Larue County Animal Clinic

121 Shepherdsville Rd
Hodgenville, KY 42748

(270)358-4474

www.laruecountyanimalclinic.com

 

 

SENIOR WELLNESS CARE FOR DOGS AND CATS

 

 

 

 

Our veterinary patients are very good at hiding signs of disease until they are in the advanced stages. Dogs or cats in the wild would be killed by a predator or another member of the pack if they had shown signs of weakness. Because of that instinct, our domesticated dogs and cats tend to hide pain and disease as well. For example with liver or kidney disease, the animal will not show clinical signs that the owner would recognize (not eating, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, etc) until there is compromise of about 80% of the organ. By that time, a lot of the damage that is done to the organ is irreversible or at least will leave the organ damaged to some extent. If the disease can be discovered early, then even if it cannot be reversed, in a lot of cases the progression can be slowed down by changes in diet and adding medication. Just as in humans, as your pet gets older, there is more chance that some of the organs will begin to have problems. So what is the best way to prevent these surprises from happening and shortening the life of your pet?

 

  1. Having a thorough physical examination done at least once a year and every 6 months on animals with known problems. As we get older we would not (or at least should not) go 5-6 years without a physical examination. Because our pets age so much faster than we do, if we do a physical exam on them once a year, it is equivalent to us having one every 5-6 years. There are a lot of changes that can take place in a senior pet's body over that period of time. A lot of those changes can be detected on physical examination. Some times things as subtle as too much weight loss over a few months can be a tip off of diseases such as thyroid problems in cats, diabetes in dogs or cats, cancer and other diseases.

 

  1. Having a blood screen and urinalysis done once a year on your senior pet. Even before there are physical changes in most organs, there will be changes that will show up on bloodworm and in the urine. Subtle changes in the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, thyroid glands and in other organ systems will show up with bloodworm. It is one of the easiest ways to "look inside" of a senior pet's body and see what is going on.

 

I know that your desire as an owner is to be able to keep your pet healthy so you can enjoy each others company for as many years as possible. Our desire is to help you be able to do that. In my opinion as well as experts from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital association, the best way to do that is for your senior pet to have regular wellness examinations and appropriate lab testing (bloodworm and urinalysis).