5 Health Issues in Dogs That Appear With Age
Dogs, like people, become more susceptible to certain health problems as they grow older. As they age, their bodies become increasingly weakened. They begin to lose muscle mass, gain weight, sleep more, and experience a drop in their energy levels. All of this, as well as certain genetic and biological factors, can contribute to a variety of unpleasant health problems, such as arthritis and cognitive dysfunction.
In the following piece, we’ll go through these and other ailments that affect dogs as they age. We’ll talk about cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as how to avoid and treat them. Continue reading, educate yourself on the subject, and ensure that your pet remains healthy and happy for as long as possible.
Arthritis is a condition that’s commonly seen in older dogs. It’s a degenerative disease that causes pain and inflammation in the joints, which can lead to the loss of mobility. Symptoms include limping, stiffness, and difficulty moving. Dogs with arthritis often have trouble getting up from a sitting or lying position.
The condition is caused by the loss of cartilage that occurs in the joints. This leads to bones rubbing together and causing irritation and swelling. The condition typically affects dogs that are overweight, but it can also occur in any dog.
Symptoms typically worsen as dogs age, but they can also develop later on. Treatment includes over-the-counter pain medication, joint supplements, and possibly steroids – but you are also free to try some natural remedies for arthritis in dogs. Surgery is sometimes necessary in severe cases. Talk to your veterinarian about treatment options if your dog shows symptoms of arthritis.
Some types of cancer are more common in older dogs than others. Some of those include bone cancer, skin cancer, and lymphoma, as well as mast cell tumors, hemangiosarcomas, and liver cancer.
Treatment for cancer will depend on the type and severity of the disease. It may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy, among other things. Follow your vet’s instructions closely to ensure that your dog receives proper treatment. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as lumps, bumps, or lesions. If they appear, don’t delay seeking treatment; the earlier your catch the problem, the easier it will be to deal with.
3. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS)
Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), also known as dog dementia, is a condition that affects older dogs. It’s characterized by changes in cognitive ability, including confusion, disorientation, and memory loss. They may exhibit signs such as barking at nothing or pacing around aimlessly.
CDS is fairly common in older dogs, affecting about 30% to 40% of them. It affects males more than females and typically develops around age 10 or 11. It has no cure, but it can be managed with medication and careful supervision. Keep an eye on your dog for symptoms of CDS, so you have ample time to get it to the doctor for treatment if necessary.
4. Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus affects about 5% to 10% of older dogs, though it can also occur in younger pets if they become overweight or obese. In diabetes mellitus – or type 2 diabetes – blood sugar levels become elevated due to a lack of insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Insulin is needed to convert sugar into energy.
Symptoms include increased thirst and urination, vomiting, weight loss, and lethargy. It can lead to serious health problems if left untreated for a long time. Dogs with diabetes mellitus should get insulin shots regularly to manage their condition.
5. Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the most common ailments that affect older dogs along with kidney disease and cancer. It’s characterized by damage to the heart muscle or narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle due to plaque buildup or other conditions that block blood flow.
Symptoms may include coughing, coughing up blood, breathing problems when lying down or after exercise, fainting spells, irregular heartbeat, or weakness when exercising or playing hard.
To treat heart disease, you’ll need to reduce stressors on your pet’s heart (such as excitement around other pets), stop feeding it fatty and salty foods, increase exercise frequency, and monitor how much it eats each day.
You may also need to have your dog undergo surgery if its condition worsens or if it has difficulty breathing due to heart disease. Make sure your pet gets regular checkups from a vet so a specialist can monitor its progress over time – so treatment can be adjusted as needed to address this condition effectively.
Dogs of any age can succumb to various illnesses, but as they grow older, they become more susceptible to them. This is something you should be aware of if you have a dog that you love.
Take the time to educate yourself on common canine health problems and how to detect them before they worsen. If you keep an eye out for symptoms, you’ll be able to get your dog the treatment he needs and make it easier for him to live a longer, happier life.