Cat Doctor of Monroe

PH (734) 682-5596

FX (734) 682-5629

11 W. Vine St.

Monroe, MI 48162

Comprehensive Physical Exam

What can a vet tell about my cat from a physical exam?

If you watch Dr. Miller examining your cat, you may think most of it just looks like a kitty massage, but a physical exam can give an enormous amount of information about your cat’s health. Here is some of what she is looking and feeling for during an exam:

  •  Body condition (overweight, underweight or just right)
  •  Muscle mass (loss of muscle with arthritis or internal diseases)
  •  Pain status (cats are great at hiding pain)
  •  Mental state (alert, disoriented, depressed, nervous, etc.)
  •  Gait (how the cat moves around the room, any limping, etc.)
  •  Signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, loss of skin elasticity, and sticky gums)
  •  Ear discharge, infection or itchiness
  •  Facial symmetry (swollen areas, muscle condition, etc)
  •  Eye discharge or redness
  •  Abnormal eye movements, pupil size
  •  Broken teeth, tartar, gingivitis, bad breath, mouth pain, masses
  •  Nasal congestion or discharge
  •  Signs of brain disease (by testing facial reflexes)
  •  Size of thyroid glands in neck
  •  Size of lymph nodes (under chin, in front of shoulder blades, and behind knees)
  •  Heart rate and rhythm, also any abnormal heart sounds
  •  Pulse quality (by feeling femoral artery in back leg)
  •  Breaths per minute, breathing effort
  •  Lung sounds (stethoscope again)
  •  Size of liver and spleen
  •  Size and shape of kidneys
  •  Size of bladder, assess for bladder pain and bladder spasms
  •  Any lumps or fluid in the abdomen that shouldn’t be there
  •  Abnormal intestines (yes, intestines can feel “wrong”)
  •  Evidence of diarrhea, parasites, discharge or other issues around the hind end
  •  Any joint swelling or pain, any back pain
  •  Any skin lumps, bumps, itchiness, or hair loss
  •  Presence of fleas or ticks
  •  Torn or overgrown toenails