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C2003-07

Dear Christopher Cat

My cat Tigger is 10 years old.  During this year’s annual exam, my veterinarian recommended blood work and a urinalysis because Tigger is a “senior.”

Tigger has always been healthy, so I’m not convinced the testing is necessary.  What do you think?

Christopher Responds

One hundred other cats may help you make a decision.

They took part in a study of clinically normal cats over age seven.  All of the cats in the study were considered healthy by their families and by the veterinarians who examined them. 

But blood work and urinalysis told a different story.
Lab testing showed that nine of the 100 apparently healthy cats had elevated BUN and creatinine, indicating kidney dysfunction.

Six other cats had increased thyroid hormone levels.  Untreated hyperthyroidism leads to weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea and heart problems.

One of the apparently healthy cats was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus based on persistently high sugar levels in the blood and urine.

In this study, one cat in six had a hidden, life-threatening condition that only lab work could uncover.  If Tigger has a similar silent disease, early detection will make it possible for you to treat the disease, thus sparing him unnecessary distress and prolonging his time with you.

 

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