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5 Common Senior Dog Health Problems

As your dog ages, keep-an-eye on any changes in behavior and mood. These can be potential indications of something physically wrong. Just like humans, as dogs grow older they lose their ability to fend off illnesses. Even the most responsible and loving owners can miss signs by assuming that deviations in the dog’s behavior and sleeping or eating habits are normal due to age. In order to help pet owners, our qualified veterinarians in Kitchener provides a list of common health problems seen in aging dogs.

Arthritis

Cartilage between the joints are meant to protect the bones from damage. The breakage of cartilage can inflame the joints. Arthritis is basically the inflammation of one or more joints. It can lead to swelling, stiffness and pain. If your dog is limping, having difficulty standing or walking or exhibiting pain when picked up, make sure you take it to your veterinarian. There are treatments including drugs and exercise that can prevent or control arthritis.

Gum Disease

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually leads to periodontitis or gum diseases. When mouth bacteria turn into plaque on the teeth, the gums become inflamed. Further, saliva hardens plaque and it turns to tartar. Plaque and tartar can spread under the gum line and cause swelling and pain. If not treated, gingivitis can weaken the gums and the teeth may start to fall out. Symptoms may include gum bleeding or red and swollen gums. Gum disease can spread serious infection to the other organs of the body.

Diabetes

Diabetes is the result of poor production and functioning of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin helps glucose to move from the blood into the body’s cell. Diabetes is the most common ailment found in the dogs at the age of 8 or 9 years old. It can be hereditary and is more common in females. Symptoms of diabetes may include weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, frequent thirst and increased urination, and slow healing cuts or bruises.

Blindness

Blindness is the kind of health ailment that develops over time in some dogs. Deteriorating eyesight is the part of the normal aging process and it’s best to start teaching your dog to rely more on his hearing and other senses of smell and touch. Some signs of vision loss may include white coating over the eye, also known as cataracts, dilated pupils, bumping into things and red eyes.

Kidney Disease

Kidneys remove waste from the body. Over time, kidneys lose their ability to perform and the toxins start building up and damaging the body. This poisoning of the system is known as kidney failure. There are many things that may lead to kidney failure, including a kidney stone. A kidney stone can block off the urinary tract or harm the bladder. Symptoms of kidney stones in dogs include frequent thirst and urination, discoloring on the tongue and an ammonia smell to their breath.

Above are some of the most common health ailments found in senior dogs. Regular health check-up is essential to maintain the healthy lifestyle of your senior pet. Our veterinarians at Strasburg Animal Hospital, Kitchener offer a wide range of quality pet health solutions to keep your pet healthy and happy.

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