Text Box:  	Fall is here and with it always comes an awareness of time passing, for us and for our animal friends.  Our pets age at a much faster rate than we do and have fewer beautiful autumns to enjoy.  Good preventative care can go a long way towards helping detect problems early while they are still very treatable.  Regular physical exams become even more important as our pets age.  
	One very helpful test that can give us a lot of information about what may be going on with your pet is a urinalysis.  This can easily be done in the clinic while you wait.  While we sometimes can obtain a urine sample here, our best results come from a first morning urine obtained at home.  With a dog, walk them outside on a leash and tape a Dixie  
Text Box:      cup to a yardstick or broom.
Keep the urine refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.  For cats, try slipping their whole litterbox into a plastic trash bag and smoothing the plastic down on top of the litter.  
	Routine bloodwork can also be extremely helpful in identifying problems early.  I run a standard blood panel on my own geriatric pets at least once a year, more often if there is something we are monitoring or if we Text Box: need to do anesthesia or start new medications that might be contraindicated with underlying problems (such as many arthritis and pain medications).  By finding problems before they have caused major symptoms, we maximize our chances of successful management.  
	Our goal for your older pets is to keep them not just alive, but healthy and happy for as long as possible.  We want to see you together for Text Box: Keep Your Petís Autumn Years Healthy!

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