Tag Archives: senior dog care

Signs of Aging in Dogs

Is your dog aged six or older? If so, Fido may be near—or already in—his golden years. Dogs don’t all age at the same rate, however. Your pet’s breed will play a huge role in how and when he ages. Large dogs, like Great Danes, are generally considered seniors by age six. Smaller pooches, however, aren’t considered seniors until they are about ten. No matter what type of pup you have, it’s important to watch for signs of aging. A Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet lists some of them below.

Confusion

Older dogs often get confused or forgetful. Fido may forget where his doggy bed is, or get ‘lost’ in the hall. He may also act disoriented and/or pace a lot. Or he just may not seem like himself. This type of behavior is often normal, but can sometimes be indicative of a specific medical issue, such as cognitive dysfunction syndrome, or, in other words, doggy dementia.

Lower Activity

As Fido ages, he will slowly lose interest in his toys, and spend more and more time napping. He may also become stiff and sore, and have trouble getting around, especially if he develops arthritis or hip dysplasia. Ramps or stairs can help dogs stay mobile, while supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, may help with bone/joint trouble.

Incontinence

Incontinence is not uncommon in older pups. (Never yell at your furry buddy for this: often dogs are very embarrassed by this issue.) If notice an increase in Fido’s urination, or if your pooch is straining to go, call your vet: these things may indicate kidney problems or UTIs.

Vision/Hearing Loss

Just like people, senior dogs sometimes have trouble with their ears and eyes. Fido may bump into things, for instance. Or, he may not hear you when you call him.

Other Issues

Some signs of aging are a bit more subtle. Dental problems, for example, are not unusual. These are often marked by bad breath, bleeding gums, and/or tartar build up. You may also notice skin issues, such as lumps and bumps, dry skin, or bald spots. Changes in weight are also quite common. If you see any of these symptoms, consult your vet immediately. Medicine, treatment, and/or dietary changes may help manage your beloved pet’s medical issues, and help keep him comfortable.

Please contact us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

Is your canine buddy aged six or older? If so, Fido may be approaching his golden years, or already in them. Dogs are just as cute as seniors as they are when they are puppies. However, as your pet ages, his needs will change. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for potential health problems. Arthritis is a common one. A Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet lists some signs of this painful condition below.

Limping

Limping is probably the most common warning sign of arthritis. At first, Fido may only limp for a moment, usually when he firsts gets up. Over time, though, the limp will become more pronounced.

Lack of Interest In Play

While it’s normal for dogs to slow down as they age, Fido should still show some interest in his doggy toys. If your furry pal’s favorite playthings are gathering dust, he may be developing arthritis.

Trouble Getting Up/Down

One of the telltale signs of arthritis is difficulty getting up or laying down. Fido may also have trouble climbing stairs, jumping on and off beds, or getting in and out of the car.

Reduced Mobility

Arthritis is a bone/joint issue, and can really make dogs stiff and sore. As a result, your canine companion may move stiffly, and may not be as bouncy or flexible as he once was. Fido may also walk slower than he once did. You may notice changes in his gait or posture as well.

Licking/Chewing

Dogs often lick or chew at sore spots. If you notice Fido worrying at a certain spot, especially a limb or an area at the base of his tail, he may be developing arthritis.

Grumpiness

Just like people, our four-legged friends can get a bit cranky when they are sick or in pain. Uncharacteristic grouchiness can also be a sign of arthritis.

Tips

While arthritis cannot be cured, there are now many options for managing pets’ pain, and improving both their mobility and quality of life. If you notice any of these symptoms in your canine pal, call your vet right away. Once a diagnosis has been made, you’ll be able to discuss treatment options. Your vet will also be able to offer you professional advice on your dog’s changing diet, exercise, and care needs.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis? Call us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet clinic, today!