Did you know? PetFirst has the shortest wait periods for accident & illness coverage. We make getting the best pet insurance plan easy. Enroll online & save money!

More Common Health Conditions Faced By Senior Dogs

5/26/2017

4 Common Health Problems in senior dogsWith over 46 million dog-owning households across the country, pet owners see their furry companions exhibit signs of aging every day. As your dog enters its golden years, it's important to try and cherish each and every moment. However, as your pooch ages, you will inevitably encounter some new challenges associated with senior dogs. This includes arthritis, failing vision, hearing loss, and other issues. And while many of these problems are inevitable, you can work with your veterinarian to help your dog live out their days as happily and as healthily as possible.

Here are some common conditions your senior dog may encounter:

Arthritis 

Just like in humans, this degenerative joint disease affects most dogs as they enter their senior years. Typically, larger dogs are more susceptible to arthritis, but any dog can develop the disease. If your dog is reluctant to jump from places like the couch or car and it stiff after standing, talk to your veterinarian.

Cancer

While dogs of all age can get cancer, it seems to be most prevalent in senior dogs. Some of the most common types of dog cancers are lymphoma, osteosarcoma, oral melanoma, soft tissue cancers, and breast cancer. If you notice that your dog has a loss of appetite, has lost weight rapidly, has sores that won't heal, irregular body odors, bleeding or discharge from the mouth, nose or anus, or lumps or bumps that rapidly increase in size, it's time to contact a veterinarian.

Dental Problems

While dogs of all age can get cancer, it seems to be most prevalent in senior dogs. Some of the most common types of dog cancers are lymphoma, osteosarcoma, oral melanoma, soft tissue cancers, and breast cancer. If you notice that your dog has a loss of appetite, has lost weight rapidly, has sores that won't heal, irregular body odors, bleeding or discharge from the mouth, nose or anus, or lumps or bumps that rapidly increase in size, it's time to contact a veterinarian.

Hearing Loss

As dogs continue to age, they often lose their hearing in one or both ears. While there's no current treatment to reverse or aid this problem, experts recommend teaching your dog hand signals in order to continue communication with them.

Other Sensory Problems 

In addition to hearing loss, some degree of vision loss is also very common in older dogs. These changes generally happen slowly over time and are usually indicated by a change in behavior. You also might notice your dog developing cataracts, giving the eyes a cloudy appearance. These changes in older dogs pose new challenges to everyday life, so make sure that you are accommodating for your animal as much as possible.

Diabetes 

Just like humans, dogs can develop problems controlling their insulin levels. Diabetes is more common in some breeds and can sometimes be genetic. If you notice that your dog is experiencing rapid weight loss, frequent thirst and urination, trouble healing and fighting infection, or other unexplained behavior changes, be sure to take your dog to their veterinarian.

Wellness Visits for Old Dogs

pet wellness plans

Be sure speak with your veterinarian about general senior dog care to keep your pet as healthy as possible during their older years. As your pet begins to experience possible ailments as a result of age, your vet will advise how you should adjust your care. Consider purchasing pet insurance for dogs before your pet ages to stay covered during these unpredictable years. Most of the 46.3 million U.S. households with pooches will have to deal with these changes in older dogs, so it’s always best to be prepared.

Caring For Senior Dogs -- Pet Wellness Plans

Unfortunately, health care for animals can often be costly as the United States spends $13.59 billion on veterinary care each year. If your dog is a senior or is nearing old age, it may be wise to look into pet wellness plans. Health care for pets can help to significantly reduce the cost of medical bills. Even if your dog is only a senior, many plans offer pet health insurance for pre-existing conditions. Pet wellness plans can range in cost and will make helping your dog enter their golden years as easy and affordable as possible.

Related



/* $(document).ready(function () { $(".notice").find(".btn").click(function (e) { _gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Quote Funnel', 'Clicked Get Quote']); _gaq.push("_trackPageview", "Get_Quote") }); }); */