Old Dog Health Issues Pet Owners Should Know About
Every single dog owner wants his best friend to live a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, just as with humans, when dogs age there are different health issues that appear. Based on dog breeds there are some that are more common than others. Because of this, it is really important to know as much as possible about your dog. Really good St Petersburg Florida veterinarians can help you out and the internet is a great source of information for you.
Besides the health problems that are normally connected with specific dog breeds, others are normally common with all dogs. As your dog ages, the following health conditions are most likely to develop.
Bone And Joint Issues
Out of all the health conditions that appear as dogs age, arthritis is the most common one. It is a painful joint inflammation that will create a high degree of discomfort. Dogs normally end up slowing down and will constantly decrease activity levels.
As the dog starts to move less and exercise less, obesity tends to develop. Meal reductions are necessary in order to counter this. The problem is that discomfort and pain will normally not disappear. As time passes, it is necessary to use anti-inflammatory drugs. The veterinarian can offer that.
Older dogs can experience joint problems and bone problems like intervertebral disk disease. In this situation, a part of the disk will protrude upward.
Really common vision problems that dogs experience when they age are glaucoma, cataracts and nuclear sclerosis. Glaucoma and cataracts will eventually lead to blindness. There is no pain that is associated with cataracts, so no serious treatment is normally offered. Surgery tends to be recommended when dogs develop blindness in both eyes due to cataracts.
With glaucoma, the pain the dog will feel can be substantial. Blindness is common. Common signs that dogs suffer from glaucoma include excessive tearing, bright areas being avoided and eyes kept closed.
Older dogs often become overweight because activity levels are lowered. Dogs carry extra weight and this could easily result in various different extra problems. The digestive tract and the circulatory system can be affected besides the common joint problems that are seen.
The dog owner needs to be sure that food amounts provided are lowered in order to deal with the lower activity level. Calories eaten should not be as many as in the past. At the same time, the diet that is in place should be one that is suitable for a senior dog.
The conditions we talked about are very common but this does not mean others cannot appear. Always go to the vet based on the schedule that is recommended. The doctor has to check the pet and see what the current health level is. As something develops, you can treat it during the early phase, which is definitely what is highly recommended with all conditions. Develop a good relationship with the vet, one based on trust so that you can be sure you will make the best decisions for the pet you love.
Filed under: Dog Care
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