Age is a slow creeper that seeps in gradually and squeezes the efficacy of your dog to perform the actions with best of his abilities. The daily chores become a struggle and your pet doesn’t respond to you as he used to previously. His cognitive ability declines with the deteriorating metabolism and declining organ functions. Though it may seem normal to you, we have to be cognizant of his health. Sometimes these symptoms can be far more severe than the usual signs.
Sluggishness and reluctance to physical activity may be considered a very obvious sign of aging in dogs. However, it can be a symptom of an underlying illness like osteoarthritis that develops with age due to depleting nourishment and wear and tear of joints over time. Lethargy can also be associated with kidney disease, hypothyroidism, congestive heart failure or even cancer. Weakness in the body due to low immunity against diseases can cause old dogs to lie inactive for hours. Therefore, never ignore if your older pet shows reluctance to climb the stairs. Get him checked right away.
Inability to hold the urine is a common problem in older dogs and is very annoying too. Well, you might not be aware that it is not merely due to age. It can be associated with kidney dysfunction and when ignored can lead to complete kidney failure in older dogs. An old dog that has recently started urinating just about anywhere, therefore, must be taken to the vet for a check-up without further delay.
Vomiting, Diarrhea And Weight Loss
Older dogs are more prone to getting Addison’s Disease. Reason being, the aging body doesn’t produce enough hormones to regulate the body functions effectively. Thus an old dog that vomits or gets diarrhea more persistently is susceptible to being Addison’s patient. However, elderly dogs that suffer from kidney disease, hypothyroidism or urinary tract infection may also exhibit these symptoms. So, consult your vet to decipher the cause.
With the declining cognitive ability in elderly dogs, getting a proper response to your command is not a big deal. But if the dog seems completely lost when you talk to him or barks on you when you encourage him to respond, he might be dealing with Alzheimer’s or cognitive dysfunction. This issue is serious as it makes the dog lifeless and completely dysfunctional.
Does your elderly dog stinks badly whenever he opens his mouth to grab a treat? Watch out! He may be suffering from a periodontal disease which is highly common in old aged dogs. Check if his gums are bleeding or if he is finding difficulty in chewing or has recently lost remarkable weight.
Wounds That Don’t Heal
Over a period of time, dogs may develop lumps and tumors in their body which are difficult to recognize. These may eventually lead to cancer. As cancer develops in the body, it decreases the body’s ability to heal the wounds. Thus, if you find that your older pet’s wounds are not healing in normal time, get him checked for cancer.
Old age can take a toll on your pet just as on you. Therefore, you need to safeguard your dog in advance. Feed him a well-balanced diet, provide supplements that are beneficial for his overall health, take him for exercise and make sure to visit the vet for regular check-ups so you can impart quality life to your furry companion. He needs you the most in his twilight years so make sure you are there for him at all times