# 6 What to Expect with an Aging Dog Senior Dogs = More Housework. Some dogs lose the ability to know they have to go to the bathroom. Technically speaking, many of these dogs aren’t “seniors” in the veterinary sense of the term, but to many prospective adopters they are … Exercise helps dogs poop, not necessarily fiber. She has always been our farm dog , always in the go , always in the middle of our family gatherings, running through the middle of our crickey games or sliding down the waterslide with the kids at Xmas time. Dr. Cathy: Senior dogs should have a checkup every six months. Best of luck to you in using natural, nutritious foods to care for your Corgi. Within 3 days I no longer had to carry her up the stairs and she could finish a whole walk without every having to be carried home. Always the cat lady, I have been learning so much about dogs lately and your hub really expands upon and confirms some of the doggy data I have heard. First of all, you may have specific concerns about your dog and questions you need to have answered. Now she is finding it hard to see , hear and differentiate night to day and is barking at the sky or the wall. Judy Specht from California on September 23, 2014: Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on July 03, 2014: Hello Aaron...I'm so sorry for your loss! A senior dog’s behavior changes can depend on the canine’s underlying health. Animal chiropractic and elk velvet antler can work wonders on the arthritic dog. Even after they get comfortable, many dogs appreciate an open crate or special hiding spot that is “theirs.” Your newly adopted senior dog may watch you like a hawk for the first few days. Cloudy or “bluish” eyes – As they age, dog’s eyes often show a bluish transparent “haze” in the pupil area. Vetstreet. And there are many things you can do to help ensure she remains in the best health possible. She has earned her rest, so let sleeping dogs lie. Just like humans, as dogs' age, they begin to move slower. Dr. Cathy: First, we check the dog's mental abilities by observing how he or she processes everyone in the room. A straight linear multiplier was once used to convert people years into dog years, but that was never really accurate. Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…. it is very difficult to overcome his death... i guess what i'm trying to say here is mostly for those of you who don't have a dog but considering getting one- don't do that if you don't think you can cope the day he will be leaving tour family... i don't think i'll ever have another dog, the sense of loss was just to much the first time.. Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on June 29, 2014: Thanks, Chatkat, for reading and commenting on this hub, especially since you mention you are a cat person rather than a dog person. All rights reserved. Thanks for publishing such a well organized and complete piece on a topic that commands attention! Another cause of behavior changes can be pain, which can make your dog more reclusive or aggressive. Minimum database testing–Depending on your dog’s individual age and circumstances, your veterinarian may recommend routine laboratory testing (often called minimum database testing) even if your dog appears healthy on the outside. Such behavior canbe due to anxiety, or to cognitive dysfunction syndrome; a condition resembling Alzheimer's disease in humans. Small breeds live the longest and their owners can expect their dogs to live up to 18 years. By Trevor Hurlbut (Flickr: noah (1 of 1)) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Your veterinarian can help you determine if such events are the result of a medical condition. Cherished Companions says that you might be given antibiotics to battle infections. Dogs are an important part of our lives, senior dogs are special in many ways and thanks to owner awareness of quality diets, healthcare and dog safety, they are living longer. Swimming in a heated pool is also an excellent way to maintain joint mobility. What are some of the most common health problems of senior dogs? Sadie began the BARF diet around age 9. Dr. Cathy: Sadly, the larger the breed is, the shorter the lifespan is. Walter J. Pilsak, Waldsassen (Publisher) under CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Walter J. Pilsak, Waldsassen (Publisher). While this information is periodically researched and updated (under the guidance of veterinary input) in the attempt to be timely and factual, no guarantee is given the information is correct, complete, and/or up-to-date. As your beloved dog enters his senior years, you should be prepared for certain changes that might occur in your dog’s health. Some dogs lose the ability to know they have to go to the bathroom. While it's expected for dogs to move a little slower as they age, still discuss any changes with your vet. Dr. Cathy: Some typical health issues for geriatric dogs are. Carbohydrates lead to weight gain, which is the last thing an older dog needs. There are simply some problems that are statistically more likely to occur as your dog gets older; things like organ failure, cancer, arthritis and cognitive disorders. She has a strong heart still. However, adopting an older dog is a noble thing to do and by adopting an older dog you can give them