Faith is a 13-year-old Standard Schnauzer who has been coming to Hoffman Estates Animal Hospital since she was a puppy. We have seen Faith go through all life stages and have treated her for medical concerns as well. As a young adult Faith came into our hospital dragging her rear legs. It was decided that Faith should have an MRI of her back. The MRI found she had an embolism in her spinal cord. As part of her treatment and recovery, Faith came to our hospital for Acupuncture therapy. Due to her owner’s dedication she was able to use her back legs again. The following year Faith tore her left ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) this ligament is in her rear leg and needs rehabilitation and usually surgical correction. Faith had surgery at our hospital with Dr. Sandman. A few years ago Faith was diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) in both of her elbows and in her left knee. Faith started on laser therapy, supplements, and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for her elbows and knee. As of now Faith comes in for laser therapy as needed and is doing water therapy regularly for her joints. Her owner also has her on joint supplements. Now that Faith is in her senior years her owner has been bringing her in annually for senior workups in January for the last 3 years. Last January Faith came in for a Platinum Senior Workup and during the abdominal ultrasound Dr. House found a mass on the right adrenal gland. Faith’s owner elected to take Faith to the University of Wisconsin for further diagnosis. At the university they performed a CT to make sure there was no evidence of advanced disease. Her CT came back clear for surgery. She then had an adrenalectomy performed to remove her right adrenal gland along with the mass. Faith recovered and has been doing well since her surgery. Faith’s owner will continue to bring her into us to monitor her adrenal situation.
As January is Senior month here at our hospital. We offer several different levels of senior workups. The most comprehensive senior testing is the Platinum Level which includes comprehensive bloodwork, urinalysis, urine culture, x-rays of the chest, abdomen and hips, blood pressure screening, glaucoma screening, neurologic exam, an ultrasound of the spleen, bladder, kidneys, liver and gall bladder and a senior workup binder that contains all the paperwork and lab tests results. There are various levels to monitor your pet’s health.
As shown by Faith’s story it is important to do semi-annual testing of our senior pets. A pet’s health can change rapidly from month to month. No mass was spotted in Faith’s ultrasound the previous year. This is why it is important to start Senior Pet Testing early and continue annually.