Dogs and cats age more quickly than their human companions. That being said, when a pet reaches seven years old, it is considered a senior – with the same types of health risks that humans face at advanced ages. One thing that many veterinarians recommend is a senior blood panel.
There are many reasons a blood panel can be helpful. If done consistently, annual blood tests can help a veterinarian track and evaluate the overall condition of a pet’s vital organs and health. In addition, blood tests can help a veterinarian detect early signs of many serious health conditions such as: kidney disease, diabetes, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, and liver disease.
Senior profiles are more comprehensive and will provide a more thorough evaluation of your pet’s current health. These panels can also provide a good look into the body’s response to medications and anesthesia. There are different types of blood tests that can be done, all performing different functions. A CBC, complete blood cell count, looks for adequate red and white blood cell numbers and checks their present condition. The chemistry profile looks at various organ enzymes, glucose, proteins, electrolytes, and cholesterol. Finally, senior panels also look at thyroid function, making sure it is not over or under active. In addition, your veterinarian may need to check your pet’s urine for signs of disease.
Routine blood work is useful in many applications: to establish a baseline on a healthy pet to compare to later, to help diagnose a pet that is “just not right”, and in geriatric pets. Speak to your veterinarian today to see if a senior blood panel is right for your best friend – it is the best gift you can give.