Is your furry friend 7 years old or more? Are they getting gray hairs and an increasingly shorter temper? Does he or she bark at kids to get off their lawn? If so, then your family pet can officially become a member of (the made up) AARPets Club! Membership includes a discounted senior wellness package at Gill Bright Animal Hospital, as well as free treats in the lobby and pets/scratches from our staff. What a deal!

The senior wellness package is offered for those pets who can’t quite party like they used to. It’s the best way to keep your older pet healthy and catch underlying health conditions before they become an issue. It is a comprehensive series of procedures that can be done within a regular vet appointment, with test results coming in a few days later. Your pet will receive: a full doctor’s exam, a CBC with Superchem blood test, a urinalysis with ultrasound-guided cystocentesis, a T4 thyroid test, a fecal test, heartworm test, and a nail trim.

Now, if that sounds like a bunch of gibberish to you, do not despair. Broken down, the senior wellness package is really just a blood test, urine test, and feces test.

A small blood sample from your pet will help our doctors test a complete blood count, biochemistry, and thyroid hormones. A complete blood count, CBC, will check for abnormal cells in the blood and also take inventory of red and white blood cells. This will help determine your pet’s hydration status, if your pet has anemia or an infection, clotting ability, and immune response. The biochemistry test (known as Superchem) appraises liver, kidney, and pancreas function, as well as blood sugar and electrolyte levels in the blood. Then, the blood will be tested for thyroid hormone levels. This will tell the doctors if your pet has hypothyroidism or cancer of the thyroid gland. Who knew blood had so much to say!

Next, the doctors will acquire a urine sample from your pet. Instead of waiting around for Fido to have to potty and trying desperately to catch it in a container, only to have him run off and splash the contents all over you…the doctors will obtain urine directly from the bladder. This is a process known as cystocentesis. A needle is inserted into the bladder to withdraw the contents. I know it sounds scary but don’t worry! The doctors use an ultrasound to guide them to the right spot. The process is only as painful as any other vaccine and this method helps keep the sample uncontaminated. The urine will tell us if your pet has diabetes, how their kidneys are functioning, and if your pet has crystals or blood present.

The fecal test will alert doctors to the presence of worms and/or parasites living in your pet. Those pesky unwelcome little critters could be roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, giardia, or coccidia. If it turns out you’ve been caring for 30-50 organisms instead of the one pet you signed up for, we can get that taken care of with some medicine right away.

Lastly, the senior wellness package comes includes your pet getting their nails done! We’ll trim up their scratchers to help keep everything in check. Regular nail trims will also help your pet’s posture and prevent joint issues.

Bring your 4-legged old geezers in today and reap the benefits of the (again, completely made up) AARPets Club! Let us help keep your older pets around for as long as possible. Ask for a senior wellness package today.

Happy Pawlidays,