The Senior Dog Checkup

Health

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia reporting. Today I’m barking about the impawtance of regular vet checkups for your senior good dog. As we age, regular exams become more important to keep us in peak health.

A complete blood count should be done twice a year once a dog has reached it’s senior years. This can detect slight changes in red & white blood cell counts that might be clues to an underlying condition. This test should also be done if your older dog is showing any sign of sickness such as a change in appetite.

A similar tests is a blood chemistry analysis. These tests will show how well the internal organs are functioning. A blood chemistry analysis will check liver enzymes, kidney function, blood protein levels & blood sugar count ( note: liver enzyme fluctuations can be triggered by stress, dehydration or eating, I’ll be barking more about this topic soon). These tests are key in early detection of organ failure or disease that may be  treatable if caught early.

A good dog’s thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism & energy levels. A Thyroxine screening can detect a common condition in dogs called hypothyroidism. It can cause lethargy, weight gain & poor fur & skin. Luckily it’s easy to treat with medication.

A urinalysis is just what it sounds like, an evaluation of pee. It can reveal a lot of information & can reveal conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, bladder stones & even certain cancers. This test should be done annually or if your good dog appears to be having difficulty peeing, peeing too often or if the pee smells bad or appears to have blood in it.

Finally, chest X-rays or Thoracic Radiographs can help your vet to evaluate the lungs & heart. Again, these tests can be key in early detection of an underlying condition such as heart disease, asthma, allergies & certain cancers.

We all slow down as we age, but sometimes the slowing down isn’t due to age. Working with your vet you can develop a regular screening program so that together you can ensure a healthy, comfortable life for your aging good dog.

Next week I’ll be barking about what you can do to keep your senior good dog happy & healthy.

CEO Olivia

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