Determining Senior Pet Health Through Diagnostic Tests

We consider our pets as part of our own families. They always have fun together, whether playing, running, or even sleeping. We’re all inseparable when they’re young and bouncing until they’re relaxed adults. But what happens when they become an inability to keep up? A clear “slowing down” is often observed when pets reach middle age and beyond.

Many of the ailments that dogs suffer from as they age are managed. Every healthy pet needs to visit the vet every year. Anyone of any age can benefit from a thorough examination from head to tail, but senior pets are more likely to check for indications of possible issues.

Senior Pet Diagnostics

Your physician may recommend you schedule semiannual checkups and other diagnostic and preventative procedures to spot problems in the earliest stages. Early diagnosis is essential to efficient treatment, as we have all heard from our specialists. Let’s look at different tests your dog senior may need.

1. Complete Blood Count

The red blood cell, the white blood cell, and the platelet count are all components of the complete blood count (CBC). The CBC measures the total number of cells in the blood, sizes, and proportions of different cell types.

The CBC is a diagnostic tool to identify more profound issues. A low red blood cell count shows that something is bleeding. It could be that the body is damaged by red cells, or its production isn’t enough. An increased count, on the contrary, could indicate the presence of dehydration. 

Changes in the white blood cell lines may suggest an infection, inflammation, or malignancy. You can check this page for articles and blog posts about senior pets and veterinary treatments like surgery.

2. Blood Chemistry

The term “blood chemistry” refers to any test that evaluates the function of an organ. The kidney’s function tests, liver enzymes assessments, blood proteins, and sugar levels in the blood are among the panel of chemistry most often disclosed values. Other values include the pancreas, electrolytes as well as gallbladder function.

A Rockhill vet will know what needs to be done based on these numbers. The cause of fatigue could be liver diseases or similar. If you have diabetes-related high blood sugar, a chemical test can assist. If liver enzymes are high, the result could indicate the next issue to be investigated. It provides a great deal of data with minimal expenditure and effort.

3. Thyroid Test

T4 and free T4 are shorthands that refer to a specific thyroid hormone. It’s a commonly used term by veterinarians in thyroid tests. T4 is one of the types of thyroid hormone produced by the body. However, it’s only an examination for screening purposes, and additional investigation is needed should the results appear abnormal.

One of the dogs with older age most frequently diagnosed diseases is hypothyroidism. It is an ailment where the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient hormones. This causes dogs to behave and look older than they are since they may lose their appetite and energy and gain weight.

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4. Urine Analysis

Urinalysis, or UA as it is often shortened, is a chemical analysis of your pet’s urine. Urine is a sign of many illnesses. We test urine’s protein levels, pH, crystals cells, and many more. Every detail will reveal your dog’s health.

The vet may not always require a urine sample to check for infection. Urine tests can detect the early signs of kidney disease, diabetes, bladder stones, prostate cancer, or the bladder. The urine is an observable indicator; we typically see changes before blood tests.

5. Chest X-ray

“Radiograph” is simply another term for “x-ray.” X-rays of your dog’s thoracic (chest) area can be an excellent diagnostic tool. Using chest x-rays, your vet can examine the heart and lungs, the spine trachea, the esophagus, and occasionally the upper belly.

A dog’s reluctance to play fetch may be due to his difficulty recovering from exertion entirely. Chest X-rays may identify lung and heart issues affecting a patient’s energy, breathing, and general health. Asthma, primary heart disease allergies, cancer, and asthma are among them.