Regular wellness visits offer us a chance to examine your pet’s general health and become aware of any health problems before they become serious illnesses. Since our pets cannot tell us how they are feeling, we must rely on regular exams and your at-home observations to access your pet’s health. It may also be necessary to perform diagnostic tests, including blood tests and/or x-rays, to evaluate your pet’s health.
Routine blood testing, urinalysis (urine testing) and other tests are recommended for all pets in their “senior years.” The routine blood testing and urinalysis for younger pets establishes baseline values, which can be used for comparison as pets age.
Every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to five to seven human years, so it is important that your pet receives a wellness exam at least every year, and more often when he enters his senior years. As a pet ages, so many things can change in a short period time. Be aware of your pet’s daily activities, such as how frequently they urinate, the color of urine, water intake, food intake, and their stool composition (light/dark, soft/hard). How is your pet getting around? Does he/she have trouble getting up in the morning? Does he/she seem painful when walking or doing normal activities? If you have any concerns, please be sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Remember, as our “senior pets” age, they need us as much as we need them!