5 Senior Dog Diseases – 2 Paws Up Inc.

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Particularly when you are a dog, life goes by swiftly. In what seems like the blink of an eye, the playful puppy you brought home from the humane society a few short years ago develops into a calm senior. Fortunately, as veterinary science has advanced, so too has our capacity to recognize and treat some of the most prevalent health issues connected to dog aging.

We are now better able to recognize and treat medical issues because of advancements in veterinary medicine. Here are the top five ailments that affect older dogs:

 

How old is a “Senior” Dog?

Despite the widespread belief that a dog’s age multiplied by seven equals their corresponding age in human years, dogs age differently depending on their size. An eight-pound Chihuahua may live to be over eighteen while giant breeds like Great Danes may live for less than 10 years. A dog can be regarded as senior during the final quarter (25%) of his or her anticipated lifespan, according to a more precise general rule of thumb.

 

1. Osteoarthritis

Aging and joint illness go hand in hand because the cartilage that covers the joint surfaces deteriorates with time. Owners have a variety of methods at their disposal to lessen the effects of aging on joints and arthritis in dogs, even if this process cannot be stopped.
First and foremost, make sure your pet is at a healthy weight. Dogs who are overweight have far larger strains on their joints. This has an impact on all breeds of dogs, but it is especially noticeable in large breed dogs that may already be genetically predisposed to diseases like hip dysplasia. Second, make sure your dog has routine checkups to detect the earliest indications of joint illness. Learn about the symptoms of joint disease as well, such as difficulty climbing stairs, morning stiffness, and limping, to mention a few. Finally, inquire about therapeutic dog food with your veterinarian. Some diets are designed expressly to increase joint health and mobility.

 

2. Dental Illness

Dental disease affects all breeds and sizes of dogs and is one of the most often diagnosed disorders in canines. Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can result in discomfort, tooth loss, and bloodstream germs that can harm internal organs.

Home care practices like tooth brushing and dental treats, as well as specialty foods made to promote dental health, can help prevent tartar buildup on teeth. However, once dental disease has been established, a comprehensive anesthesia dental cleaning at the vet clinic is required. Begin as soon as possible, before severe periodontal disease appears.

 

3. Overweight

Many dog owners are unaware that more than half of canines in the US are considered overweight or obese. And to make matters worse, overweight dogs are more prone to an extensive list of additional issues, including knee disorders, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses.

The best ways to control a pet’s weight are exercise and calorie restriction. Compared to their younger counterparts, senior dogs are frequently less active and have differing nutritional needs. Senior-specific diets, which frequently have different ratios of fat and protein than you would find in a typical adult dog food, can help supply nutrients in the right balance. Even dogs with health difficulties benefit from regular, mild exercise. To create a diet and exercise regimen that is suitable for your pet, speak with your vet.

 

4. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, a common illness in dogs that causes a sluggish metabolism, may be the cause of overweight dogs who are following a doctor-approved weight loss regimen with little to no success. Fortunately, hypothyroidism is easily identified with a quick blood test, and treatment is quick and effective.

 

5. Cancer

Sadly, many of the same malignancies that affect humans can also affect dogs. Among the neoplasms frequently identified in dogs include bone cancer, lymphoma, and melanoma. Cancer can arise spontaneously in any breed of dog, even though some dog breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and Boxers, have a strong genetic component. Do not skip your yearly veterinary checks since early discovery and diagnosis are essential to surviving dog cancer.

The importance of regular veterinary exams is critical in diagnosing the most common senior dog diseases, as well as other ailments affecting your dog. As a loving and dedicated pet owner, it’s important to keep a mindful eye on any changes you notice in your dog’s behavior, diet and activity level and report these changes to your veterinarian immediately. Many times, a quick intervention with the help of your vet will result in positive results.



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