The health issues of older dogs
We may struggle with the idea of our pets getting older and as they do their needs will change.
In turn we must learn to adapt to their changes so we can enjoy their company as long as possible.
There are certain breeds that have problems that may show up later in their life, as an example loss of hearing, loss of eyesight or dental issues.
Some breeds may have dental issues so bad that they will eventually lose all their teeth and require a special soft food diet.
The aging pet skeleton
Another condition that is common is bad hips, this is especially true of the larger breeds, it can become severe quickly so it is important to understand the symptoms.
It is important as our pets get older to monitor their behavior closely so if there is a health issue we can catch it early and get them healthy as soon as possible.
So when is a dog considered elderly?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association when your dog reaches the age of seven they are considered to be senior.
What are some common health issues in older dogs?
Vision and hearing loss or diminished capacity
Your dog’s tissue in their ears and eyes to various degrees can cause blindness or deafness, this can vary depending on different breeds.
Some type of joint problems
Osteoarthritis is often the cause of joint pain and stiffness in your dog, caused by the loss of lubrication and the deterioration of cartilage.
Dogs like humans can lose cognitive function as they become elderly, this can lead to confusion and being disorientated.
The dreaded cancer
Don’t panic if you notice lumps or bumps on your dog they are very common and fortunately not all of them are positive for cancer, but age does increase the risks.
Kidney and heart issues
Again like humans dogs can develop heart conditions are they get older, symptoms may include coughing or difficult breathing.
Aging kidneys tend to lose their function as your dog gets older. While chronic kidney failure can't be cured, it can be managed with treatment, prolonging your dog's life and improving their quality of life.
On a personal note:
I have a dog that is a rescue so her age is not completely known the vet estimated at the time we took her in was 2 years old, that was in 2008.
So she is approximately 14 years old and is showing signs of slowly down, she is having some difficulty getting up and down, it appears her hips are aching.
We started giving her pills for her joints and it appears they are working she has picked up her pace on our walks.