Updated: Oct 8, 2021
If you have ever had a consultation with Dr Lauren, you undoubtedly have heard all about her fur baby, Tara. If you can believe it, Tara is 17 years young. Pets that have reached the last 25% of their life expectancy are considered ‘senior’, and once they surpass this, they are then ‘geriatric’.
When Dr Lauren found a lump on Tara’s chest earlier this year, she quickly took her into the clinic for a checkup and some diagnostic testing. Initial testing with a fine needle aspirate of the mass found some suspicious-looking cells, and the decision was made to head to surgery to remove the lump.
It is well known that as our pets get older, we often come across more health issues and comorbidities that can increase the risk of anaesthesia. This does not mean that senior and geriatric patients are disqualified from surgery immediately; however, it is important they undergo a thorough health exam to determine if it is safe to pursue anaesthesia.
After a thorough pre-anaesthetic examination and blood tests, Tara underwent surgery to remove her mass and send it to the pathologist to get a definitive diagnosis. As with every anaesthetic performed at Goodna Vet, a dedicated surgical nurse was assigned to Tara to monitor her anaesthetic and recovery periods to ensure it was as safe as possible. After a couple of weeks of healing and TLC from Dr Lauren and the whole Goodna Vet team, Tara made a full recovery and is now back to her happy self.
If you have a senior fur-baby at home, it is important that they undergo regular checkups every 6 months to help detect issues as soon as possible and give them the best chance of appropriate intervention and positive outcomes. Also, if you ever find any lumps or bumps on your pet, please bring them for a check-up as soon as possible. Without further testing, there is no way of knowing if it could be something nasty.