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Aug 03 2013

What is the Senior Wellness Program?

The health of your pet can change rapidly as he or she ages, and changes can go unnoticed.

Many times early detection can change the course or outcome of a potentially life-threatening problem with an elderly pet.

Beginning at around age 7 for dogs and age 10 for cats, your pet enters the senior years. Often, pets begin to develop diseases common to their senior counterparts, such as diabetes, heart disease, endocrine disease and cancer. These diseases can go unnoticed in their early stages; therefore, preventive health care is very important. Early intervention leads to a lifetime of good health.

Dr. Tate, Dr. Mendez and Dr. Ware have a developed a program that offers diagnostic testing with a comprehensive examination tailored just for senior pets. Our doctors know how important and life saving this program can be, so we now offer it at a greatly reduced rate.

The Senior Wellness Program offers a comprehensive examination, glaucoma check, comprehensive blood chemistry profile, complete blood count profile, a complete urinalysis and full body x-rays.

We have had tremendous success with this program. There have been several cases in which tumors and bladder stones were discovered with radiographs (x-rays). Because the problems were detected early, the pets were able to have surgery with successful outcomes. In other patients, bloodwork has detected underlying kidney problems long before clinical signs were apparent, so treatment could begin immediately. Endocrine problems have also been discovered on bloodwork profiles, and drug therapy started.

The following explains the diagnostic tests and the benefit to your pet.

EXAMINATION

Your pet’s doctor will check from nose to tail for any abnormalities. The examination is the most important reason for your pet to visit us.

The following problems may be detected: enlarged lymph nodes, lumps or tumors, cataracts, mucus membrane color, ear infections, eye or nose discharge, cataracts or other eye problems, skin or coat abnormalities, parasites, dental problems like periodontal disease and potential tooth loss, abnormal heart and lung sounds, pulse problems, internal masses during palpation, anal gland impaction, irregular discharge from penis or vulva, nail bed problems, arthritis or mobility issues, and many other problems may be noticed during the physical exam.

RADIOGRAPHS (x-rays)

Can detect tumors or cancer. May also help detect enlarged organs, such as the heart or spleen. Arthritis may be seen along the spine or extremities. Bladder stones can also be detected in a radiograph. Can help diagnose heart and lung disease.

GLAUCOMA

A tonopen is used by the doctors to measure the pressure in the eye and to help catch glaucoma early. Glaucoma, an increased pressure in the eye, can lead to blindness.

BLOOD CHEMISTRY

Measures certain enzymes in your pet’s body and helps detect problems with the internal organs.

For example:
Anything that causes the death of a number of liver cells will raise the liver enzymes, ALT and AST. This includes trauma, toxins, bacterial infections, and lack of blood flow to a portion of the liver for any reason (blood clots, low blood pressure, congenital abnormalities), bile duct blockages, pancreatitis and many other conditions. By performing bloodwork and catching problems with internal organs early treatment can be started, leading to a positive outcome.

COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT

Checks red and white blood cells. Detects anemia, infection, inflammation, certain types of immune diseases, or leukemia (bone marrow cancer).

URINALYSIS

Identifies underlying infection and crystals – which may indicate bladder stones. A urinalysis can be helpful in diagnosing diabetes and assessing kidney function. Many times kidney problems will show up earlier in urine so appropriate treatment can be started.

flaglera | Senior Wellness

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