Senior panel? What is it, what tests do senior dogs needs?

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Multo en Parvo-A- lot in a little!
Barked: Tue Jan 5, '10 5:22pm PST 
A while ago I posted about yearly exams and what gets done at them and its something I still think about a lot. I get my dogs their bloodwork (cbc), heartworm test, titers, rabies when needed, and general body condition checked every year. Anyway I was reading the whole dog journal article on senior dogs and also seeing a post on here about a senior wellness panel and it got me thinking again. Tubby will be 9 in march and Norbert is 8 (Zira is 11 and already goes to teh vet twice a year for cbc and urinalysis to monitor her kidney disease). Im thinking of starting Tubby, and possibly Norbert, on bi annual wellness exams but Im wondering if I should do more then the cbc at the exams. Im thinking of also getting urinalysis but I dont know if they needanother test to check their organ function, or if Zira should have additional tests besides her cbc and urinalysis I had always thought that the cbc would show problems in organs but the article mentioned organ function tests. Does anyone know what is meant by that and how much it would cost and what it entails?

Princess and the- Pea
Barked: Tue Jan 5, '10 6:23pm PST 
Without looking Sassy's panel includes several liver enzymes, pancreatic enzymes, the kidney function ones you are familiar with, creatinine/BUN, a lot of different mineral levels along with ratios of several - calcium/phosphorus/potassium/sodium I remember offhand, a simple thyroid level, glucose, cholesterol, and many others along with the actual blood counts. You can see there are quite a lot of issues that can be evaluated before the dog ends up crashing and going to the emergency vet. Addison's, Cushing's, pancreatitis, liver disease, infections, diabetes, thyroid and probably a whole lot of other problems can be suspected, followed up on and treatment started without a scary and expensive crash.
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Tue Jan 5, '10 6:34pm PST 
CBC = Complete Blood Count - basically tests for the visible things in the actual blood or the parts that make up your blood IE white blood cells, Red blood cells, platelets and the actual health/makeup of your blood cells. This test is performed on whole blood kept from clotting with EDTA (usually placed in a purple top tube at the vet)
It is useful to diagnose infection, anemia, auto-immune diseases etc.

Chemistry Panel
This is the 2nd portion of a normal blood panel taken at the vet. It is used to check the organ functions in the body including but not limited to liver, kidneys, adrenals, pancreas, muscles, stomach etc. This test uses the serum of the blood which is the stuff left when you spin the RBC's out. Usually when they are taking blood from your pet for this they place it in a marble topped tube (red/brn color marble top) and spin it down in a certirfuge.
It is useful in diagnosing things like kidney damage, liver damage, diabetes, muscle wasting etc.
Chemistry's can be FULL, partial or even just per-anesthesia. They often can be reduced to a simple check of liver, kidney, blood sugar (ie only like 6-7 items) or a full senior testing which usually includes anywhere from 15-25 items. Often to help save people money but still get some info basic small ones will be offered prior to anesthesia and larger profiles if a pet is sick or older.
Chemistry OPanel

Thyroid Panel
A test for thyroid function performed on the serum of a patient. It is often included in senior dog panels because it can be a common issue in older dogs. Thyroid panels have many many different tests to check thyroid problems including but not limited to T4, T3 and TSH...if your pet test + for one the doc may want to follow up with other testing.

This test obviously performed on urine helps to diagnose, diabetes, kideny or liver issues, protien wasting diseases etc. It should always be included in a senior profile.

Heartworm Test
If done in house can be done on either whole blood or serum or plasma. If sent to lab it is usually done on whole blood only.

A reccomended senior profile usually includes a FULL chemistry, CBC, T4, and urinalysis. This is usually if there are no issues or problems...additional testing may included blood tests for cushings or other endocrine diseases.

I know this is a lot of info but I thing you were mistaking what a CBC is and entails so hopefully this clears it up. I would assume you are alread having chemistries done regularly from what you wrote above.

Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Tue Jan 5, '10 6:37pm PST 
OP: "Zira is 11 and already goes to teh vet twice a year for cbc and urinalysis to monitor her kidney disease"

I think most likely Zira has a CBC / Chem panel and urinalysis as just a CBC would not give them any information about kidney function. (although a urinalysis will since it shows protien wasting and ability to concentrate urine)