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How important is senior bloodwork?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My cats are both turning 10 this year and have never had bloodwork done. I would really like to do that during their vet checks to make sure they're healthy.

Unfortunately when I talked to my mother, who pays their vet bills, she immediately said no. Her reasoning is that it's too expensive, especially since she believes that if they found anything wrong we would not be able to afford to do anything about it. If everything is normal, the tests would have been a waste of money.

I don't know what to say to her, especially since I'm not entirely sure what the benefits would be myself. Can anyone help me out? Links, articles, arguments, etc. would help me get things clear in my own mind so I can try to convince my mother.
post #2 of 13
Senior BLOOD WORK is EXTREMELY Important... The worst thing is all is great with the cats and you just have a baseline for the future...Or you may catch something VERY EARLY and save alot in the costs of senior diseases..

I wish I had known to check Kandie earlier ... her CRF was stage 2 and then I had to work against the clock ... She did live another 4 yrs but I wonder could she have been a 20 plus yr old if I had gotten the senior panel earlier??
post #3 of 13
I think it's very important as well. I'm planning on taking my cat soon. The vet can make sure they're not having liver trouble or any other issues.
post #4 of 13
My Damita is 7 & has had a complete/senior blood work-up already. Very important....IMO.
post #5 of 13
Raven and Nabu are now 10 yrs old. Last fall (when they were 9 yrs) we got them their first "senior" blood panels.

It was good we did that, when Raven's cancer showed up this spring, the vet had something to compare his new bloodwork to. They will get bloodwork done again this fall when they have their annual exams(Raven is doing really well right now).
post #6 of 13
It is very important to find out what is normal for them, so you will know if is going higher, lower or staying the same. It can also help you figure out how fast something is progressing - but you need a starting point.

Would she be willing to do it if you took one cat one month and one another? Could you do extra chores around the house to earn some money to pay for the tests?
post #7 of 13
The main argument for having it done is that it can catch many common senior cat health problems before they develop symptoms, and they can then be treated much more easily and inexpensively (sometimes as simple as a dietary change to prevent it getting worse). It could save a lot of money in the long run to have yearly blood tests done now that the cats are older. Once a cat develops symptoms you can guarantee that the treatment will be more expensive and intensive, and the chances of long-term survival are less.
post #8 of 13
I think it's a good idea too. If there is anything untoward, catching it early will likely save you money. If there are early indications of kidney failure, for example, you can attempt to delay the onset of CRF by some alterations to diet. If there's nothing wrong, then you have a baseline that you can use in the future for comparison. Money well spent, imo.
post #9 of 13
I personally am happy to pay money to be told my cats are in perfect health!! I did read somewhere though that CRF might not show on bloods until there were symptoms anyway, I dont know if this is true or not, or if you have them done yearly starting when tehy are healthy, you would pick up due to slight changes?
post #10 of 13
I have never regretted doing a senior panel. I think the best argument is the one that epona may catch changes early enough that treatment is inexpensive as compared to when a full blown problem becomes evident.

It is a bit of preventive insurance, imo. Can you, as someone else suggested, earn the money to take one in one month, and the second in another month?
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. We are going to find out how much our vet charges for this and I will see if I can pay for it. We might alternate (one cat this year, the other next year, and so on).

My oldest cat died recently and it makes me a bit more anxious about the remaining kitties' health. I am willing to pay for a little insurance/reassurance if I can.
post #12 of 13
I have an agreement with my vet where I take up so much a month, and that is put to one side to pay for boosters and blood tests - unfortunately, expensive vet bills this year has meant I haven't had as much to take up, but I try when I can.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, Niko has just been to the vet, and he says her teeth are in bad shape. So, we will have her go in for a dental in a few weeks, which includes blood work.

The bad part is they went ahead and gave her all the vaccines, instead of just the Rabies we asked for. This is the second time - they did the same thing to my other cat last year. After this I really don't want to go back to that place. We'll probably just get Niko's dental work done first (we get a discount because we've been taking our pets there for so long) and then find another vet. I'm absolutely furious. I really don't like over-vaccinating and they keep forcing it on my pets.
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