Your pet dog is like your baby, but there’s no denying that it will have to face age-related issues at some point. These may start sooner or later depending on the canine breed, though you can expect a dog to come in the senior category when it reaches the age of seven years. It is vital to keep track of its health as it ages because medical issues may crop up more often than not. The pet will also need more vet visits for timely detection and treatment. Here is a list of common health problems that senior dogs often come across.
Just like humans, canines are likely to encounter joint pain and stiffness as they grow older. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that leads to loss of lubrication in the joints, which can cause chronic pains and aches. The disease is progressive and gets worse with time, but proper treatment can slow its progression. A healthy, nutrient-rich also plays a significant role in maintaining the joint health of the animal.
Vision and hearing loss
Aging causes the degeneration of tissues in the eyes and ears of the dog. It can show up as vision and hearing loss in older dogs. The animal can develop cataracts, which may eventually cause partial or total blindness. The vet may recommend surgical removal of cataracts, though a senior dog can move around using its sense of smell. Hearing loss happens as a progressive condition. But you can slow it down by caring for and cleaning the dog’s ears regularly.
A serious health condition in senior dogs is collapsing trachea, which causes mild to severe obstruction in the animal’s airway. If the animal suffers from a harsh, chronic cough that increases during exercise, stress, or excitement, it requires immediate attention. While treatment can be life-saving, you can consider CBD as an alternative therapy for collapsing trachea in dogs for the long-term. Weight loss and avoiding airway irritants can also help in preventing the problem from aggravating.
Another aging issue that affects dogs like humans is dementia, which is characterized by the animal losing its cognitive function over the years. You can expect to see symptoms such as barking for no apparent reason, confusion and disorientation, and bathroom accidents as early signs of the condition. Dementia is not curable, but early treatment can slow down the signs. Connect with your vet and get help as soon as you notice the symptoms in your senior dog.
Incontinence and gastrointestinal issues
Older dogs often struggle with incontinence as the bladder muscles weaken with age. Although you may consider it a normal part of the aging process, incontinence could indicate a more serious issue such as a urinary tract infection or dementia. Gastrointestinal (GI) issues are also common in senior dogs. These are indicated by vomiting and diarrhea and can point to kidney disease if they happen often. Visiting a vet sooner rather than later can save the pet from trouble.
Aging dogs are susceptible to obesity as well, and it elevates the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. It makes sense to go the extra mile with health checkups and canine care at this age because timely action can prolong the lifespan of your pet.