Old age happens to the best of us – even our pets. As our pets age, they may have specific needs or problems that must be addressed. We at Animal Care Center are aware of specific issues affecting senior pets and we strive to provide the best possible care. We recommend that owners of pets 7 years of age or older consider the following tests at least every two years.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC). A CBC space evaluates red and white blood cell lines. A decrease in the red cells indicates anemia, not an uncommon finding in the aging animal. Red blood cell morphology (shape) is also assessed, and helps determine if the condition is acute, chronic or related to a neoplastic (cancer) condition. A total white blood cell count increase may indicate inflammatory or infectious conditions. Occasionally, abnormal or immature white blood cells are seen, suggesting a potential cancerous process.
- Biochemical Profile. The biochemical profile is very valuable test in the senior pet as it evaluates multiple organ systems. The liver and kidney function are evaluated and the blood sugar is checked. Elevations in the blood sugar may indicate diabetes. Electrolytes are also checked and abnormalities may indicate the need for further diagnostics. The cholesterol may be elevated in certain endocrine problems (thyroid and adrenal disorders). Plasma proteins and albumin level are also reported, and decreases might indicate kidney, liver or gastrointestinal disease.
- Abdominal ultrasound. An abdominal ultrasound offers a noninvasive method of visualizing masses and organs within the abdomen. Generally, more detail and structure can be obtained with an ultrasound than with radiographs.
These tests are capable of indicating a problem before complications arise. The price for a CBC with profile is $100 and an ultrasound is $145.