Feline Health Month

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Pets are generally considered seniors at 7–8 years and older. Regular exams become more important than ever as your pet ages since the risk of developing health problems increases. At Illiana Veterinary Hospital, our veterinarians recommend twice yearly wellness exams for senior dogs and cats in order to detect diseases or conditions early when they may still be treated or controlled effectively. They may also want to discuss arthritis and pain management, dental disease, dementia, and diet and exercise.

  Senior Cat Exam
 

Dr. Gann examines Calvin, an
18-year-old senior cat.

Proper senior wellness care should include a complete history and physical exam, laboratory tests, and preventive health care recommendations. Many of the chronic diseases in senior dogs and cats are slow to progress, therefore early recognition is important and requires diagnostic tests. Some important tests include:

  • Bloodwork — Helps in diagnosing infection, anemia, bleeding disorders, and evaluating kidneys, liver, pancreas and other organs.
  • Urinalysis — Used to help evaluate kidney function and other abnormalities, checked for infection.
  • Fecal — Checked for intestinal parasites.
  • Additional Tests — May be recommended depending on initial bloodwork and exam findings. Includes radiographs or thyroid testing.

With a little extra care and attention, your senior companion can enjoy the golden years and live a happier fuller life.