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Wellness Care for Your Senior Pet

Woman petting husky

Your senior dog pet is an old friend and cherished member of your family. We want your canine companion to stay as healthy and comfortable as possible throughout the senior years with individualized plans that include proper nutrition, grooming, and exercise with check-ups and recommend laboratory testing twice a year.

The Senior Years

The onset of the senior years can vary from pet to pet, but we recommend senior veterinary care for most pets around the age of 7. At that time, we will create a profile for your mature dog or cat, establishing baselines for health through lab work such as blood and urine testing. At future wellness visits, lab work is compared to this baseline and used for early detection of age-related conditions and diseases.

Early detection is important in your pet's life, offering the opportunity to treat or even prevent developing diseases if caught early. This proactive approach to early detection affords your pet the best opportunity for a long and comfortable senior life stage.

Lab Work For Seniors

It can be difficult to detect the early signs of age-related disease in pets, and many treatable or preventable diseases have no observable early symptoms. The veterinarians of West Valley Pet Clinic & Avian Medical Group know that routine laboratory tests are the best defense against these conditions and diseases.

Common diagnostic screening tests for senior pets dogs include the following:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) evaluates for bacterial or viral infection, anemia or clotting diseases.
  • Chemistry profile (Chem) evaluates for systemic disorders including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and electrolyte abnormalities.
  • Urinalysis (U/A) assesses kidney function and screens for infections, tumors, or bladder stones.
  • Thyroid level (T4) measures the amount of circulating thyroid hormone; a deficiency here is common in dogs, causing lethargy, weight gain, and skin problems. An increase in thyroid hormone is common in elderly cats resulting in weight loss despite a normal appetite, hypertension and can lead to kidney or heart damage.
  • Radiograph and ultrasound provides a clear view of many internal organs and are used to diagnose such age-related concerns as cardiac problems, abdominal growths, and tumors.