As we continue to look at wellness and preventive care strategies, we must not overlook screening lab tests. Animals age more quickly than we do. Large dogs average only an 8-10 year lifespan, while cats and small dogs often live into their late teens or even early twenties. But when compared to human longevity, those are very short time periods. This means that a calendar year can age a pet 4-8 years! Additionally, animals are usually not whiners. This means that they can be in pain or discomfort, experiencing nausea or feeling tired – and they won ™t tell us! In the wild, animals who show weakness are eaten by predators. Even our pets have some level of instinct to hide disease. Because of this we must seek out diseases associated with aging like aggressive investigators. Waiting for a pet to show signs of disease can be a death sentence. If we can catch kidney failure, liver problem, diabetes, low grade infections, anemia and other issues BEFORE a pet acts sick, we can do so much more to slow down the disease process and often cure the disease.
At Animal Care Clinic, we recommend blood and urine profiles on a regular basis based on a pet ™s age and size. Larger animals age more quickly and thus we consider them œold at an earlier age. Most pets 7 years of age and older should have a full panel done every year. Some animals need more frequent screenings due to age or ongoing illness. Since our patients can ™t talk, we depend on lab tests to help us provide your pets with the longest and most comfortable life possible. Come see us.
by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP