tumors.
We will advise you as to the necessity for and advantages of each test and, together, we will create a senior wellness plan that fits your pet’s needs. Whether you have a loyal senior dog or an independent aging feline, our goal is to provide your pet with the best quality of life for as long as possible.
Call us at Rum River Veterinary Clinic with all of your senior pet concerns.
For more information, read the AAHA article Senior Pet Care.
To learn more, read the WebMD Pet Center article Understanding Your Old and Aging Cat.