The gradual onset of health problems in an apparently healthy pet often goes unnoticed. Once symptoms appear, the condition may be more difficult or costly to diagnose and treat. Although age itself is not a disease, it can bring many conditions that if diagnosed early can be completely reversed or controlled for extended periods of time. At least once and perhaps twice a year, your pet needs a complete physical examination. Remember, your pet’s lifespan is shorter than a person’s. A lot can happen in 12 months.