Clinic Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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Phone Numbers:
651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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Geriatric Evaluation

As dogs age, we know that like people, they have a greater risk of developing certain diseases and conditions, such as: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, renal disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, arthritis, and oral or dental disease. If diseases are diagnosed in their early stages, there are treatments to slow their progression or possibly cure them. Dogs age faster than humans (1 human year = 7 canine years). After 7 years of age, Dr. Winter recommends a geriatric evaluation each spring when the vaccinations are given. He performs a complete thorough physical exam. He checks the overall body condition such as: eyes, ears, mouth, feet, hair coat, muscle mass and palpates for any abnormal growths. A blood chemistry profile, CBC, urinalysis, and thyroid test is run in the CVS lab. Early detection is the key because it allows for better treatment options. Annual comprehensive profiles are recommended to analyze organ function. As good as doctors are, they can’t see inside your pet. These tests provide them with an internal look at your pet’s overall health, which can greatly improve their quality of life and life expectancy. Providing supportive therapy at an early stage, adds years to your dog’s life.

Communication is the key! You know your pet better than anyone. As you notice subtle changes or have any questions or concerns, please take note. Dr. Winter and staff will ask questions and listen to your concerns in reference to your pet. The CVS team understands how important your four legged friends are to you!


As pets age, their organs slowly deteriorate and lose their ability to function properly. With modern medical tools and in-house blood chemistry machines, Dr. Winter takes a more proactive approach to maintain their health.

Geriatric testing helps to establish (healthy) baseline values and identifies problems early, rather than waiting for obvious signs of tragic illness.

This health profile also serves as a complete pre-anesthetic screen for surgical or dental procedures.
When necessary, Dr. Winter prescribes medications based on the chemistry profile results.
We recommend screen testing for ALL geriatric animals.

   Small Dogs (<20 lb)  7-15+ years
  Medium Dogs (21-50 lb) 6-14+ years
  Large Dogs (51-90 lb)    6-14+ years
  Giant Dogs (over 90 lb)  5-9 + years
  Most cats  8-20+ years

The Geriatric or Senior Profile tests for 14 different components.
Alanine Aminotransferace - Liver diseases, heart diseases
Albumine - Liver and kidney disease
Alkaline Phosphatase– Liver, bone, parathyroid and intestinal disease
Amylase– Kidney and pancreatic disease
Calcium– Parathyroid, bone and chronic renal disease
Creatinine– Renal disease
Globulin– Globulin concentration will increase with dehydration and should also increase with antigenic stimulation
Glucose– Diabetes, hyper and hypo glycemia, liver disease
Phosphorus– Kidney disease, hypoparathyroidism, and nutritional disorders
Potassium– Malnutrition and renal disease. This electrolyte is used to diagnose the causes of vomiting, diarrhea and cardiac symptoms
Sodium– Dehydration and diabetes. This electrolyte is used to diagnose vomiting, diarrhea, and cardiac symptoms
Total Bilirubin– Hepatic disorders
Total Protein– Dehydration, kidney, liver disease, metabolic and nutritional disorders
Blood Urea Nitrogen– Liver and kidney disease

The Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A CBC is a white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet count. There are numerous causes of change in the number, size, and appearance of white cells, red cells, and platelets. Several types of leukemia may be diagnosed by the CBC. Infection, inflammation, immune mediated disease, liver disease, kidney disease, chronic viral infection, and clotting disorders may all be shown by the CBC.

The Urinalysis
The urinalysis screens for diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections. Often the blood tests and the urine test results must be combined for a complete diagnosis. For instance, a high glucose in the blood, with no glucose in the urine, is likely a stress response. High blood and urine glucose is consistent with diabetes mellitus. The urinalysis also screens for other abnormalities in the urine such as crystals, excessive protein, abnormal cells, microbial organisms, blood, and white blood cells.

Changes that are attributed to old age can be very subtle or very acute. Many of our clients report one or more of the following symptoms:
• Increased lethargy
• Decreased or increased appetite
• Increased thirst and urination
• Greater difficulty in defecation
• Increased stiffness
• Difficulty eating food
• Unusual lumps or bumps on or under the skin
• Dramatic weight loss or gain
• Changes in the skin or hair coat
• Coughing
• Difficulty breathing or panting
• Exercise intolerance
• Limping
• Bad breath
• Foul odors from skin or ears
• Head tilt or imbalance
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea

The most serious of the problems we see in our geriatric patients include obesity, dental disease, digestive problems, kidney disease, arthritis, and cancer. These conditions often occur in combination with each other and numerous other medical conditions.

At CVS, we diagnose and treat these common conditions of your pets frequently. However it should be stated that the earlier we recognize and start treatment for a geriatric problem, the more successful the outcome would be. In light of this fact, we urge the owners of geriatric pets to have us perform a work-up on your aging pet to identify problem areas early, to allow them to live long, happy, healthy lives.


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