a great last few years of their life. This is a normal effect of aging, and the medical term for this is lenticular sclerosis. Only your veterinarian can accurately assess your dog's needs. Liver failure means diet and medication. Most of the older age diagnoses are not end of life sentences. What can I expect during my dog’s senior checkup? Olde… Reply. And remember, even though dogs at this age may need more rest, exercise is still important. As your dog ages, her senses begin to wane, and she can become increasingly anxious about her surroundings. If we catch illness early, there is a chance we can provide a better quality of life as long as possible. Knowing all such details is important. mhikl from Calgary, Canada on February 12, 2015: My Corgi Pem turned 14, 2015 Jan 20, and though her hearing is decreasing she can hear my loud high whistles. Things that weren’t issues before may become so, such as separation anxiety (even to the point of being anxious at night because you’re asleep and not alert to them), visitors entering the home, interacting with new dogs, new noise phobias or simply acting more irritated or agitated than usual. Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on June 24, 2014: Thank you, eirevet, for reading and voting on this hub on dog health! Powered by Brightspot. Old dogs aren’t obnoxious or high-maintenance, and they’re usually house-trained. What signs alert pet parents that their dogs are becoming seniors? Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? This veterinary medical information is based on information provided during a telephone interview with a professional, qualified, retired veterinarian. Being welcomed into a new home is a big change for a senior dog, especially if they’re coming from a shelter. Other … If you’re reading this article, this might be your first question. Voted up and useful. Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog. All rights reserved. Is my dog a senior? Year two for a dog equals about nine more years for a human. What are some of the most common health problems of senior dogs? Exercise helps your senior pet maintain a healthy body weight, and it helps slow the degeneration of joints from arthritis. Diet is not as complicated as pet food companies want us to think. 4. (See table below for some examples of breeds with long life spans.). Some senior dogs continue to behave like puppies and, other than a white muzzle, are indistinguishable from younger dogs. Everyday Issues for Owners of Giant Breed Dogs, How to Keep Your Senior Dog Mentally and Physically Sharp. Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Depending on medical history and findings of the physical exam, other tests may be recommended, such as radiographs (X-rays) or ultrasounds of her abdomen to evaluate her internal organs, or similar studies of the heart and lungs. Waking up from naps may involve some painful stretching and limping, and that once handsome brown muzzle is now grey with age. Graying muzzles are one of the signs of any aging dog. Supervision, regular potty breaks and even doggie diapers can all help, but again it will take effort and patience to overcome this problem. Sometimes, the changes are signs of underlying medical problems; other times, they are simply evidence of aging. Some dogs end up with bladder infections. Should aging dogs continue to receive vaccinations on a regular basis? It seems there is something in ‘raw’ as opposed to cooked ligaments, etc. Bill Harrison under CreativeCommons license via Flickr, Dr. Cathy: Vaccinations do protect young dogs from disease; studies show the protection from vaccines last many years. Allow your dog access to the outdoors for potty breaks more frequently. More Laundry. If your senior dog is not crate trained, don’t force it now, but do place a bed in a quiet corner where he can feel safe. It sounds like you did the best you could with the information you had. Which breeds have the shortest life spans? Read on to find out what you can expect when adopting a senior dog. I want my little girl to last at least another 3 years (to age 17); then I shall be ready to say good-bye. We've been using bone broth for ourselves but I had not thought about giving it to my Chihuahua. Help reduce her stress by keeping such changes to a minimum. Your veterinarian also may want to perform other screening tests, as well as examining her urine and stool. No one likes to admit it, but this is the twilight of your dog’s life. Another thing to keep in mind: when you have a senior dog, you may need to give her an extra boost to get up. What Are Typical Senior Dog Behavior Changes? therefore, your vet will be giving you pain killers. We love her so much but maybe the time has come to put her to gentle sleep . © 2001-2020  Other common signs of pain include excessive panting, reluctance to move and suddenly being picky about food. Even though your dog is getting older, he or she may still enjoy a short romp or roll. For example, carefully consider any boarding, as such a big change in her surroundings could cause unneeded stress. What issues are most important to you, and how can your veterinarian support you and your dog as she approaches the final stages of her life?
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