Lakeside Animal Clinic

2501 South Kirkwood
Houston, TX 77077


The most important aspect of care as your pet reaches the senior years is early detection and treatment of chronic health problems.   Older pets are more prone to kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disease, certain types of cancer, and metabolic problems.  The problem is that, in the very early stages of these diseases, there are often no outward symptoms.  Therefore, as your pet reaches AGE SEVEN, we recommend semi-annual examinations and yearly laboratory testing, not only to screen for early stages of these serious diseases, but also to provide a baseline with which to compare future results.  Studies show that annual blood testing in senior pets can, on average, DOUBLE the years you have remaining with your pet

In addition, you should closely observe your pet for any of the following symptoms, and call us if you note:


  • Changes in appetite or water consumption
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Apparent decreases in vision or hearing
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Decreased activity
  • Changes in the sleep/wake cycle
  • Loss of housetraining
  • Decreased interest in you or their environment
  • Changes in coat or skin, including lumps or growth
  • Bad breath


  • Changes in appetite or water consumption (especially increased consumption)
  • Lethargy or depression (listless behavior)
  • Change in urine production (watch carefully for increased amounts in litterbox)
  • Constipation
  • Change in litterbox habits
  • Change in attitude (irritability)
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Bad breath
  • Lapse in grooming habits
  • Stiffness, trouble jumping
  • Lumps and bumps on the skin


Comparing dog/cat years to human years

The common misconception is that every year of age for a dog or cat is like seven human years.  In reality, it varies based on your pet's size and life stage (young, adolescent, middle age, or geriatric).  Use the charts below to calculate your dog or cat's "human age".




What tests will be performed annually?

For senior pets, we recommend the following tests in all pets, beginning at age seven:

Complete Blood Count (CBC)- Screens for anemia (low red blood cell count), inflammation, infection, immune deficiencies, clotting problems, leukemias, and dehydration

Chemistry Profile w/ Electrolytes- Screens for liver disease, kidney dysfunction, electrolyte imbalance, endocrine disorders, certain types of cancer, dehydration, diabetes, hypoglycemia, pancreatic disease, muscle disorders, nutritional deficiencies

T4- Screens for thyroid hormone deficiencies or excess

Urinalysis- Screens for kidney dysfunction, urinary tract infections, diabetes, urinary crystals or stones, certain types of cancer, and dehydration

The following tests may be recommended in senior pets in some cases:

Glaucoma Screen- Using a
Tonovet® device, we screen the eyes of predisposed breeds for glaucoma (increased pressure within the eye)

Chest X-Rays- Screens for heart enlargement, lung tumors, airway disorders, and problems with the esophagus

EKG- screens for heart disease and arrhythmias

Ultrasound- Screens for abdominal tumors, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disorders, bladder stones, intestinal disorders, and adrenal gland enlargement.

Feline viral screening (cats only)- tests for Feline Leukemia virus, Feline AIDS virus and Feline Coronavirus