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.