As dogs age, we know that they, like people, have a greater risk for developing certain diseases and conditions. For example, we know that the incidence of problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis, and oral/dental disease increases with advancing age. However, when such diseases are diagnosed in their early stages, treatment to cure such disorders or delay their progress can be given in most cases. For that reason, we recommend that all of our canine patients that are seven years of age or older have an annual geriatric evaluation. This evaluation includes a complete and thorough physical exam, a complete blood count, blood chemistry profile, urinalysis and thyroid test. As in all health evaluations, early detection is the key as it allows for more and better treatment options.