Roblin Animal Hospital/ Red River Spay and Neuter Clinic:
The Geriatric Feline
Pets age much quicker than humans! Roughly 1 human year is equal to 7 years for your pet! At around 8 years old your pet is considered a senior.
Because pets age so much quicker, their yearly exams become that much more important! Health concerns and illness can progress rapidly over a year. Therefore early detection is critical. You may think your pet is healthy but sometimes there are little things you might not pick up on that a trained veterinarian will. It is highly recommend that once your pet reaches their senior life stage that a blood work up and urinalysis is performed to pick up on any internal organ changes. Having these tests run on a routine basis will help insure that any illness’ are picked up on early and managed appropriately.
As your pet ages there are certain signs you should watch out for. Change in weight, change in appetite, change in elimination, increased water intake, behavioral changes, mobility changes, skin and coat changes are just some examples. If you see any of these signs it is recommend booking an appointment with your veterinarian!
As pets age there are many common diseases that start to develop. Such diseases include diabetes, kidney disease, dental disease, heart disease, arthritis, etc. In the early stages of these diseases there are often little to no clinical signs. Many of these diseases, if caught early, can be managed and the pet can live many more happy years of life.
This is why we strongly recommend getting your pet a complete Wellness Exam, which includes Blood Test and Urine Test, once they reach their senior years.
The blood work/urine tests are run in clinic and show us how your pet’s internal organs are functioning. There are a total of 12 different blood slides run that all test for different things. We look at their electrolytes and their red blood cell counts to make sure there are no abnormalities. We also look at their urine to make sure their kidneys are functioning properly and that there isn't anything present that shouldn't be (ie. blood, crystals, glucose, etc). When looked at together by a trained veterinarian they can tell if any underlying diseases are starting to form.
Ideally once they reach their senior years we like to run blood tests/urine tests yearly as they age so quickly and things can change drastically.