June 27, 2017

A Guide To Caring For Your Older Dog

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As dogs age, they can be plagued by many of the same health issues that humans have so its important to care for your older dog properly so that he is happy and healthy in his golden years. When you have a senior dog it is very important to visit the vet on a regular basis in order to maintain the health of the animal. Another thing that is very important when it comes to caring for an older dog is to feed the dog a suitable diet that will keep him slim and address some minor health problems that senior dogs can have.

When you visit the vet with an old dog the visit may involve eye examinations, dental check ups, blood tests and urine tests. On some occasions these visits may also involve MRI scans and CT scans if your pet is having a particular problem. The procedures that are carried out by the vet will depend on the information that you give to the vet and the dogs present condition. Yes, some of these can be expensive so you need to be prepared to spend a bit more money on Fido in his golden years than when he was a pup.

On these visits to the vet the things that the vet will really want to know is if there has been any changes in terms of vision, stamina, appetite, behaviour and hearing so you want to be sure that you monitor your dog on a daily basis and pay attention to all these things. The vet will also want to know if the dog has developed a problem of bad breath or flaky skin. Other things that you should look out for when you have an older dog is slowness when it comes to getting up and reluctance to either go up or down stairs. Some older dogs will become cranky and will lose their interest in playing. It is very important to watch for things changing as the dog gets older because the dog does not have the ability to tell the you if anything is wrong and often times your dog can be in pain but wont show it. Noticing small changes in behavior may be the only clue that something is amiss and that you need to seek some sort of treatment to make your pets life easier.

If you have an older dog it is a good idea to be aware of the symptoms of problems so that you can watch for anything going wrong. It is true to say that conditions are best caught early on as this will mean that they are easier to get under control. When things are caught early on it is possible to give medication in order to stop the problem. Spotting the early symptoms can help the vet to prescribe medication for a range of conditions including kidney failure, cancers, liver failure, heart failure, skin tumours, diabetes, bladder stones, cataracts, hearing problems, allergies, dental problems and glaucoma.

There are a lot of vets that say that only complete blood and urine tests will pick up the early signs of many of these conditions, which can affect older dogs and this is why these tests are carried out twice a year. The requirements of these tests will vary depending on the age of the dog and the health condition that he currently has.

Blood and urine screening tests are actually quick and easy tests, which can be used to reveal a wide range of different problems. The blood tests are actually one of the most useful methods of diagnosing problems when it comes to caring for an elderly dog, therefore this is one of the most frequently carried out tests. Most vets will use a blood test that is known as a geriatric panel and this is very useful for testing older dogs for thyroid problems. When this type of test is carried out on a regular basis they allow the vet to monitor the dog and watch for any changes in your dogs health.

If you have a dog that is starting to have problems with their kidneys then the blood test will be able to pick this up a lot earlier than any signs will actually appear. This condition will be picked up early as the volume of white blood cells will be detected and this alerts the vet to a potential infection, which is in the early stage of development.

It is true to say that vaccinations are an important part of caring for a dog regardless of how old the dog actually is. Although vaccinations are important for dogs of all ages as your pet gets older there are some vaccinations that are actually no longer required therefore this is something that should be discussed with your vet.

One of the big problems with older dogs is arthritis which is why you want to keep an eye out to see if your dog is exhibiting any problems with getting up, jumping or using the stairs. Just like in humans, arthritis can be painful for dogs so you want to be sure to get him on a treatment regimen right away to alleviate his pain.

As your dog ages, you do need to make some changes in your care routine to accommodate him. More frequent vet visits, using the appropriate food and treats and watching your dog a bit more closely will insure that any issues are dealt with promptly so he can live a long and satisfying life.

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