7 Most Common Issues for Old Dogs
Dogs are man’s best friend, and we love them more than anything. And, as a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure the quality of life for your pet is the best you can possibly give them – and health is a massive component of this. Physical health goes hand in hand with emotional balance in dogs, and the following is a list of the most common problems dogs face, especially later in life. Whether or not you want to investigate a certain issue you’ve noticed in your pet, or simply want to gain knowledge in this area to help in the future, to confidently assure yourself of your pet’s health, this is a goldmine of helpful information.
This is a sad truth for a lot of dogs who don’t get the correct nutrition in their daily lives. The occasional treat is fine, and a great motivation tool during training, but feeding your dog too much indulgent material will not do any favours for their health – and neither will feeding them nutritionally weak meals. Being obese can lead to a whole host of health issues in the long term, such as putting pressure on their joints, compromising their cardiovascular health, and increasing the fatty tissue around their organs which can have a chain effect to more serious conditions. If your dog is gaining weight seemingly without reason, this could be a symptom of another more serious underlying condition. If you are having trouble knowing which food to buy, consult your vet (who will often have pet food available for purchase which is the healthiest option for your dog).
Cancer can happen at any age and in any condition of health, such is the nature of spontaneous mutations. However, they do become more of a risk in older dogs especially, who tend to develop different types of bumps and lumps as they age. Be sure to check your dog in various petting sessions to ascertain if new bumps have formed or if existing ones have changed shape, as this can be a sign of cancer and needs to be checked out immediately by a professional. Don’t panic though! Usually, these bumps turn out to be warts, moles or benign tumours which do not mean that your pet has cancer. It is always better to be safe than sorry, however, and sometimes (though not often) it is a good idea to have some of these skin abnormalities removed, so consult your vet.
3. Cancer (again!)
This condition needs a second warning, as symptoms can manifest in other ways besides changes on the skin (which are the easiest to perceive). This is because different cancers (blood, brain, skin etc.,) have different symptoms, and some of these symptoms are so minor that they can be easy to dismiss. However, the sooner cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat, so it may be in the best interests of both owner and dog to have routine overall wellness checks organised in a regular timeframe. The treatment and cost of cancer management will depend on the type of cancer your dog has, so be sure to check in with your vet and have an open line of communication.
Many dogs will contract arthritis during the course of their lives, and just like in humans these conditions are not necessarily life-threatening, but can become irritating sources of discomfort in their daily lives. Arthritis is when the joints in your body change or become damaged, and the connecting bones begin to rub together which can be very sore with continued movements. This is especially prevalent in weight-bearing joints, such as at the hips and knees, and can cause a loss of lubricating fluids, the cushioning tissue, and in some cases, change the shape of the bone itself.
If you’re looking for the best joint supplements for dogs, YuMove offers a selection of joint supplements to help combat the loss or deterioration of cartilage, to prevent the pain and suffering arthritis can cause in dogs. Their products are a specifically formulated joint aid for dogs, and as arthritis is a progressive disease, which tends to get worse with age, YuMove’s products contain glucosamine (a component of cartilage) to help stop the condition in its tracks.
5. Kidney Issues
As dogs age, the kidneys can become less effective in their function which can create problems in your pet’s overall health. It is fairly common for older pups to develop a form of kidney disease, and this is usually a gradual process which can take some time to fully show symptoms. These symptoms can include: increased or unnatural thirst and frequency of urination, loss of appetite, nausea and fatigue. It can begin as simple renal inefficiency, but if left untreated, it can progress into renal failure. Though there is no certain cure for kidney disease (which is why it needs to be caught early), fortunately there are many options to manage the condition and prevent it from worsening. A common way to manage kidney disease is to switch diets onto a prescription kidney diet – this is a less invasive, easy way to keep your dog as healthy as possible.
6. Becoming Deaf
Lots of dogs lose their hearing, especially in their older days. This normally occurs because of the degeneration of nerves associated with aural interpretation, and the process is gradual and can occur over years. This is why it can be difficult to spot at first, although in most cases there are no treatments available to stop the deterioration of hearing. Rest assured, however, that this is a condition which does not stop dogs from enjoying a high quality of life. You will have a lot of time as an owner to adapt, and we recommend beginning to use visual cues to communicate with your pet, like hand signals or presenting objects like a lead or food bowl.
7. Becoming Blind
Just like hearing may deteriorate with time, the same thing can happen with eyesight, though some will find this harder to manage. Nerve degeneration around the eye can cause sight loss, though usually this will happen over a course of time and you will begin to notice as your dog may bump into things more frequently and not recognise people or objects until they are very close. Make sure that if your dog suffers from sight issues, you keep them on a lead at all times during a walk unless they are very familiar with their surroundings. Be wary of traffic, as your dog may not see a car, bus or cyclist until it’s too late and could potentially be involved in an accident. Fortunately, dogs can adapt well to lives without sight, with keen smell and hearing.
Dogs are unable to communicate exactly when there’s something wrong, and many won’t even understand the changes that may be occurring. This is why it is so important to stay vigilant and give your dog the care and attention it deserves as your life-long companion. If you suspect your pet is sick, always take them to a professional vet, and for further in-depth questions, you can contact them over the phone or email. It’s best to keep your vet informed of your dog’s health, as their history can be recorded as a useful tool in future diagnostics should the need arise.