As your pets get older it’s important to…

As your pets get older it’s important to know what they are like when they are “normal” so if they start getting sick you have something to compare it to. Knowing what their resting respiratory rate, resting heart rate, things like that is very helpful. With Kilo I started keeping track of his resting rates after I knew he was sick so I could tell if he was getting worse, but I didn’t have his “normal” rates to refer back to. With him he didn’t show a lot of obvious symptoms and was mostly himself until the last month. Also keep track of what their healthy gum colour looks like (it can be hard to tell on some dogs, their gums can always look pale).
With Kilo I was starting to do regular bloodwork as I knew he was more at risk of health issues as he aged. Unfortunately the blood tests didn’t indicate anything wrong but it’s something to consider when they start getting older.
With Kilo’s condition we wouldn’t have caught it unless we randomly started doing echocardiograms regularly which isn’t feasible and even if it was caught early there isn’t anything to do once they get it anyway. But it’s important to be able to recognize the subtle signs when something is wrong.