Screening tests are an important part of preventive health care for senior pets. By getting your pet screened regularly, you can catch any potential problems early on, when they’re often easier and less expensive to treat. Here are four important screenings to keep in mind.
#1: Osteoarthritis in pets
Although osteoarthritis is commonly associated with senior pets, it can occur in much younger cats and dogs. Through regular screening exams that include a gait evaluation, orthopedic examination, and lifestyle questionnaire, we can determine what course to take to prevent or manage this degenerative joint disease. By proactively preventing osteoarthritis and taking action at the first signs, we can preserve joint cartilage and keep your pet mobile and active.
#2: Kidney disease in pets
Many older cats develop kidney disease, although this condition can be difficult to diagnose until roughly three-quarters of kidney function is lost. At that point, blood work changes can be seen; however, a specific kidney function test can be performed on pets to detect earlier changes in the kidneys. Including this test as part of your senior pet’s preventive screenings can help diagnose kidney failure at its earliest—and most treatable—stage.
#3: Dental disease in pets
Almost all pets over age 3 suffer from dental disease, and senior pets often have gingivitis and loose and infected teeth. Oral bacteria from dental disease can travel to the heart and kidneys, causing systemic infection. Frequent oral health exams can help us monitor your senior pet’s dental health and prevent infection and pain.
#4: Cancer in pets
Various types of cancer that affect bones, blood, skin, or organs can be detected through preventive screening tests before signs and the condition have progressed. The more advanced a cancer is, the more difficult it is to treat, especially if it has had a chance to spread to other body parts or organs.