Geriatric Pet Wellness in Yorktown, VA
Most dogs and cats are regarded as senior citizens when they reach the age of seven and nine, respectively. Compared to people, pets mature at faster rate, and can mean their immune systems weaken over time.
Pine Meadow Veterinary Hospital advises owners to bring their senior pets in for examinations and blood testing twice a year to give them the best chance at living their longest, healthiest, and most comfortable lives possible. By doing so, we can monitor your pet’s aging process and increase our chances of catching any emerging ailments before they become serious issues.
One of the key components of the senior wellness exam is the blood test. These blood tests—often called a geriatric panel—track red and white blood cell counts and show how effectively the thyroid, kidney, liver, pancreas, and other organs are working. To check the heart’s size and rule out any lung masses, your veterinarian could advise getting a chest x-ray.
For our older patients, a urine sample analysis is also crucial. A urinalysis can show whether the kidneys are effectively concentrating urine, whether crystals are present (which could indicate bladder stones), and whether there is any indication of a urinary tract infection.
The health and comfort of our pets are always in danger from periodontal disease, which is especially difficult for elderly animals. For this reason, a dental examination is always included in any senior pet check.
Last but not least, be sure to inform your vet of any behavioral changes in your pet. Once a dog or cat reaches the geriatric period, it’s critical to watch for indicators of cognitive dysfunction, such as losing their ability to housebreak, getting lost, or aimlessly wandering.