Wednesday, November 30, 2022

5 Wellness Tests Every Senior Cat Needs

Just like us, as our cats age extra testing is required at their annual (preferably semi-annual) check-ups to make sure they stay in tiptop shape throughout their golden years. The gradual onset of disease in seemingly healthy cats can often go unnoticed, and by the time symptoms appear the condition will be much more complex and expensive to treat. Diagnostic testing at your pet’s wellness exam is the best way for your veterinarian to find out information concerning their overall health as early as possible.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

One of the most common diagnostic tests used in veterinary medicine, the CBC examines your cat’s white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to test for anemia, infection, inflammation and overall healthiness of the blood cells. It also evaluates the number and type of cells in circulation. An important part of senior wellness exams, this may also be the first test your vet orders if a cat is not displaying any overt signs of illness, disease or injury, but are acting generally abnormal.

Chemistry Tests

The chemistry panel surveys many of the organ systems of the body to make sure they are working normally. Most veterinary chemistry panels check blood electrolytes and for diseases of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Chemical compounds used to evaluate liver function include alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and bilirubin. These tests can detect decreased liver function, inflammation, infection and the abnormal growth of cells in the liver and gall bladder. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine monitor the function and health of the kidneys, not only kidney disease but also urethral or ureteral obstructions or dehydration. Tests that evaluate the pancreas, such as glucose and triglycerides, can detect diabetes and pancreatitis. Tests of the muscle and bone can also be performed to determine the health of bone metabolism, to check for muscle damage, trauma or inflammation, and to monitor the electrical, water balance and cellular health of the body.

Many veterinarians can perform some small chemistry panels 'in house,' which means within the veterinary facility. For larger panels, the tests are often performed by a local laboratory, frequently within a human hospital. A chemistry panel can be used not only as your pet ages but in their earlier years in order to provide a baseline of what's normal for your cat.

Thyroid Function Tests

The measuring of thyroid hormones (usually T4) is performed when thyroid disease is suspected. Hyperthyroidism is a common disease, especially in middle aged and senior cats. It results in elevated thyroid hormone levels circulating in the blood stream.


Kidney disease is a leading cause of death for cats. Over 1 in 3 cats are likely to develop kidney disease in their lifetime, and as they age the likelihood of developing it increases. In fact, more than half of cats over 15 are afflicted. Since cats hide illness so well they typically show no symptoms (such as drinking and urinating more than normal) until their kidneys have lost most of their function - permanently.

Now IDEXX SDMA, a breakthrough test that screens for chronic kidney disease, can detect this serious disease months to years earlier, when there is still time to do something about it. This is great news for cats, as IDEXX SDMA can detect kidney disease when much of a pet's kidney function is still intact, giving you and your veterinarian the chance to take action and give your pet the best shot for a healthy, happy, long life - even with kidney disease.

The IDEXX SDMA test is available to all veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada. Even better, many veterinarians in the U.S. are already including IDEXX SDMA in their routine testing, almost always at no added cost. If your veterinary hospital is not doing so, just ask your veterinarian to send your pet’s samples to IDEXX’s Reference Laboratories.


A urinalysis assesses the health and function of the urinary system, an important test in the early detection of kidney disease, diabetes, or infections of the bladder or kidneys. While a chemistry panel can help evaluate kidney function, much more information can be obtained when a urinalysis is done at the same time. The urine sample is tested for several chemical components (glucose, protein, blood and more), as well as cells (white blood cells, red blood cells, epithelial) and crystals.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that cats have a comprehensive set of lab tests performed once a year upon reaching middle age even if your pet appears to be healthy, including blood work and a urinalysis. For senior cats, AAHA recommends that this minimum database of lab work be performed every six months. Keeping on top of your cat’s changing health as they age is one of the easiest ways to help our furry friends lead longer, healthier lives.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Holiday Windows #CaturdayArt

Who would stop in for a slice of mud pie and hot cocoa at this chocolate shop???

Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!

And now our weekly answers (all answered by Mommy this week) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and Four-Legged Furballs!

Mudpie's answers:

1. I would like a squeezie-making machine of my own.

2. On Black Friday, I slept in with Mommy.

Mommy's answers:

3. For me, the holiday season begins the day after Halloween.

4. If I won a large sum of money, a much bigger house would be the first thing I bought

Friday, November 25, 2022

Black Friday Flashback #PetPhotoFails

Meows from Mudpie!

Thank you for joining us for this Black Friday edition of the Pet Photo Fails Blog Hop!

Who's going shopping today? As you're reading this, Mommy and I are most likely still snuggling in bed.  Any Christmas shopping we do today will be online. As Mommy says, it's way too peopley out there!

Mommy snapped this picture last year on Thanksgiving morning. I had been looking over at her oh so pretty, but as soon as she grabbed the camera something distracted me outside.

Who knows what I saw...maybe it was a turkey was running for his life!

That's my photo fail...let's see yours!

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Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving 2022

Mudpie: I'm thankful for you, Mommy.

Mommy: I'm thankful for you too, precious!

Mudpie & Mommy: And we're BOTH thankful for all of YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours...

Monday, November 21, 2022

November Retro Country Rewind #MewsicMovesMe

It's been a few years since we premiered our mewsic feature "Retro Country Rewind," a look back at favorite songs that hit #1 during that month from 30, 35, 40 plus years ago. In this new year we'll be delving into #1 hits from 1972, 1977, 1982, and so on. Let's take a look at November for this freebie week in the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop...

50 Years Ago - 1972, It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad), Merle Haggard


45 Years Ago - 1977, I'm Just a Country Boy, Don Williams

40 Years Ago - 1982, You're So Good When You're Bad, Charley Pride

40 Years Ago - 1982, War Is Hell (On the Homefront Too), T.G. Sheppard

40 Years Ago - 1982, It Ain't Easy Being Easy, Janie Fricke

We hope you enjoy our choices this month!

Let us know if you have a favorite...