We all know our beloved 4 legged children age at a rate of 7 years to our 1. Typically pets are seen yearly for their physical exams, vaccinations, heartworm checks, and fecal exams. We encourage our clients to bring in their pets biannually, especially when they reach middle age at the age of 6.
We all can relate to our own annual exams with our own doctors. A typical annual physical for us includes, weight, temperature, blood pressure, comprehensive bloodwork, urinalysis, EKG, and possible chest x-rays. Our pets deserve no less. We can articulate to our doctors our concerns and pains, animals cannot. There are many disease processes that, if caught early, can be treated. It is heartbreaking to have pets brought in advanced stages of kidney, thyroid, or cardiac disease which could have been managed if they had only been diagnosed earlier.
Hypertension is something one does not think about in our pets, but occurs with some frequency. High blood pressure can lead to kidney disease and vice versa. In cats the most common presenting complaint is acute blindness. This is called hypertensive retinopathy. When the blood pressure gets high in some cats, it causes the pressure in the eyes to go up and can lead to retinal detachments and acute blindness. This can be prevented and controlled by routine blood pressure checks and medication.
This economy has forced many of us to make difficult decisions regarding to what we can spend on our pets. Pet insurance purchased when the pet is young without any pre existing conditions is an investment that can literally save our pets’ lives. People who purchase pet insurance are much more likely to invest in early diagnostic testing that can diagnose conditions in the early, treatable stages.
Most veterinary practices, including our own, offer senior wellness packages. These packages offer substantial savings than if the individual components were purchased separately in the event a pet is brought in with an illness. November would be a good month to start an annual routine of preventive wellness exams for our beloved furry family members.