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The Health Challenges of an Aging Dog By Eri c M . C r y a n , D .V.M .
s we drove down Burke Centre Parkway in our mobile hospital, affectionately called the vetmobile by our staff, the familiar neighborhoods I grew up in greeted me with each passing turn. We were heading to our next appointment to examine a 10-year-old chocolate Lab named Milo. Milo was due for his annual checkup and rabies vaccine, and his owner also mentioned he was moving a bit slower than usual.
Dr. Cryan, owner of NoVa Mobile Vet.
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My technician and I pulled in the driveway and were greeted by a stiff moving but very energetic Milo, who wagged his tail vigorously as we approached. We examined Milo in the comfort of his home and then addressed the questions and concerns of Milo’s owner while discussing the physical examination findings. Milo’s heart and lungs sounded completely normal and healthy, which was great news for a large, 10-year-old dog. I explained, however, that Milo did have evidence of moderate dental disease. In addition, Milo’s hind legs had decreased range of motion, and there was evidence of some muscle atrophy. Finally, Milo’s eyes had begun to look cloudy, a common change called lenticular sclerosis, which does not necessarily result in the same negative prognosis as cataracts. Continuted, next page
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