Health Problems for the Older Dogs — 7 Common Types That Need Attention Right Away
Once a dog reaches adulthood, it starts suffering from a lot of complications. The physical, as well as the mental functioning of dogs, start to deteriorate. They start showing a change in behavior, their sleep-cycle gets affected, they develop new health issues and sometimes they start to show early signs of dementia. Sometimes, the sickness gives them so much anxiety that they become hostile. They react aggressively, which can lead to changes in their social behavior. But that’s not true for all dogs. Some show different signs of illness as the year's pass. But one thing which is common in all of them is that they become way too dependent on their owners. They start losing appetite and become less interactive. No matter how hard you try, with advancing age, dogs develop some health problems.
There are some things that an owner can do in order to prevent these health issues or take care of their pet’s health during their tough time. If an old dog is showing signs of behavioral changes or illness, then reporting it to your vet should be your first priority. Most of the times, people think of these illnesses as a part of their adulthood and ignore them, but in reality, a lot of medical disorders in dogs are treatable. As an example itch is a common problem among dogs and it can be treated if you have the knowledge about apoquel alternatives. A medical professional will tell you what measures you can take to improve your pet’s health and help you in making your dog’s life more interesting and playful.
Given below are some of the common health issues that older dogs face.
One of the most common health issues among senior dogs is arthritis. This “Degenerative Joint Disease” affects around 70 percent of specific dog breeds. It is painful and makes dogs lousy as the pain prevents them from performing any physical tasks. Even though arthritis is most commonly seen in big size dog breeds but it is not compulsory. Smaller breeds are as much prone to this disease as big dogs. There are some symptoms of arthritis that you can follow in order to make sure of your dog’s illness. Dogs suffering from arthritis generally limp or hardly move from their initial spot. Also, there is swelling of joints. In such cases, one should consult a vet who generally prescribes some meds and exercises.
Just like humans, diabetes also affects dogs from all over the world. It is most commonly found in female dogs. It happens when the pancreas stop producing insulin, which results in lack of glucose in the cells. This can result in loss of energy in dogs. It is estimated that old dogs are more prone to diabetes than any other age group. It is believed that diabetes in dogs is hereditary. So, if either one of the parents of a dog has diabetes, then the chances of their puppy developing this disease are very high. Some of the symptoms of diabetes are sudden weight loss, frequent urination, bruises all over the body, slow healing, and fatigue.
Over a period of time, dogs are known to suffer from gum diseases. The bacteria inside the mouth can build plaque on their teeth. This plaque can cause their gums to swell, making it painful to eat or chew anything. If the teeth of dogs are not brushed properly, then the bacteria can take a huge toll on their dental health. The plaque can infect their gums causing bone loss. Signs that your dog is suffering from gum diseases are bleeding and swollen gums, rejection of dog, difficulty in chewing food etc. It is always advised to get your dog tested before any complications occur.
As we mentioned earlier, dementia is something that many dogs suffer during their golden years. During this time, they start to forget small things like where they kept their toys, or any command that you give to them. Dementia can be proven dangerous as they can lose their way when outside of the house. In extreme conditions, they even forget their owners and start to panic. This happens due to the build-up of protein that causes nerve damage. If your dog is suffering from dementia then it will have a hard time remembering the tricks that it used to do. It will also start to show repetitive behavior.
Hearing and Vision Loss
Now, this might sound a little bizarre, but hearing and vision loss are common in old dogs. There are many eye-conditions that your dog can develop as it gets older. Vision loss is generally caused by cataract, nuclear sclerosis and general eye infection. The earliest sign of vision loss in dogs is that they become hesitant to walk, especially during the night or where there is darkness. Vets usually prescribe medicines to treat vision loss. And if the problem is severe then they go for surgery.
Hearing, on the other hand, is another issue on its own. Many dogs suffer from hearing loss as they get older. If the issue is not that severe then they are provided with hearing aids, but in complete loss of hearing, there’s not much that can be done.
The kidneys perform the most important function of removing waste from the body and when these kidneys start failing, the waste in the body starts to build up. This can happen due to a lot of reasons, primarily being the kidney stones. Kidney stones can mess up the functioning of kidneys.
The most common symptoms of kidney stones are frequent urination and drinking more water. Also, the dog will lose weight and appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, then provide your dog with medical attention as soon as possible.
One of the most deadly and common causes of death in adult dogs is cancer. More than 50 percent of dogs in the world die from cancer every year. This happens because cancer can’t be detected during its initial stages. That’s why it becomes crucial to look out for the signs like lumps on the body, or soreness or bleeding from mouth or ears. The dogs suffering from cancer don’t eat much and are always tired. Also, if their stool contains mucus or blood, then it might be an indication towards a deadly disease. Make sure that you provide your dog with medical help as soon as possible because cancer in dogs is treatable if it’s spotted during the early stages.
A lot of pet owners neglect their dog’s problems as they get older. But the reality is, old dogs need our attention more than ever. So, if you think your dog is showing behavioral changes or showing any signs of sickness then consult a trusted vet. As the dogs get older, they develop age-related issues. This is the reason why old dogs should be examined regularly by a vet. This not only keeps them healthy, but it also helps in detecting any disease that can harm your dog in the future and ruin your dog’s golden years. Try to be more interactive with your dogs as they get older. This way you can keep a tab on their daily routine and become more aware of their condition.
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