There are many diseases and illnesses that affect the lives of old dogs, and it is important to recognize them early. As a dog owner, you want your pet to live a long and healthy life. While exercise and a healthy diet play vital roles in your dog’s health, old age can inevitably affect your fur baby and bring some diseases.
Here are some common health problems of old dogs that can cause a great deal of pain or even death:
1. Hip Dysplasia
This is a condition wherein the hip joint becomes stuck. When this occurs, the joint may not allow enough movement to occur, which can lead to difficulty in walking and climbing stairs, among many others. In older dogs, hip dysplasia often begins in the age range of eight to 15 years. As the condition progresses, the pain may become worse. If you think your dog has hip dysplasia, don’t hesitate to contact your vet immediately. If you’re located in New York, you may want to check out Sunnyside Veterinary Clinic for your pet’s healthcare needs.
Aging can also result in arthritis. This is a disorder that causes inflammation in the joints and often leads to the destruction of the cartilage. This condition can be caused by injury, age, or genetics. This can also happen if the dog has a diet that doesn’t contain the proper amounts of calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium are essential nutrients to the body that can help reduce the occurrence of arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis include aching joints, as well as stiffness of and difficulty moving the joints. A more serious problem is the possibility of arthritis becoming gangrenous. Gangrene is a very painful condition wherein the affected joint loses blood supply and, therefore, becomes useless. If this happens, the dog may lose mobility and feel weakness throughout their body.
3. Skin Disease
If your dog is showing signs of a skin disease, you should take them to the vet immediately to see if they can easily be treated at home. Skin conditions can include ringworm, skin allergies, or eczema. Any time that your dog experiences itching or irritation, you should see your vet as soon as possible for an appropriate treatment.
4. Heart Disease
It’s important to check on your dog regularly to see for any signs of heart disease. Often, a dog’s heart can’t keep up with the rate at which it’s beating, and they may die because of this. To identify heart disease in your dog, you need to check at least two times a year and it’s recommended that you get your dog checked annually. You can get an easy blood test from your vet and, then, you should monitor their condition to determine if there’s a problem. If the vet has identified that the dog has a heart problem, you should seek treatment as early as possible.
5. Joint Troubles
The joints in dogs can become worn out with time, and when this happens, they’re often painful to the touch. Therefore, it’s so important to check up on your dog’s joints regularly. You should also take your dog to the vet if you notice any signs of joint problems.
6. Respiratory Disease
It’s a must for you to be aware of all the symptoms that indicate the onset of respiratory disease in your dog. Your dog may show signs of fever, cough, and hoarseness. If any of these symptoms occur, you should immediately seek medical attention to make sure your dog doesn’t develop an infection.
7. Cancerous Growth
A dog who shows signs of cancer in their tissues or their organs, like the liver, kidney, spleen, or lungs, should be examined by a vet as soon as possible. Although cancerous growth in the body of a dog can sometimes be treated, it’s very important for you to know about it early so that it can be treated right away.
8. Digestive Problems
Digestive problems are very common among older dogs, and which can also cause other health issues. One of the most common digestive health issues among older dogs is constipation. If you notice constipation in your dog, you should immediately seek medical help so that your fur baby can be examined and given the right treatment.
Keeping Your Old Dog’s Health In Check
It’s important that you keep an eye out for changes in behavior and physical appearance in your dog. Some dogs may have unusual weight loss patterns, as well as other changes in their behavior. The more you know about the things that your dog is experiencing, the easier it will be for you to understand what’s causing the changes and how you can better help your dog.
Providing your pet with the best nutrition possible and making sure they exercise regularly are crucial. When you start to notice any signs of a potential problem, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Make sure to check pet food labels for ingredients such as corn gluten and cornstarch as these are known allergens to some pets and should be avoided as much as possible.
It’s also a good idea to regularly inspect your dog’s eyes and ears, and ensure that your dog is getting enough sunshine. Vitamins E and C are also important nutrients that should be taken by your dog on a regular basis. The more you know about your dog’s overall health, the easier it will be for you to monitor and better protect it.
If you think you have an older dog with a chronic condition, it would be best to have them checked by a veterinarian. If your dog’s health problems persist, it may be a sign of a more severe condition that needs proper care. Even if the condition is mild, you should see your vet to prevent it from worsening.
There are many health problems that can be experienced older dogs. These may be caused by age, stress, and diet. It’s always important to watch for signs of any of the above mentioned problems to prevent them from worsening, as well as to make sure they’re treated immediately.
TomTom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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