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Joint Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteochondritis (OCD)
  • Stiffness/Inflammation
  • Ligament Tears
  • Growing Pains
  • Mobility Problems
  • Joint Pain
  • Back/Spinal Problems
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

Symptoms

Is your pet becoming less active, less playful, or desiring shorter walks? The following symptoms could be early signs of OCD, Arthritis or Hip Dysplasia.

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Weight shift to another leg
  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Posts Tagged ‘dogs and heart disease’

Older Dogs Health Problems

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Older dogs health problems can start occurring as soon as a dog is eight to ten years old, depending upon the breed of the animal. The most common health issues in older dogs include arthritis, heart disease, dental problems, and diabetes.

Arthritis is one of the most common medical conditions that affects older dogs. About one in every five pet dogs will develop some form of arthritis during its lifetime. And like arthritis in humans, arthritis in dogs cannot be cured. The good news is that arthritis in dogs is not inevitably hopeless. There are effective treatments on the market today that can help ease your dog’s symptoms, allowing your pet to live a longer, active life.

There are several causes for arthritis in dogs. The condition can be genetic, as is the case with hip dysplasia, and it can also develop as the result of an infection or an immune disorder that affects the dog’s joints.

Symptoms of arthritis in dogs include: weight gain not caused by excessive overeating, sleeping much more than usual, a decreased interest in playing or going on walks, favoring one leg more than the others, hesitancy climbing or going down stairs, acting less alert, having a lot of difficulty standing, and appearing to suffer from pain in the joints.

If the arthritis is not severe and advanced to the point that your dog cannot walk at all without the aid of braces or a wheelchair, the best thing you can do for your pet is to put it on a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own dog. For over 20 years this proven formula has been bringing relief from pain and stiffness to all breeds and ages of dogs.

Older dogs are very susceptible to the development of heart disease, including heart attacks, strokes, and congestive heart failure. Serious heart problems occur more frequently in overweight dogs. An older dog’s diet needs to be low in carbohydrates and fats, and it needs a moderate exercise program so it will be less likely to develop a heart condition.

After a dog reaches the age of 3 or 4 it will often develop dental problems. This happens when a dog doesn’t receive proper dental hygiene during its younger years. Adding kibble to a dog’s canned food diet will help keep its teeth and gums healthy. The slight tooth abrasion offered by dry dog food cannot be achieved when a dog eats a diet consisting solely of soft or wet food.

Plaque deposits on a dog’s teeth can easily turn into tartar which can’t be removed by simple brushing. Tartar buildup is the beginning of gum and periodontal disease. A dog with periodontal disease is susceptible to other internal health problems because bacteria can easily enter the dog’s system through its receding gums. Some dog chew treats have abrasive surfaces that help remove plaque deposits and keep a dog’s teeth healthy.

Some older dogs’ health problems include a lack of control over their bladder and they will urinate in the house. In addition to being caused by aging, urinating (or defecating) in the house may also be an indication of a urinary infection or some other medical condition like colitis, hormonal imbalance, kidney problems or diabetes.

Older dogs are more susceptible to developing diabetes, especially a dog that is obese. Diabetes is caused by an increased level of glucose in the blood that the body is unable to properly assimilate. A dog may need insulin shots or other prescription medicine to manage the diabetes.

Older dogs can also have hearing or vision problems just as older humans often do. If you are responsible for an older dog you need to be aware of the serious problems that can affect a dog’s health simply because it has grown old.

Why Older Dogs Need Expert Vet Care

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Seeing that your aging dog receives regular expert vet care is vital in maintaining its good health. Regular checkups and preventive veterinary care can add years to the life of an older dog.

Many pet dogs are living longer lives due to early diagnosis of diseases and quicker treatments. Early intervention in a disease means the dog has a better chance of recovering and living a longer life. Most veterinary clinics and animal hospitals have special preventive care programs for older dogs. These programs may go under the moniker of “geriatric wellness programs,” or “senior care programs.” These exams usually include blood tests, urine tests, stool tests, and x-rays.

A dog’s health is partly determined by the health of its parents when conception occurred. The rest is up to the dog’s owner. A dog should have the necessary vaccinations, proper nutrition, good dental care, heartworm prevention, and other professional vet care during its life because all of these will have a direct bearing on a dog’s health as it ages. The healthier a dog is while growing up, the better its chances of being healthy as it grows older.

Appointments with a veterinarian usually include measuring the dog’s weight each visit. Any rapid or unexplained weight gain or weight loss is often the first sign of disease. Regular visits to the vet should be a part of every dog’s health care. It’s also very important to follow the vet’s recommendations on the proper feeding of older dogs. This helps ensure the dog is receiving the correct nutrition as it ages, and assists in preventing obesity which is one of the most common and preventable diseases in older dogs.

Older dogs should receive regular physical exams. How often these exams should be given depends a lot on the health of the dog; but older dogs, no matter their health status, should be examined by a vet at least once a year. Some older dogs who are diagnosed with health problems will need more visits with the veterinarian.

A physical assessment of the dog will include an examination of the mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, and throat. A rectal exam is also a part of the examination of an aging dog. The veterinarian will examine the inner pelvic area, the lining of the colon, check the dog’s lymph nodes, and the prostate in male dogs.

The physical exam will also include checking the dog’s skin and ears for ticks, fleas, or mites. Heartworm prevention is another important treatment for dogs of all ages but more so for aging dogs. Heartworm medications are available at all pet stores so it’s not difficult to prevent this disease.

If a dog shows any warning signs of heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease, X-rays will need to be taken. When a dog grows older and is still healthy, an X-ray of its chest and abdomen should be taken in case the dog later develops signs of disease. An X-ray taken when the dog was in good health can be compared to a new X-ray and will be valuable in diagnosing any symptoms the dog exhibits.

Owners of senior dogs should understand that the immune system of an older dog is not as strong as it was when the dog was younger, so it’s imperative that an aging dog be kept up-to-date on its vaccinations.

The problem of trying to control an animal’s pain must be handled by the vet. There are medications available that can help relieve pain in older dogs and make their lives a little more comfortable.

Older dogs need expert vet care to help prevent disease and to diagnose any health problems that can be treated and cured with the proper care. A veterinarian is the best partner a dog owner can have for keeping their dog healthy and making its senior years pleasurable.

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