SOLOMONS, Md., July 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The veterinary care team at Solomons Veterinary Medical Center is speaking out against a common misconception about senior pets: they're too old to have surgery. According to veterinarian Dr. Nancy E. Ball, many pet owners mistakenly believe that if their pets are over a certain age, they are no longer good candidates for pet surgery. However, Dr. Ball says that age is just one factor in determining whether a pet is a good surgery candidate. The veterinarian stresses that overall health is more important and that many senior pets can safely undergo basic surgical procedures.
Solomons, Maryland, Veterinarian Dr. Nancy E. Ball says that senior pets can still have surgery and that some procedures, like dental work, can have a significantly positive impact on a senior pet's health.
"Blood work results are one of the primary factors we use in determining whether a pet is a good candidate for surgery," said Dr. Ball. "If blood work indicates that a pet can safely receive anesthesia, then we will generally consider the pet to be a good candidate for surgery. For this reason, overall health is more important that age when it comes to assessing the viability of a surgical procedure."
The veterinarian says that it is also important to weigh the costs and benefits of a certain procedure. Dental cleanings, for example, help remove plaque and tartar build up from along the gum line, reducing the level of bacteria in a pet's mouth and the accompanying risk for blood infections. In older pets, high levels of bacteria could strain the kidneys and other organs and lead to greater health problems, warns Dr. Ball.
"As long as the blood work indicates that an older pet can safely undergo a dental cleaning, then we will generally advise moving forward with the cleaning," said Dr. Ball. "Removing tartar build up from along the gum line has a big impact on a senior pet's overall health. Anything we can do to reduce the burden on the kidneys and other organs is important."
Dr. Ball says that all potential pet surgical procedures should be treated on a case-by-case basis. A final determination regarding whether a pet is – or is not – a good candidate for the procedure should only be made after a full assessment of the pet's health, rather than relying on age, cautions the veterinarian.
"We've had young pets who due to various health conditions were not considered good candidates for routine surgical procedures," said Dr. Ball. "Conversely, some complex surgical procedures may be too much for older pets to handle. But in general, age should not be used to immediately disqualify a pet from receiving a potentially life-changing procedure."
CONTACT: Solomons Veterinary Medical Center, (410) 695 6994Source:Solomons Veterinary Medical Center