Just like people, dogs age. When dogs reach their golden years, dog owners must take care to consider the inevitable change in health conditions. In order to provide dogs with the best care possible, there are several important health issues of which owners should be aware:
1. Arthritis. If the dog seems to be walking, running, or rising up and sitting down more slowly than usual, have the dog examined by a veterinarian for arthritis. This is common in larger dogs, but may affect smaller breeds as well.
2. Obesity. While dogs can develop obesity at any age, it is more likely to happen as dogs age. Obesity does not just affect weight, but can lead to other complications, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems.
3. Deafness. If the dog seems to be responding less to name calls or seems more “out of touch” than usual, the dog may be developing deafness. Veterinarians can perform tests to determine whether or not a dog is going deaf.
4. Incontinence. Just like aging humans, dogs can lose their ability to “hold it in” as they get older. This may require more frequent trips out for bathroom breaks.
Some other more major health issues include kidney disease, growths, tumors, and cancer. Since these problems may not be visibly detectable, it is a good idea to schedule several veterinarian exams a year in order to catch problems as early as possible.
About Elmhurst Animal Care Center: A veterinary clinic, Elmhurst Animal Care Center is dedicated to providing the best health services available to a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, and other animals.