A pet is considered a senior when they are seven years old, cat or dog because our best fur friends age faster than us. One year to us is equivalent to seven years for a dog! Of course, we want to keep our pets around as long as possible. This is why senior care is so important! Just like us, as our pets age, their bodies change. These changes can sometimes be seen externally, such as whitening/graying of the hair around their muzzle and face. But there are changes we cannot see, too. Senior pets are more at risk for cancer, diabetes, joint problems, and more. Staying ahead of disease processes (to the best of our ability!) is important.
At Newton Animal Clinic, we offer what we call our Senior Wellness Lab Package. Although this package is in no way required, we highly recommend it annually to keep track of how your pet is aging. We offer this package as an addition to our Senior Wellness Exam, or it can be done at your leisure (anytime that works for YOU!). And an extensive look into your pet’s health doesn’t have to cost much- we have cut the cost by HALF to better serve you!
Our Senior Wellness Lab Package
A complete blood count (CBC): This basic panel studies the shape, size, color, and many other aspects of your pet’s red and white blood cells. It checks for things such as platelet function, which is what helps your pet’s blood clot. It also checks on the levels of your pet’s red and white blood cells. Low red blood cells can indicate anemia, and high white blood cells can help determine if an underlying infection is brewing.
A chemistry and electrolyte panel (Chem17): This extensive chemistry panel checks the 17 most important liver and kidney values and how they are functioning. An electrolyte panel checks the amounts of important electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. This also helps determine how your pet’s liver and kidneys are doing. This panel also checks glucose, which can help determine if diabetes is a factor in your pet’s future!
A thyroid (T4) evaluation: This panel assesses thyroid function levels. In older cats, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) is uncommon, whereas hypothyroidism (slow-acting thyroid gland) is more prevalent in older dogs. A pet owner can easily overlook signs of thyroid dysfunction as some pets don’t show much indication at all.
A complete urinalysis (UA): Just like in humans, a complete urinalysis gives us tons of information. The doctor will be able to determine kidney function and concentration abilities, as well as checking for any early signs of diabetes (glucose or ketones present in the urine). A urinalysis can also show us potentially harmful cells, including cancerous cells.
A thorough fecal examination: Even though it sounds gross, doing fecal checks on your pet at any age at least twice a year can be extremely important! It only takes a quarter size amount of feces to check for a multitude of parasites, such as hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and giardia/coccidia. Some parasites that your pet can harbor can also be spread to us as humans, especially in households with children. We offer this lab package for half price (compared to running all of these tests separately) because your aging pet’s health is important to us.