Common health problems in older dogs
If you are wondering is your dog old then this may help — dogs are usually considered to have reached senior status at age seven. But this does depend on the breed of your dog. Small breed dogs are not truly senior for another couple of years, where giant breeds are already quite geriatric. In this article we will provide you with links to some useful articles on problems that older dogs may suffer & also guidance on changes to look out for in your dog’s health as they hit their older years.
As they age, there are a number of different problems which dogs may succumb to. Some of these are conditions that can be spotted at home and others may require a visit to the vet. Commonly, older dogs are more prone to the following:
- Dental disease
- Canine cognitive dysfunction (dementia)
- Vestibular disease (stroke)
Other conditions including kidney disease, hypothyroidism, heart disease and diabetes can also be more likely in the senior years but the symptoms of these can be a bit more difficult to spot.
What changes should I look out for as my dog ages?
Ensuring your dog has regular health checks with your vet will often pick up problems in the early stages (which is always better) but it is important to know what changes you should be looking for in your dog. If you notice any of the following symptoms then it’s best to make a quick trip to the vet:
- Drinking excessively for more than a couple of days
- Regular vomiting or persistent diarrhoea
- Unexplained weight loss
- A persistent cough
- Behavioural changes
What else should I do to maintain my dog’s health?
Regular worming and flea treatment are still required, along with yearly booster vaccinations. Your vet may also recommend a senior diet for your dog.