Our hospital offers and encourages Preventive Medicine Services through the use of special "Early Disease Detection and Wellness" programs for adult and senior dogs, cats, and exotic pets. Because pets are living longer, they are experiencing increased problems with chronic illnesses and cancer. The earlier a problem is diagnosed and a treatment plan started, the better the outcome. These programs recommend twice yearly exams (especially if your pet is 7 years of age or older) by a veterinarian in order to detect any changes or illness in pets as they age. In addition to a physical examination, other diagnostic tests (laboratory work, urinalysis, fecal exam, x-rays, etc) are often recommended if a problem is detected. Ask your veterinarian which tests are appropriate for your pet.
Wellness tests for your adult pet are important to help the veterinarian create an overall portfolio of your pet's health. By including blood tests in your pet’s routine exams, it is possible to create a wellness “baseline” for future testing to be compared to. This can help to make any potential abnormalities or concerns be more easily detected. Blood tests can be used to check for a number of problems, including organ function, blood sugar monitoring, and heartworm disease. Wellness testing should also include a urinalysis and intestinal parasites testing.
Geriatric (Senior Wellness) Medicine Services for your older pet further build on these plans. When your pet reaches his or her "golden years," they require special care and your veterinarian will recommend certain screening tests. The tests allow your veterinarian to provide an early diagnosis for some of the common diseases that affect older pets, so they can manage those diseases more effectively. In addition to this testing, radiographs and twice-yearly examinations will be recommended to ensure your pet has the best care as he or she ages. This is because our pets age much faster than we do--each year of an older animal's life is roughly equivalent to 4 human years. Therefore, we need to do all we can to watch carefully and frequently for any developing problems. The earlier we find them, the more we can do to control these problems.
If your pet is already facing an illness or disability that can come with old age, your veterinarian will work with you to maintain the highest quality of life for your pet.