It’s reported that some 39% of the pets owned in the U.S. are older than 7, which is generally the age at which most dogs and cats are considered seniors. Sadly, only about 14% of senior animals undergo regular health screening.
The joys of having an older pet are many—but keeping your canine or feline friend healthy in their later years does take a bit more effort. We want to help you have as many healthy years with your pet as possible, which is why we always recommend that pets over 7 have a regular health screening twice per year.
In addition to an exam and blood screenings, we also advise that older pets have an abdominal ultrasound, and X-rays. While blood screenings are an excellent diagnostic tool for many diseases and conditions, there are several organ systems that produce no enzymes, and so their health can’t be measured in blood.
Just like people, senior pets are at an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. X-rays and ultrasounds help us catch both these conditions early when they can be more effectively treated. In fact, the American College of Veterinary Radiology reports that a recent study of veterinary ultrasounds found abnormalities in 80% of senior dogs over 9.
If it’s been over a year since your senior pet has seen the vet, we encourage you to make your pet part of the lucky 14%! The sooner we catch potential problems, the better our chances of keeping your pet healthy longer. Make an appointment online or call us at one of our 6 locations.