Does My Old Dog or Cat Really Need Senior Blood Work?

At least once a day, we are discussing senior blood work with a client for their elderly cat or dog states Amanda L. Maus, DVM, at Catalina Pet Hospital in Tucson, AZ.  Clients want to know why we should do the lab work.  Will “bad” results change anything that they already do for their pet?  The answer is yes!  When we do blood work for a senior pet, we are looking for conditions that the pet may be hiding or for recently appearing symptoms.

Once we are able to identify certain diseases, we can develop a treatment plan that may include changing the diet and prescribing certain medications.  For example, a senior cat may come in for his or her annual exam and we notice that the kitty has lost one or two pounds from the last visit.  There are several diseases that can cause weight loss in senior cats such as diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid disease.  Let’s say the kitty is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland.  We are fortunate to have quite a few treatments options ranging from a prescription diet, pills, or radiation therapy.  By running some blood tests, we are able with certainty to address the specific cause of the cat’s weight loss and improve that patient’s quality of life!

If we can prevent or slow the progression of a disease, our senior pets are much more comfortable and can enjoy their remaining time with our families that much easier.

Submitted by:

Amanda L. Maus DVM
Catalina Pet Hospital
3801 East Fort Lowell Road
Tucson, AZ 85716


2 thoughts on “Does My Old Dog or Cat Really Need Senior Blood Work?

  1. Please encourage all owners of senior pets to do the blood work regularly. In the last two years this screening has uncoverecd our Wachtelhund’s hypothyroidism. with the proper medication and a change to a low-fat gastro-intestinal dog food his lipase levels are all now normal. He eats , drinks and runs around with our other three younger dogs as if he were a youngster too.He even managed to regain pack leadership the beagle had taken from him while his condition was undiagnosed and he was laying about , not interacting. In the past week, he developed a cyst on his neck which was resolved for the time being with anti-biotics.A complete blood screening including a canine cancer screen showed us there was nothing to worry about – He is a very healthy 10 year, 7 month old dog. I also want to mention he was neutered when we discovered he had a bad front knee.
    We followed this protocol with our last Wachtelhund and she lived to almost 14 years old- nearly unheard of in this breed.

    • Thank you for sharing your personal experiences – what a true testament to the importance of a getting Senior Blood Panel regularly! We are so happy to hear that your Wachtelhund is doing well and hope that he continues to live a long and healthy life!

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