Dogs have always played an essential role in our lives. They are man’s best friends and a constant source of happiness to us. The sad truth is they will not always remain young and playful as they get old. Senior dogs require a lot of care and attention. Their health deteriorates as they get older, and they may not be as active as they were as a pup.
Paying attention to your senior dog’s health could improve the quality of life of your animal companion. Health issues could be discovered earlier and treated, improving the length and quality of your dog’s life.
Generally, dogs are considered senior dogs when they cross the age of seven years old. However, this will depend on many factors such as the dog’s size, breed, and environment. According to American Veterinary Medical Association, bigger dog breeds tend to age faster than the smaller dog breed.
A good example is the great dane, which is considered a senior dog when it attains the age of six years, while small dogs like chihuahua are not regarded as a senior dog until eight or nine years of age. Other factors that can affect the aging of your dog could include genetics and environmental factors.
Joint problems are a significant issue for senior dogs. These problems include stiffness in the joint, bone, and joint pain. Joint problems are commonly referred to as osteoarthritis, which is a progressive illness that causes the joint to lose lubrication. This loss of fluid leads to wear and tear of the cartilage found in the hip, shoulder, and legs.
Although there is no total cure for this illness in dogs, there are several treatments to help slow the progression of this illness and reduce the excruciating pain your senior dog could experience if not given proper care. Giving your senior dog the proper nutrition could also help your dog’s health condition. A nutritious diet has been proven to help the bones and joints of your dog.
You can also visit your veterinarian to get other methods and drugs which could ease the pain your dog is experiencing.
Dementia is a common problem existing between both man and dogs. It involves memory loss and loss of judgment. The result of dementia could include confusion and disorientation. It could also make your dog continuously bark for no reason as the environment becomes strange.
Memory loss or confusion may be symptoms of other serious illnesses, so you must visit a veterinarian if you notice it in your senior dog. Also, like most age-related diseases, there is no cure for dementia. Still, the condition could be improved by giving your dog the proper diet and drugs recommended by the veterinarian.
Loss of vision and hearing is a common aging problem in man and dogs alike. As your dog ages, the tissues around the ears and eyes begin to degenerate, causing a progressive loss of sight and hearing.
Research has shown that older dogs are prone to developing cataracts, which could cause temporary or permanent loss of sight in senior dogs. Early discovery of this illness could help you save your dog’s sight. If your dog has lost its sight, he or she can quickly adapt with their excellent sense of smell to navigate their surroundings.
Dogs usually lose their sense of hearing as they grow old. The best way to reduce this illness is to consistently clean your dog’s ears and get regular checkups at the vet.
Heart problems are also associated with aging in dogs. Congestive heart failure means that the heart is not as efficient in pumping blood into the lungs and body. Symptoms of this disease are coughing, tiredness, and difficulty in breathing. If you notice these symptoms in your senior dog, you should bring your dog in and have your dog examined.
Your senior dog can still live a healthy life if they are getting appropriate care. Senior dogs need more attention and support to live out their healthy life. They need to be provided with the right nutritional diet and visit the veterinarian frequently to keep them comfortable.
Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital and Emergency are dedicated to improving the life and health of your senior dog. We are voted as the #1 Animal Hospital for over 19 years, so you can be sure your pet is in safe hands. Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital has been providing quality pet care for residents throughout Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and the surrounding Ventura County areas for years. Call us today for an appointment.