Franklin Vets Blog
The Value in Health Checks for your Senior Pets
Many of us can already relate to the effects of ageing, where the mind is willing, but the body is not. Ageing is the effect of time on organs and body functions leading to a progressive decline in health. In our pets, this is also influenced by nutrition, environment, genetics and the care we provide as pet owners.
The old saying that our pets age 7 times faster than humans is not entirely true. This depends on whether it’s a cat or a dog, and on the size of the dog. An 8-year-old cat or dog less than 10kg is equivalent to a 50-year-old human, but in a dog > 50kg this milestone is reached at only 4 years of age.
Early detection of age-related issues improves the quality of life for pets and their owners and for this reason, we recommend a comprehensive health assessment for your senior pet (7 years plus).
So, what does a senior health assessment involve?
We need your help for this so watch your pet at home and tell us about their behaviour including changes in appetite, thirst, toileting, ability to exercise and how they interact with family members.
Involves a full physical check for common problems such as dental disease, arthritis, heart disease, metabolic and weight changes.
Blood & urine tests
It may seem futile to fight the ageing process but there is value in geriatric testing and getting samples is a simple process.
If your senior pet is unwell, tests can help us make a diagnosis, or give us clues where to look next.
For those that still appear well, it is very useful to have baseline results in case we need to do surgery or illnesses develop in the future. It also gives you peace of mind that they are likely to have many years to come.
Picking up disease early also gives you the option of early intervention such as prescription diets and medications, which can often slow the deterioration and increase the lifespan of your pet.