Common Ailments in Older Dogs

As Dog owners, we have to live with the sad reality that our best companion is aging and at a faster rate than us. When they are in this stage, we have to observe any changes in their mood or behavior. Any sign of deviation in their usual routine must not be dismissed. Therefore, we must work with their veterinarian to ensure that our dog stays healthy, happy and comfortable as they grow older. 

Here are the symptoms of some common ailments you may encounter as your dog advances in age.

 Arthritis

Caused as a result of the damage to the cartilage between joints that protects the bone. The consequence of damage to the cartilage is an inflammation of the joint known as Arthritis. The reluctance of your dog to climb stairs, limping, inability to jump out of the car or out of furniture’s and continuously licking the joint are some of the symptoms of Arthritis. When you observe these symptoms, it is essential to talk to your veterinarian as they are in the best position to prescribe drugs for the pain. He or she can also recommend some weight loss regimes as Arthritis is common in large and giant dog breeds.

Dental Disease

The most common dentition disease in dogs is Gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis (gum disease). This is caused as a result of bacteria building on top of the gum of a teeth. Symptoms of this disease are the inability to pick up food or trouble chewing food. Gum inflammation often leads to gum diseases and can cause severe damages if left untreated. If teeth’s are left un-brushed or professionally cleaned up for years, tartar and plaques build up. Visit your veterinarian to schedule a cleanup if you notice any symptoms related to dental disease.

Impaired Vision

A failing vision is one of the typical aging ailments of dogs. Some symptoms of this disease is a white coating on the pupil (cataract), generalized redness, bluish haze in the pupil (nuclear sclerosis), etc. Other symptoms of vision loss are your dog bumping into furniture’s, falling or being hesitant to move in the dark; depending on how severe the problem is, expect your veterinarian to recommend drugs or surgery.

Hearing Loss

As dogs advance in age, so does their ability to hear correctly. Unlike humans that can use hearing aids, the most common form of communication when a dog has a hearing problem is to use hand signals to communicate with them. Otherwise, you can stomp your foot on the ground to make a vibration as well as going to him directly to call him for anything.

Kidney Disease

Our kidney helps us remove waste that can cause problems in our body system as well as maintain balance. The inability to perform this function is detrimental to our health. Kidney failure in dogs can be caused by kidney stone blocking urinary tract, aging of the kidney and bladder rupture.

Signs such as consumption of more water and constant urination are some of the symptoms of kidney disease. It is essential to carry out regular geriatric examination for our dogs for early detection and to manage the condition.

Other common ailments in older dogs are heart disease, cognitive dysfunction, cancer, and hypothyroidism. Watch and observe closely your older dogs today and report any observation to your veterinarian.  

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