Our pets age faster than we do. They reach puberty anywhere from as early as six months to as late as 12-16 months of age. Now compare that age to when humans reach puberty. The number isn't expediential for the life of the pet, but over time our pets' life span is very short compared to ours. Your pet may still be acting very much normal, eating and drinking regularly, playing and still very active.
As your pet ages there can be very subtle changes that are taking place. The kidneys could be in an early stage of insufficiency or failure, the liver enzymes may be elevated, there may be an increased white cell count or low red cell count. These changes can take place without exemplifying any clinical signs or symptoms that are evident to you or even the doctor. Certain breeds are predisposed to diseases and conditions and detecting them early will help in better management, treatment, and maybe even prevention of the problem.
With this in mind and Lincolnway Animal Hospital is committed to the utmost care for your pet. Our Hospital has implemented an early detection program.
The program will be utilized to maintain the health, provide longevity and quality of life for your pets. The program targets adults (3 to 6 years of age, seniors 7-10) and seniors 10 years and older. When you bring your pet in for their annual exam and vaccines, a small amount of blood can be drawn, urine collected and then evaluated. This blood will evaluate the kidneys for any early compromise or failure, blood glucose (sugar) for diabetes, liver for any early changes that may be associated with failure or other disease processes. The white and red cell count will also be evaluated.
If at any time you feel your pet isn't feeling well, doing something outside their normal routine, such as drinking and urinating more, or your cat continues to lose weight despite a ravenous appetite they should be evaluated. Our goal and mission here at Lincolnway Animal Hospital is to provide the best care veterinary medicine has to offer, detecting and addressing diseases and conditions early before they take there toll, providing quality and longevity to your extended family member.
Dr. Duane A. Kimmey is Chief of Staff at Lincolnway Animal Hospital in Matteson, IL. His medical interests include surgery, especially orthopedics. Dr. Kimmey is also PennHIP certified.