Health problems in older dogs
Health problems in older dogs can often be picked up on in the early stages with regular health checks at the Vets.
Generally, at the age of seven, dogs tend to have reached senior age. However, in small dog breeds, they are not senior for another couple of years.
In this article, we will show you some of the issues older dogs tend to suffer from and give you some guidance on signs to look out for in your dog’s senior years.
Health problems older dogs are more prone to:
- Dental disease
- Canine cognitive dysfunction (dementia)
- Vestibular disease (strokes)
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
Changes to watch out for as your dog gets older
Firstly, as mentioned earlier it is important to ensure your dog gets regular health checks. Often a vet can pick up on issues in the early stages, which is always much better.
Here are a few of the symptoms to look out for as your dog ages. If you do spot any of these, please ensure you get them checked out by a vet asap.
- Drinking excessively or urinating inappropriately for more than a few days
- Persistent diarrhoea or vomiting
- Weight loss which is unexplained
- Persistent coughing
- Changes in behaviour
- Collapsing or wobbliness
In addition, to watching out for these changes, you should ensure that your dog is regularly wormed and has regular flea/tick treatments, along with their yearly booster vaccinations. In some cases, your vet may recommend a senior diet for your pet too.
Managing your dog’s weight
As dogs get older they can end up putting on weight. Therefore your vet may advise you on a special diet with reduced calories, to help prevent them gaining more weight. Specially formulated diets can also help manage age-related medical conditions such as osteoarthritis. Here at Dragon vets, we offer FREE weight checks, it is important to take advantage of these as weight gain/weight loss can also indicate the early signs of illness.
Looking after your dog’s teeth
As dog’s get older they can start to suffer from bad teeth and infected gums. Not only can this be uncomfortable for your pet, it can also put them at risk of serious sources of blood-borne infection, which can potentially affect internal organs such as the heart or liver. Again prevention can be better than the cure, therefore its regular health checks with your vet can help spot these issues early.
Finally, if you have any concerns regarding your pet’s health, please get in touch.
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