Health problems in older dogs are an unfortunate part of the aging process. As dogs get older, they tend to suffer from many of the same ailments we do. Here are 5 common health problems with senior dogs, and what you can do to make their senior years as comfortable as possible.
Arthritis And Other Joint Diseases
Arthritis is very common in older dogs, especially in large breeds, and breeds that are prone to joint diseases such as German Shepherds. There are many different kinds of arthritis, but the most common type is simply from wear and tear on the joints. As your dog grows older, the cartilage wears away from the bone, and inflammation occurs at the spots wear the bone is grinding. This inflammation is arthritis.
There are several ways to ease arthritis and other joint problems. Glucosamine and chondroitin can offer modest pain relief due to arthritis, and is commonly recommended since it causes no known side effects.
CBD oil for dogs can also be helpful. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce the symptoms associated with arthritis. With the pain and inflammation reduced, your dog will be able to move more, and better movement also helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Your dog’s senior years mean slower movements and longer naps. Movement isn’t the only thing that’s slowing down either. Old age often means a slower metabolism, and these changes to the body often mean obesity for senior dogs.
Obesity is very harsh on a dog’s body, and can shorten their life. More weight means more strain on already tender joints, a tired heart that has to work even harder, and added stress to almost all other vital organs.
Keeping your dog in good shape will help him/her stay fit and active for as long as possible. This means slightly longer walks, more play times, and maybe a little less snacks!
The next two are very similar so we combined them in the next section!
Hearing and Vision Loss
Vision and hearing problems are very common in senior pets. Some of these are treatable with good veterinary care, others just need getting used to. If you notice your dog is having hearing or vision problems, a trip to the vet is in order. A vet can diagnose the problem, and if it’s treatable, catching it early will improve the odds of a successful outcome.
If these problems can’t be prevented, adjustments in your lifestyle will help your dog adjust to failing senses more easily. Take care not to startle a dog who is deaf or blind by suddenly touching him, especially while he’s sleeping or focused on something else.
If the dog is blind, avoid moving furniture around, or provide scent markers on furniture that needs to be moved frequently so he can use his nose to detect where they are. Failing sight and hearing requires adjustments, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a drop in the quality of life for your pet.
Nearly half of all dogs over age 10 will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Cancer is very common in senior pets, and one of the most frightening medical diagnoses you can receive for your pet. There are many types of cancer, from very aggressive to very treatable.
Turkey tails, a mushroom supplement, have been shown to fight cancer cells and boost the immune system. While there have been no studies done in dogs as of yet, promising studies in mice have lead to the FDA approving it for human trials. CBD oil for pets, as well as turmeric supplements have shown promise as potential anti-cancers.
There is unfortunately no known cure for cancer, but great supplements can help ease pain, support the immune system, and help your pet fight the disease. Old age affects some dogs more than others, but by being aware of common health problems with senior dogs, you can help your dog enjoy their golden years for as long as possible!