Pets age much faster than people. Our pets have unique needs that may require additional care to keep them comfortable.  Many diseases mask themselves in subtle ways that may  make it appear that it is just getting old. A geriatric age is different for cats and dogs. It also varies by breed and size of dog. Generally, the larger the dog, the quicker it ages. So a Great Dane may be considered a geriatric a 4 or 5 years and a Chihuahua may not reach that until he is 8 or 9 years. Most cats may be considered middle age by 7 or 8 years.

This is where physical exams twice a year can help. Remember  pets age so much quicker than we do, so one year is equal to several years in a human.

Our senior head to tail exam includes all the following:

  • Eyes: Examined  for eyelid tumors, eyelid defects, dry eye, corneal damage, cataracts, glaucoma, and visual impairments.
  • Ears: Ear canals and ear drums are inspected for infection, tumors or hearing impairment.
  • Nose: Nasal passages are inspected
  • Throat: The throat is palpated for abnormal masses or muscle atropy
  • Heart: The heart sounds, rate and rhythm are checked.
  • Lungs: The respiratory sounds and rate are checked
  • Gastrointestinal: The entire abdominal cavity is palpated for organ enlargement, improper positioning or pain.
  • Urinary: The urinary tract is examined to signs of kidney disease, bladder or genital problems.
  • Lymph Nodes: All peripheral lymph nodes are palpated for and changes
  • Muscles/Bones: The muscles, bones and joints are palpated for atrophy, range of motion, swelling or instability.
  • Skin: The skin is the largest organ of the body and can often show clues to the overall health  including infections and hormonal imbalances.
  • Neurological: Motor and sensory reflexes are tested
  • Laboratory Testing: Blood testing for the complete blood count of the red and white blood cells. Blood chemistry testing to evaluate organ functions. Urinalysis checks for urinary tract disease. Thyroid function is  a test for body metabolism. Blood pressure is measured just like in people.  Intestinal parasite examination checks for stomach and intestinal worms, some of which are contagious to people.