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An Overview of the Most Common Old Dog Diseases
When discussing the diseases of old dogs, it is always good to ask the question, “What exactly is an old dog?” After all, some diseases are much more commonly known as old dog diseases than others.
Depending on the breed, the meaning of “old” can vary, but it usually starts around 10 years. As a dog ages, its behavior also changes. The signs of aging in a dog are very similar to those of humans. For example, old dogs have reduced energy levels. They sleep longer, have less enthusiasm for energetic activities, and don’t play as much as before. Older dogs also have skin and skin changes (fur becomes more frequent, wounds take longer to heal, and older dogs are generally more sensitive to temperature extremes). And, of course, older dogs experience changes in vision and hearing, making it difficult at times to navigate around the house.
Now, there are other more serious diseases that old dogs are prone to. These include cancer, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes. Let’s look at each one in more detail.
Cancer it is a tragic disease that can move surprisingly quickly, in people and in animals. Symptoms include abnormal growths under the skin, as well as pimples that won’t go away. Cancer can also manifest through bleeding or a discharge of blood (from the eyes, mouth, ears, or any other opening). This, combined with difficulty eating, breathing, urinating or pooping, can be symptoms of cancer in old dogs.
Another common problem is arthritis. Although not as life-threatening as cancer, arthritis in older dogs can be a debilitating disease that robs your pet of much of life’s enjoyment. Symptoms include difficulty rising, stiffness, irritability or loneliness. You may also notice that your old dog’s muscles are atrophied as their activity level decreases.
Kidney disease it is also common among old dogs. If you notice an increased thirst, urination, accompanied by weight loss, your dog may be suffering from kidney failure. Vomiting and blood in the urine or poop are serious symptoms, and if you notice them, contact your veterinarian immediately. Of course, these symptoms could be caused by one of the many diseases of old dogs, including inflammatory bowel disease or bladder stones. Again, see a vet right away.
Diabetes it is common among people, but it is also common among dogs. You may notice increased thirst and urination, weight loss, weakness, and increased levels of lethargy and depression in a diabetic dog. Diabetes, if not treated, can be fatal. There is no cure for canine diabetes, but it can be controlled with insulin injections.
At last, cataract they are also common in older dogs. The eyes become cloudy, the dog is not able to navigate around the objects, and stop retrieving the objects. Note, however, that all old dogs develop a graying of the eyes which is due to a hardening of the lens. In general, this does not affect the ability to see the old dog. However, cataracts are a more serious condition that can eventually lead to vision loss. As in humans, canine cataracts can be treated with surgery
An old dog usually suffers some loss of energy and mobility, like an old man. Helping your partner through aging means treating them with extra patience and kindness. Give him more time to sleep, and more time to wake up in the morning. Realize that long walks may not be so long
no longer. Make it easier for him to reach his food, go outside when nature calls, and provide comfortable resting places.
And keep an eye out for symptoms of diseases in older dogs, such as cancer and diabetes, that your pet may be more susceptible to. Your dog will live longer and give you more years of loving companionship.
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