Age Doesn’t Mean a Thing – Or Does It?
In some ways, pets are like people
It is unfortunate that our patients and clients have a similarity, in that, pets, just like humans, are prone to agerelated diseases.
These include periodontal disease, obesity, chronic kidney disease (CKD), arthritis, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, diabetes mellitus, hepatic disease, heart disease and impaired hearing and vision.
In a recent, large retrospective study by Baneld Pet Hospital, an association was recognised between increasing pet age and disease.
The benefits of early recognition
Many diseases are preventable or more successfully treated when diagnosed as early as possible and monitored closely.
According to veterinary experts, “Early disease recognition can help improve the quality of life for all dogs and cats, but especially for older dogs and cats and their owners.”
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an excellent example of a disease that, when diagnosed and treated in its earliest stage, results in a signicantly increased lifespan and improved quality of life for both dogs and cats.
Despite well-established guidelines, however, most patients aren’t diagnosed until they have late-stage disease. This reduces the likelihood of the patient responding to treatment and carries a poor to guarded prognosis.
Late stage diagnoses also have a negative impact on the client experience.
Most pet owners are unaware that early renal disease, like many diseases, can be present without a pet appearing to be sick.
This is why it is important to initiate conversations about the importance of regular preventive care visits, including screening and diagnostic tests.