Dogs are also getting old, and today we want to talk a little about some common health problems in older dogs.
The aging process in dogs does not differ significantly from that of humans. As they get older, they begin to experience a number of changes in their body, which can lead to changes in their daily routine and temperament.
Physical changes in older dogs
Understanding the typical physical changes that the dog will undergo as it gets older will allow you to adjust your diet and exercise routine so that it gets exactly what it needs.
It’s the least we can do considering everything they do for us during their lifetime.
Dogs retain much of their vitality and energy when they grow up. The aging process is not quite as gradual as ours.
Old age actually comes late for dogs. It appears suddenly, and it is almost as if you can see obvious signs appear overnight.
When it comes to health problems in older dogs, the most common is osteoarthritis – a rheumatic disease that damages the articular cartilage. This leads to joint pain, stiffness and loss of mobility.
As a result, the animal will not be able to move as fast or smoothly as before.
Osteoarthritis is more common in dogs that are overweight and those who spend a lot of time with high-intensity physical activity. Both of these factors wear a lot on the joints. This causes the legs to rub against each other painfully.
Dogs suffering from this condition will have difficulty maintaining their normal pace of walking. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that they do not even want to go out.
You can notice changes in how they move. They often keep their legs stiff when they walk and move less naturally than before. This is often more noticeable when walking up stairs.
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, the best way to counteract joint pain is to make sure the dog engages in moderate exercise to keep it in good shape. It is also important to take care of the weight so that the joints are not stressed.
2. Heart disease in older dogs
Heart condition is another common health problem in older dogs. These often involve the valves, which are the part of the heart that is most at risk of suffering from degenerative changes over the years.
This often means that the heart cannot pump around the blood in the body as efficiently as it should, which in turn can lead to other serious health problems.
The blood flow from the atrium to the ventricle is not as efficient because the valve that separates them does not work properly. Over time , this inadequacy can lead to heart failure, which can be fatal.
One of the main symptoms your veterinarian will look for to diagnose at an early stage is abnormally high heart rate. This happens when the heart tries to compensate and make the blood flow normally.
3. Dental problems in older dogs
Dental problems are one of the most common problems in older dogs. As with humans, they can have a variety of oral problems, so it’s important to keep an eye on them.
The type of diet your pet eats during its lifetime will make a big difference to the condition of its teeth. Eating too much wet food will, for example, lead to the accumulation of plaque and in the long run lead to infection and tooth loss.
When too much tartar and plaque accumulates, it leads to gum disease and a series of other problems in the mouth. This in turn can cause infections and other serious problems.
Taking good care of your pet’s teeth from an early age is the best way to avoid future problems. It is also important to provide them with a nutritious, balanced diet.