Geriatric/Senior Health Screenings

The Senior Pet Health Screens are a group of tests designed for our aging pet population. Each individual test is to help evaluate the overall health of your companion.

The basic screening involves blood work and a urine sample. The blood work checks general organ functions, including liver, kidney and pancreas (including diabetes). A CBC helps us check the red and white blood cells for health, signs of anemia, dehydration and infection. A T-4 screens the thyroid gland’s function. Older dogs can be hypothyroid while older cats tend to be hyperthyroid. Treatment is available for both.

A urine sample also helps to check kidney function. It also checks for bladder health. Signs of infection, kidney failure and crystals can be evaluated from a simple urine sample you can collect at home.

In addition to these, we can also screen the cardiac system with blood pressure and ECG screenings. Pets can become hypertensive just as humans do and the same health concerns for us humans can affect our pets too. The ECG lets us evaluate the electrical circuits of the heart and its rhythm.

A general set of x-rays involving the chest or abdomen may also be recommended. This can help look for masses or tumors, heart disease, lung disease, arthritis, etc. Although some things can “hide” on an x-ray, it can give us a lot of information.

We can also add an ocular exam. This involved dilating the eyes and looking to the back of the eye to check the optic nerve area and the retina, looking for obvious abnormalities.

A report with all the findings will be provided when all the test results are in. It is possible that the tests may suggest more diagnostics, but this will be discuss with you before any more procedures are performed. You can always call later if more questions arise after your initial discussion.

As always, you can ask your veterinarian or veterinary technician if you have questions or wondering if your pet may benefit from these screenings.