1014 Central Ave N. Kent, WA 98032
Phone: 253.852.3565

Hours: Monday to Friday : 9am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 12pm
Sunday and Major Holidays: Closed

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Senior Pet

Is your pet a Senior Pet?

There is no specific age at which a pet becomes a "senior", but pets age faster than people. You have probably heard that one year in a human's life equals seven “pet years”. This is actually fairly accurate. The chart below helps break this down by weight. Many factors affect aging; species, breed, weight, nutrition, even environment. Most pets are now considered a senior at 7 years of age.

As dogs and cats age, they, like people, have a greater risk of developing certain disease and conditions. When conditions are diagnosed in their early stages, treatment to cure such disorders or delay their progress can be given in many, if not most, cases.

McMonigle Veterinary Hospital’s Senior Wellness Program includes:

Physical Exam:

Complete Blood Count (CBC): This common test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a given sample of blood. The numbers and types of these cells give the veterinarian information needed to help diagnose anemia, infections and leukemia. A complete blood count also helps your veterinarian monitor your pet’s response to some treatments.

Urinalysis: Laboratory analysis of urine is a tool used to detect the presence of one or more specific substances that normally do not appear in urine, such as protein, sugar, white blood cells or red blood cells. A measurement of the dilution or concentration of urine is also helpful in diagnosing diseases. Urinalysis can assist the veterinarian in the diagnosis of urinary-tract infections, diabetes, dehydration, kidney problems and many other conditions.

Blood Chemistry Panel: Blood-chemistry panels measure electrolytes, enzymes and chemical elements such as calcium and phosphorous. This information helps your veterinarian determine how various organs, such as the kidneys, pancreas, and liver, are currently functioning. The results of these tests help your veterinarian formulate an accurate diagnosis, prescribe proper therapy, and monitor the response to treatment. Further testing may be recommended based on the results of these tests.

T4: A thyroid gland that is not functioning properly may not be producing hormones that are vital to maintaining normal growth and metabolism, or it may be producing too much hormone. Your veterinarian will measure the hormone concentrations in the thyroid gland to determine if your pet’s thyroid is functioning properly.

Fecal Test: Microscopic examination of your pet’s feces can provide information about many different kinds of diseases, such as difficulties with digestion, internal bleeding, and disorders of the pancreas. Most importantly, though, this test confirms the presence of intestinal parasites, such as roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm and giardia.

Nutrition: Many older pets benefit from specially formulated food that is designed with older bodies in mind. Obesity in pets is often the result of reduced exercise and overfeeding and is a risk factor for problems such as heart disease. Because older pets often have different nutritional requirements, these special foods can help keep your pet’s weight under control and reduce consumption of nutrients that are risk factors for the development of diseases, as well as organ- or age-related changes.

Common warning signs for age related problems:

Health Category

Examples of Common Senior Diseases


If Left Untreated


Periodontal disease, gingivitis, cancer

Bad breath, redness in gums, swollen gums

Heart disease, tooth loss, kidney and liver disorder, systemic infection, cancer progression


Arthritis, hip dysplasia, back disease

Lameness, reluctance to walk or exercise, decreased appetite, discomfort/ pain

Progressive disease, reduced mobility, neurologic deficits

Heart & Lungs

Cardiac disease, pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema

Decreased stamina, coughing, difficulty breathing, weight loss, pot belly

Progression t renal and liver disease, poor vascular profusion, eventual death

Endocrine System

Diabetes mellitus, hyper/hypo- thyroidism, hypo/hyper-adrenocorticism

Noticeable weight change, increased appetite without weight gain, vomiting, increased water consumption, frequent urination, change in energy level

Heart Failure, kidney failure, secondary metabolic disease


Inflammatory, degenerative and cancerous liver disease

Decreased appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea , increased thirst/ urination

Hypoalbuminemia, lipid metabolism disturbance, anemia, bleeding disorders, liver failure


Kidney failure, kidney stones, kidney infection, kidney insufficiency

Increased thirst/ urination, decreased appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, back pain

Progression to kidney failure, heart disease, electrolyte upset, fluid balance disturbance, death


Cancers of the skin, liver, spleen, lymphoid tissue, ect.

Bleeding, lumps, irritated skin, identified mass, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, diarrhea

Can progress to organ failure or death


Cataracts, dry eye, glaucoma

Grey bluish hue at the center of the eye, rubbing, pressing head against objects, swelling, redness, irritation, tearing

Difficulty seeing, corneal ulceration, can progress to blindness, loss of eye

Gastrointestinal Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, cancer, colitis

Vomiting, Diarrhea, weight loss, fluid gain

Further weight loss, disease will progress to potential death


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