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For Senior pets (over 7 years), wellness exams are recommended semi-annually in order to identify potential problems and diagnose disease as early as possible, even before symptoms are outwardly apparent. In this way, we can begin to treat any disorders promptly, with the highest possible effectiveness. A proactive approach to senior pet care includes wellness exams every 6 months and lab work once a year including blood work, urinalysis, & stool testing.
A senior wellness exam includes a complete head to tail physical examination. The lab work recommended includes tests used to diagnose blood disorders, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, infection, cancer, thyroid disease and other hormonal disorders. Many of these problems can be prevented, controlled, or completely reversed if diagnosed early.
There are five basic tests recommended for all senior patients:
Complete Blood Count (CBC) - The CBC tests for anemia, infection, inflammation and overall healthiness of the blood cells.
Chemistry Tests - Check for abnormalities of internal organ function.
Thyroid Function Tests - As the name implies, these tests are useful in diagnosing malfunctions of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) is common in dogs; whereas hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) is common in older cats.