Jaffa proves that a senior check up is important

Jaffa is one of Dr Kylee's cats and is a member of Essendon Veterinary Clinic's Senior Program. Jaffa is 14 years old and apart from loving her food and being a bit overweight (a constant battle!), she has always been fairly trouble free.

At Jaffa's most recent senior check her weight was stable and her physical check up was all ok. Her urine sample was normal. Urine is checked for its concentration (to assess kidney function), glucose levels (a healthy cat should have no glucose in their urine; if they do, it may indicate they have diabetes), protein levels (a healthy cat should have no or minimal protein in their urine) and for presence of blood (which may indicate urinary tract infection or inflammation). As you can see, a small urine sample can tell us a lot! Jaffa had her blood pressure checked which was also normal. So far, so good!

Next, a blood test was taken and sent to the laboratory for analysis. The blood test looked at Jaffa's kidneys, liver, electrolytes, calcium, phosphorous, protein levels, red blood cells, white blood cells and thyroid levels. Jaffa's test results came back showing a very overactive thyroid gland. This is a common condition in older cats. However, Jaffa had been showing none of the usual signs that cats demonstrate (these being weight loss, increase in appetite, increased thirst and a high heart rate). With early detection, Dr Kylee has been able to commence Jaffa on medication for her thyroid gland and she is booked in to have radioactive iodine treatment on her thyroid in a few weeks time. More information is available on this condition on our website www.essendonvet.com.au/hyperthyroidism.

If your cat or dog is over 7 years of age, they too can be part of Essendon Vet Clinic's Senior Program. The program simply involves twice yearly check ups, a urine check, a blood pressure check for cats and sometimes a blood test. This roughly equates to you having a health check at your doctor every 2.5 to 3.5 years after turning 60. With early detection of common old age diseases, we can implement a management or treatment plan to give your companion the best quality of life. For more information on our Senior Program please call us here at the clinic on 9375 1039.