Two veterinary hospitals based in Kentucky are working to educate pet owners about the importance of proactive veterinary care for early disease detection in senior pets. They have launched a senior pet wellness initiative to educate pet owners about the importance of senior pet care.
According to veterinary recommendations by the Audubon Animal Medical Center and the Cherokee Animal Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky, senior pets should receive semi-annual wellness exams that include a full physical, diagnostic blood work, and a fecal screening to test for parasites.
The age at which a pet is considered "senior" can vary based on breed. Larger breed dogs may be considered senior at five to seven years of age, while smaller breed dogs may not need senior care until seven to nine years of age. Cats are typically considered seniors at seven to nine years.
"Today's dogs and cats are living longer than ever before thanks to advances in veterinary medicine," said veterinarian Dr. James T. Grace. "However, dogs and cats are also experts at hiding the symptoms of illness, often until a disease is seriously advanced and already compromising the pet's health. That's why we are reminding pet owners about the importance of regular wellness exams for early disease detection and keeping pets healthy."
During the semi-annual exam, pets will receive full physical and diagnostic blood work. The blood chemistry panel provides pet owners with an "inside snapshot" of a pet's overall health.
"As pets age, it is easy to notice external age-related changes, such as a diminished sense of smell or a general 'slowing down' due to arthritis," said Dr. Grace. "What we cannot see, however, are the internal signs of aging. A blood chemistry panel provides an inside look of a pet's internal health, so we can better detect the warning signs of disease before external symptoms are present."
"The earlier we can diagnose a health problem, the more we can do to treat this problem and prevent a pet's long-term health from being compromised," added Dr. Grace. "Preventative care is essential to helping senior pets age gracefully into their golden years."
Audubon and Cherokee Animal Clinics provide comprehensive pet wellness care. Pet owners may learn more about pet senior care by visiting their website here.
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