The general health of your senior pet is surely something you care about. To make sure that they are healthfully enjoying their late years in relatively good health, regular wellness exams from your local veterinarian in Mason IL can be a lifesaver.
Consider having regular physical examinations, blood work, and urine analysis at least once a year (or at least as often as suggested by your vet in Manson IL) will play a key role in your pet’s health as they age. This may seem like a bit too often, but it’s right on par with what they require at this age. Keep in mind that your dog aged 7 or older or your cat aged 8 years or older is considered a ‘senior.’ Every year of your pets life is the equivalent of anywhere between four to seven human years.
A wellness exam is a friendly and non-invasive way to check that your pet is doing well. It can reveal all kinds of issues that may be arising so you can take appropriate corrective measures if required. The basics are covered first, like your pet’s weight (are they losing too much weight/gaining too much weight?), dental condition (signs of dental disease?), muscle mass (signs of loss?), lumps, and joint conditions (arthritic conditions?).
Standard blood work allows the vet to see more detail regarding the internal conditions of your pet. The first stage is the CBC (complete blood count) panel. This allows the vet to see the relative health of the red and white blood cell count as well as platelet count.
Red blood cells are the oxygen transporters of the body. If your pet has low red blood cell levels they could be having issues getting enough oxygen to their muscles, nerves, brain, and organs causing various challenges. White blood cells are responsible for immune health. Increased levels can indicate local or systemic inflammation, disease, and other signs of age-related challenges. Finally, platelets are responsible for preventing excessive bleeding (internal and external) through natural blood clotting actions in the body.
The next part of the blood panel is all about the blood chemistry – mostly related to electrolytes and organ health. This can cover a wide range of markers including blood sugar levels, kidney values, liver enzymes, pancreatic health, and more. Having a good idea of how these markers are measuring up in your senior pet will help your vet know what kinds of lifestyle modifications can be implemented to enjoy more healthful years with your pet.
Finally, a urine analysis provides more detail about the condition of the kidneys and urinary tract as a whole. This lets your veterinarian detect signs of infection, stones, urinary crystals, and overall urinary health.
When paired with a wider range of assessment tools, your vet in Manson IL can get a good understanding of what your aging pet needs in this phase of their life. With the right care, you can be sure to get ahead of any potential problems helping to increase the quality of life and longevity of your pet!
As you can see, it becomes increasingly important to ensure your aging pet is given the attention they deserve – and not just rubs under the chin! With regular vet visitation, you can help to ensure your little friends get the help they need and deserve. Contact Manson Veterinary Clinic at 712-847-8200 to schedule an appointment or read more about our wellness exams. Here’s to your pets long and healthful life!