As your dog ages you may notice he moves a little slower, is less energetic, and may become hard of hearing. These age-related changes are just a few things you may see as your dog gets older. In addition to this, certain common health ailments may arise. It’s beneficial for you as a dog owner to be mindful of these common health issues, in order to efficiently treat them as they arise. Understanding these ailments is the first step is helping your dog age gracefully.
Dementia, or canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is a medical condition that causes memory loss, personality changes, disorientation, and confusion. This condition is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Some noticeable symptoms of this condition are forgetting familiar toys, incontinence, or even forgetting you, their owner. Other repetitive, compulsive behaviors like walking in circles and pacing are also common signs of CDS.
2. Kidney Disease
Kidneys are in charge of removing the waste and maintaining a proper balance in the body. If kidneys lose their ability to perform, waste and toxins can build up in the body and wreak havoc. This waste buildup essentially poisons the system and is known as kidney failure. Some common causes of kidney malfunction include: kidney stones, rupture of the bladder, or aging of the kidneys. Signs of kidney disease in dogs are: increased water drinking, having accidents around the house, increased urination, apathy, weight loss, and loss of appetite.
Diabetes occurs when there is poor production and functioning of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas. The condition occurs most commonly in dogs at 8 or 9 years old, is hereditary, and more common in females. Signs of diabetes in dogs that you may see include: irritability, fatigue, recurring infections, frequent thirst, increased urination, weight loss, blurred vision, and slow-healing cuts or bruises.
Just as in people, the wear and tear of cartilage in the joints happen in senior dogs too. Arthritis can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain in one or many joints. Symptoms of arthritis in your dog can include: limping, reluctance to move, change in walking manner, avoiding stairs, difficulty walking or standing, and exhibiting pain when being picked up. Your dog may lick or chew at an aching joint and show irritability or aggression. There are many treatment options of doggy arthritis include joint supplements, diet change, and exercise.
The risk for cancer increases as your dog ages and is actually the leading cause of death in senior dogs, according to petmd.com Blood tests have a hard time detecting cancer, therefore it’s essential to search your pet for lumps and bumps that may be out of the ordinary. You can also look for signs such as: changes in weight, sores that heal slowly, excessive panting, diarrhea, extreme tiredness, and bleeding from their mouth, nose, or ears. Successful cancer treatment can be achieved, even more so if it’s caught early.
Being a parent to an aging pet can mean extra love, care, and being cautiously mindful of certain arising health issues. Now that you’ve taken the first step in educating yourself about these ailments, you will be more prepared if your senior dog becomes ill. If you want to know more about how to help your dog age gracefully download our free eBook by clicking the image below.