Practitioner's Challenge: Diagnosing and Managing the Challenging Senior Patient
Early disease recognition can help improve the quality of life for older dogs and cats. Thorough diagnostic efforts, including a complete urinalysis, are critical because geriatric pets frequently have abnormalities in multiple body systems and often receive long-term medications. Trending serial data evaluations on a pet and comparing to that patient's individual baseline results can prove to be a highly objective and effective means of characterizing developing disease in the clinically normal pattern or to determine if therapy is working appropriately. This presentation will utilize actual cases of the presenting senior patient and illustrate the proper use of history, physical examination, laboratory profiling, diagnostic imaging, and other diagnostic procedures to differentiate commonly encountered senior cases.
• Through case presentations and review, choose the appropriate diagnostic tests for each senior patient
• Properly interpret hematology, chemistry, electrolyte, urinalysis, and other routine initial tests for each case
• Determine what other diagnostic testing is necessary for each case presentation
• Discuss treatment options and monitoring protocols