It’s been said that age is an issue of mind over matter: if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Luckily, most pets don’t mind getting older, but what matters is that they have regular veterinary care to ensure they stay as healthy and comfortable as they can for as long as possible.
Since pets age much faster than we do, that means illness and disease progress faster as well. That’s why McGee Street Animal Hospital encourages you to bring your senior pet for exams and blood tests twice each year. This way, we can track how your pet is aging, and we’ll be more likely to catch any developing diseases before they’re big problems.
Blood tests are one of the most important parts of a senior exam. These blood screenings—often referred to as a “senior panel”— monitor red and white blood cell counts and reveal how well the kidney, liver, pancreas, and thyroid are functioning.
Periodontal disease is always a threat to our pets’ health and comfort, and it’s particularly tough on older pets. That’s why a dental exam is always part of any senior pet screening as well.
Finally, make sure to let your vet know about any behavior changes in your pet. Monitoring for signs of cognitive dysfunction is very important, and can include things like losing housebreaking, getting lost, wandering aimlessly or being fascinated by Murder, She Wrote reruns. (We’re kidding about that last one—all pets love Angela Lansbury, and rightly so.)