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The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) created care guidelines for senior patients (Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association,
March/April 2005). The purpose is to enhance the well-being of senior pets, promoting early detection (then, treatment) of common clinical conditions in senior pets.
Several definitions of “old animals” have been proposed and, so far, the age at which a dog or a cat can be defined as "seniors" has not been identified yet because of diversity of development, growth and survival times of the different races in both species. For this reason, the American Animal Hospital Association recommends to consider “senior” the animals that are in the last 25% of the predicted life span for their species and breed (including mixed-breeds).
According to AAHA guidelines, the senior pet, if apparently healthy, should undergo a thorough physical examination and a minimum laboratory database twice a year (the equivalent of every 2-3 years in humans). Amongst laboratory database, the following ones are proposed:
• Complete bloodcount
• Urinalysis
• Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine
• ALT, ALP, Bilirubin
• Glucose
• Total Protein and Albumin
• Total Calcium
• T4 (cat)
• Potassium (cat)

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