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An Overview of the Most Common Old Dog Diseases
When discussing geriatric diseases, it’s best to ask the question, “What the heck is a geriatric dog?” After all, some diseases are more often referred to as geriatric dog diseases than others.
“Old” can mean different things depending on the breed, but usually starts around 10 years old. As a dog ages, its behavior changes. The signs of aging in dogs are very similar to those in humans. For example, older dogs have reduced energy levels. They sleep longer, show less enthusiasm for energetic activities, and don’t play as much as they used to. Older dogs also experience coat and skin changes (fur becomes more frequent, wounds take longer to heal, and older dogs are often more sensitive to temperature extremes). Of course, older dogs experience changes in vision and hearing, making it difficult to navigate the house at times.
Now, there are other, more serious diseases that older dogs are prone to. These include cancer, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes. Let’s look at each in more detail.
cancer is a tragic disease that spreads surprisingly quickly among humans and pets. Symptoms include abnormal growths under the skin and swelling that doesn’t go away. Cancer may also manifest through bleeding or bloody discharge (from the eyes, mouth, ears, or any other opening). This, combined with difficulty eating, breathing, urinating, or defecating, can be a symptom of cancer in older dogs.
Another common disease is arthritis。 Although not as life-threatening as cancer, arthritis in older dogs can be a debilitating disease that takes away much of your pet’s enjoyment of life. Symptoms include trouble getting out of bed, stiffness, irritability, or withdrawal. You may also notice your older dog’s muscles atrophy as activity levels decline.
kidney disease It is also common in older dogs. If you notice increased thirst, increased urination, and weight loss, your dog may have renal insufficiency. Vomiting and blood in the urine or poo are serious symptoms, and if you notice them, contact your veterinarian immediately. Of course, these symptoms could be caused by one of many diseases in older dogs, including inflammatory bowel disease or bladder stones. Again, see a veterinarian immediately.
diabetes It’s common in humans, but it’s also common in dogs. You may notice increased thirst and urination, weight loss, weakness, and increased levels of lethargy and depression in your diabetic dog. Diabetes can be fatal if left untreated. Canine diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with insulin injections.
at last, cataract It is also common in older dogs. The eyes become clouded and the dog is unable to navigate around objects and stops retrieving objects. Be aware, however, that all older dogs will have gray eyes due to hardening of the lens. Generally speaking, this will not affect the eyesight of older dogs. Cataracts, however, are a more serious condition that can eventually lead to vision loss.Like humans, canine cataracts can be treated with surgery
An aging dog will usually suffer some loss in energy and mobility like an older person. Helping your companion get through as he gets older means being extra patient and kind to him. Give him more time to sleep and more time to wake up in the morning.Understand that long walks may not be that long
up. Make it easier for him to reach food, get outside when nature calls, and provide a comfortable place to rest.
And keep an eye out for symptoms of older dog diseases to which your pet is more susceptible, such as cancer and diabetes. Your dog will live longer and provide you with many more years of loving companionship.
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