Senior Health Exams

A comprehensive physical examination is the key to ensuring your pet's long-term health and well-being. Early detection of diseases through regular examinations may prolong your pet's life, as well as aid in the quality of their life. Subtle changes in weight, appetite, elimination habits, behavior and attitude may all be indications of disease that need immediate attention. We recommended your pet receive yearly physical examinations, which is the equivalent of a human being going to the doctor about once every three years. The age of 7 is when a pet will be considered a senior, in which case we will perform our regular annual physical exam, as well as extensive laboratory testing to monitor and treat any common diseases that may occur due to aging.

Abdomen: We check the pet's abdomen to detect changes or abnormalities in the size of the organs, such as the kidneys, spleen, or liver. Palpating the organs can aid in the diagnosis of disorders or diseases such as bladder stones or tumors.

Ears: We use an otoscope to look inside the pet's ears. This procedure allows us to do an in depth examination of the ear drum and canal. By examining the ears, we are able to detect infections and/or parasites that could harm the pet.

External Genitalia: We examine the pet's external genitalia for changes in appearance. For example, we check for changes in size, color, or texture.

Eyes: We use an instrument called an ophthalmoscope to examine the pet's eyes. We are looking for two main problems we see often in dogs and cats: cataracts and retinal disease.

Gait (Amble or Movement): We watch the pet's movements and walking patterns to check for tenderness, lameness, and sore joints. Often times we are able to detect problems such as arthritis, or the onset of other joint disease.

Heart & Lungs: We use a stethoscope to listen to a pet's heart and lungs using a technique called auscultation in which we are able to detect some murmurs, heart and/or lung disease as well as arrhythmias.

Lymph Nodes: We check the pet's lymph nodes for changes in size, tenderness, and symmetry.

Mouth: We inspect the pet's mouth for any abnormal growths or lesions. We also check the pet's gum color and hydration.

Teeth: We check for bad breath, tartar (yellow buildup on the teeth), swollen, receding, or bleeding gums, excessive drooling and fractured or abscessed teeth.

Nervous System: We examine the pet's behavior, reaction, and reflexes to evaluate the nervous system.

Skin: We examine the skin of the pet to look for ectoparasites, which are parasites which latch on to the skin of the pet externally. We look for lesions, tumors, or other abnormal growths.

The first step in the prevention of disease of illness is a yearly comprehensive physical examination to ensure your pet's well-being and long-term health.