Senior dogs require a lot of care as the ‘things’ that often cause poor health in senior dogs are usually hard to spot—especially because they may be hiding or have only recently developed symptoms. These are just some of the common health complaints in senior dogs that you can watch out for so you can make sure your dog is getting the proper care. Heart, kidney, and liver disease, cancer, and arthritis are all more likely in older dogs.
Cancer in Senior Dogs
Cancer is responsible for nearly half of all pet deaths over the age of ten. Cancer is defined as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells; however, there are many different types of cancer and they can occur anywhere in the body. The type and location of the disease will determine the symptoms. As a result, it’s critical to keep a close eye on your senior dog’s physical health and behavior and to report anything out of the ordinary to your veterinarian.
Symptoms Of Cancer
- Strange lumps and bumps.
- Open wounds or sores that do not heal
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- noxious odour
- A decrease in stamina or a lack of interest in exercise and play.
- Breathing and toileting difficulties
Cataract, One of the Common Health Complaints in Senior Dogs
It is also normal for older dogs, like humans, to lose some of their sight and hearing. Cataracts can develop in older dogs. Dogs with low vision or even blindness can navigate familiar environments. Avoid rearranging or adding furniture or other items that could become obstacles if your dog’s eyesight is failing.
Symptoms Of Cataracts in Dogs
- Changes in pupil size or shape, as well as changes in eye color
- Pupils that are cloudy in one or both eyes
- Difficulty seeing in low-light situations
- Unwillingness to climb or jump
- Scratching or rubbing the eyes
- Signs of vision loss include bumping into furniture or failing to recognize familiar faces.
- Uncertain footing, misjudged distances, or a peculiar, high-stepping walk
- Eyes that are wet
Arthritis in Older Dogs
Arthritis is a common condition in older dogs. A dog’s interest in chasing a ball at the park may wane as he ages, and he may find it difficult to jump onto his favorite chair or into the family car. When you try to pet a dog with arthritis, he may become depressed or irritated.
Symptoms Of Arthritis in Elderly Dogs
- Instability, lameness, limping, or difficulty rising
- Weight gain due to a lack of desire to run, jump, or play
- Irritability or behavioral changes Pain when petted or touched
- Difficulty urinating or defecating, or having accidents in the house Loss of muscle mass in the limbs and spine
Senior Dogs and Health Compaints of Obesity
Excess weight in an elderly dog raises the risk of arthritis, breathing difficulties, insulin resistance or diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin problems, cancer, and other conditions.
Symptoms Of Obesity
- parents who are unable to see or feel their dog’s ribs, spine, or waistline
- abdominal sagging a larger, rounder face
- a reluctance to go for walks or lag behind
- excessive panting tiredness needing assistance getting in and out of cars
- a refusal to move or engage in games
Urinary Incontinence And Kidney Disease in Older Dogs
Many older dogs develop urinary incontinence, which is a loss of bladder control. The muscles that control the bladder’s opening frequently weaken, causing the dog to leak urine during the night, dribble while walking, or be unable to hold it as long as they used to. There are medications available to help tighten the muscles.
Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence And Kidney Disease
- Dripping urine is the most obvious sign that your dog is incontinent.
- The dripping may cause irritation and redness on the skin.
- You might also notice your dog licking their penis or vulva more frequently than usual.
Reference: American Kennel Club