August’s patient of the month is ‘Baxter’ Goldberg, he is a 7 year old
Beagle with Lemon coloring. He recently came in to see us for a physical
exam. After the age of 7 dogs (can vary based on breed) are considered
senior and ideally should see the Veterinarian every 6 months when they are
otherwise healthy and doing well. After 7 a lot can change in a few months
and preventative care is key to keeping our pets living a quality life so
they can be a part of our lives for as long as possible.
During an exam there are many things the Doctor will look at to assess the
health of your pet. Temperature is taken and deviations can show things such
as pain or infection in the body. The heart is checked using a stethoscope
so the Doctor can determine if the pulse rate is within normal limits and
can hear the heart beat and notice any irregularities such as murmurs.
Respiration is checked by counting the number of breaths per minute and
listening to make sure lungs sounds are healthy. The Veterinarian will
watch their stance and gait as well as feel their joints, bones, abdomen and
lymph nodes to see if there are any abnormalities.
Not all illnesses and abnormalities can be detected from just a physical
exam alone though and bloodwork is a key piece in preventative care. Senior
panels check vital organs such as kidneys and liver, to ensure they are
functioning as they should as well as can detect metabolic issues such as
diabetes, over or underactive thyroid, Addison’s disease or cushings.
Detecting illnesses earlier on means treatment can be started and symptoms
controlled early on.
In Baxter’s case all of his results came back within normal limits and he is
a happy healthy boy. His favorite activities include hiking, sleeping and
begging for food.