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What to expectA complete senior workup includes the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does The Senior Pet care Program Come With?

Your pet’s senior workup first starts with a comprehensive physical exam. This is a very important tool that will allow the doctor to detect signs of illness before they become severe.  Some of the most common things the doctor will look for on exam include ear and eye disease, skin lumps, hair coat abnormalities, abnormal lung and/or heart sounds, lymph node enlargement, abdominal organ enlargement, musculoskeletal diseases such as arthritis, and signs of dental disease.  

The diagnostics included in this program are:

Chemistry Profile: This test is like a baseline physical exam for the internal organs.  The profile contains 25 different values used to evaluate health status and organ function.

Complete Blood Count: This test evaluates red and white blood cells and can detect infection, inflammation, anemia, and blood parasites.  In addition, the blood count can provide evidence consistent with some forms of cancer as well as some immune-mediated conditions.

Thyroid Test: This test determines thyroid hormone levels which can influence weight, skin, heart, and activity levels.  In cats, it is to detect abnormally high levels and in dogs, it is to detect abnormally low levels.

Urinalysis:  A urinalysis is a test that assesses the physical and chemical composition of urine. Abnormal results may indicate that there is a disorder affecting the kidneys and/or urinary system. However, a urinalysis can also provide clues about problems in other organ systems, or may indicate the presence of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus. A urinalysis is necessary for a complete assessment of the kidneys and urinary system and should be included in any thorough evaluation of a pet’s health status, especially senior pets.

Blood Pressure:  High blood pressure can be the result of a variety of disorders including kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid disease, heart disease, brain disorders, or certain drug toxicities.

Glaucoma Test:  This test measures the pressure in each eye quickly and painlessly using a tonometer.  Undetected glaucoma can lead to irreversible blindness. 

Radiographs (X-rays): The doctor will take 3 views of the chest and 2 views of the abdomen.  The doctor will be looking for any detectable diseases or masses.

Chest x-rays: size of heart, clarity of the lungs, evidence of cancer, and spinal arthritis.

Abdomen x-rays: Stomach and intestinal size and shape, evidence of cancer, urinary stones, gallstones, spinal arthritis, hip arthritis, intervertebral disk disease, and size of the liver, spleen, and kidneys.

How Do I Understand My Pet's Blood work?

A CBC gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting ability, and the immune system’s ability to respond.

HCT (hematocrit) measures the percentage of red blood cells to detect anemia and dehydration.

Hb and MCHC (hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells (corpuscles).

WBC (white blood cell count) measures the body’s immune cells. Increases or decreases indicate certain diseases or infections and can also indicate stress. 

GRANS and L/M (granulocytes and lymphocytes/monocytes) are specific types of white blood cells.

EOS (eosinophils) are a specific type of white blood cells that may indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.

PLT (platelet count) measures cells that are involved in blood clotting.

RETICS (reticulocytes) are immature red blood cells. High levels indicate regenerative anemia.

Blood Chemistry

These common values evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels, and more. They are important in evaluating the health of older pets.

ALB (albumin) is a serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrhage, intestinal, liver, and kidney disease. 

ALKP (alkaline phosphatase) elevations may indicate liver damage, Cushing’s disease, and active bone growth in young pets.. 

ALT (alanine aminotransferase) is a sensitive indicator of active liver damage but doesn’t indicate the cause. This test is especially significant in cats.

AMYL (amylase) elevations may indicate pancreatitis or kidney disease.

AST (aspartate aminotransferase) increases may indicate liver, heart, or skeletal muscle damage.

BUN (blood urea nitrogen) is an indicator of kidney function. An increased BUN level can be caused by kidney disease, liver disease, urethral obstruction, dehydration, and GI blood loss. 

Ca (calcium) deviations can indicate a variety of diseases. Tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease, and low albumin are just a few of the conditions that alter serum calcium.

CHOL (cholesterol) is used to supplement diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes mellitus.

Cl (chloride) is an electrolyte often lost with vomiting and Addison’s disease. Elevations often indicate dehydration.

CPK (creatinine phosphor kinase) is an enzyme found in several muscles, the brain, and nerves which can detect skeletal muscle injury, and cardiac muscle injury. 

CREA (creatinine) is an indicator of kidney function. This test helps distinguish between kidney and non-kidney causes of elevated BUN.

GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) is an enzyme that indicates liver disease or corticosteroid excess.

GLOB (globulin) is a blood protein that often increases with chronic inflammation and certain disease states. 

GLU (glucose) is a blood sugar. Elevated levels may indicate diabetes mellitus. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures, or coma.

K (potassium) is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney failure, Addison’s disease, dehydration, and urethral obstruction. High levels can lead to cardiac arrest.

LIP (lipase) is an enzyme that may indicate pancreatitis.

MAG (Magnesium) is an essential cofactor in hundreds of enzymatic reactions and can indicate abnormalities in many different systems including heart, GI, neuromuscular, kidneys, and urinary system.

NA (sodium) is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney or Addison’s diseases. This test helps indicate hydration status.

PHOS (phosphorus) is an electrolyte. Elevations are often associated with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and bleeding disorders.

PSL (pancreatic sensitive lipase) if increased and signs of pancreatic age are present, this value may aid in the diagnosis of pancreatitis.

TBIL (total bilirubin) elevations may indicate liver or hemolytic disease. This test helps identify bile duct problems and certain types of anemia.

TP (total protein) indicates hydration status and provides information about the liver, kidneys, and infectious diseases.

Triglycerides- are among the major lipids (fat) in plasma and are made in adipose tissue (fat cells) and the liver. Important when screening for diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and Cushing's disease

T4 (thyroxine) is a thyroid hormone. Decreased levels often signal hypothyroidism in dogs, while high levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.

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