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Why Our Castle Rock Veterinarians Recommend Blood Tests for Older Pets

March 2nd, 2015 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

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We know you want to see your dog or cat live as long and full a life as possible. Dogs and cats age rapidly, so big health changes are not uncommon in short amounts of time. That’s where blood tests for older pets become helpful.

How senior blood work helps your pet

When your cat or dog reaches seven or eight years of age, it’s time to start thinking about senior wellness care — specifically, having your pet’s blood checked once a year.

Here’s how senior blood work helps your pet:

  • Taking blood allows our Castle Rock veterinarians to check your dog or cat for issues that often begin to appear around these ages. For example, we can get a sense of how healthy your pet’s liver and kidneys are. (Did you know that 75% of your pet’s kidney function will typically be gone before he or she starts showing physical symptoms?) Our veterinarians also can check for diabetes and gastrointestinal issues.
  • If we can catch issues early and put the right care routine in place, we can dramatically slow the progression of many diseases. For example, making simple changes in diet often can make a big impact on slowing the progression of diseases, such as diabetes, liver disease and renal disease (in cats).

Your pet’s options for having blood taken

Many Castle Rock pet parents have us run the blood work at their pet’s annual exam. Typically, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get the results.

With that said, if it’s more convenient for you or you’re on a budget, you’re welcome to bring your pet in three or four months after your pet’s annual checkup. We’ll just draw the blood and call you or give you the results. You won’t be charged for an additional office visit.

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How often we recommend blood work for pet wellness care

Once your pet begins having his or her blood checked at seven or eight years of age, our veterinarians recommend making this part of your pet’s annual routine.

Typically, though, there are two other times during your pet’s life that we suggest running a full blood panel as part of your pet’s wellness care:

  • When your pet is a puppy or a kitten, we recommend having full blood work taken to make sure your pet is healthy.
  • When your pet is between three and five years old, we recommend having blood work taken to establish a baseline for later in life.

Just as a first mammogram for women provides a helpful baseline for oncologists, these initial blood tests can give our veterinarians useful baselines to assess your pet’s health during his or her golden years.

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Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on why our Castle Rock veterinarians recommend blood tests for older pets. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)

Cherished Companions © 2015

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