Retirement provision for the dog?
Throughout life, your dog has been fit and lively, has played, run and has adored long walks. When your darling gets older, these daily activities decrease and you wonder whether you can do something good for the health of the aging four-legged friend to make life as a senior easier for him.
At what age does retirement provision make sense?
Although there are of course certain guidelines for dogs, they still age depending on their state of health and can still be fit well beyond their predicted life expectancy. As a guide, one can generally say that medium-sized and large dogs from the age of 8 belong to the elderly, smaller dogs from the age of 10. From here on it definitely makes sense to have a veterinary check-up carried out for old age.
Changes in the old dog
Visible changes in your beloved four-legged friend in old age are, for example, lens opacities, constipation due to constipation or even bad smell from the mouth due to increased tartar.
Less obvious changes can occur primarily in the dog's internal organs, because these can no longer perform as well in old age as in young age. Signs of wear and tear on the heart, kidneys, liver or bones, for example, occur more and more in dogs from senior age. Likewise, diabetes can often occur in old age.
What can I do?
Regular routine examinations at the vet from the puppy age are very important in order to be able to offer the animal a good life in old age and to recognize any diseases early on. This also includes, for example, regular deworming and annual vaccinations. In addition to these controls, the dog should be closely monitored, especially when it is getting a little older. You know your furry friend best yourself and can therefore identify changes more quickly. Even if you notice changes in your dog that seem irrelevant to you, you should take a closer look. In aging dogs, these can indicate more serious illnesses that, with the right treatment, can significantly extend the life of your loved one.
A light cough in the morning, for example, can be the first indication of heart disease. If your dog suddenly drinks more than usual, it could be hiding a kidney or liver disease or diabetes. Increased drinking can also be a sign of a harmless infection. In case of doubt, the exact clarification is particularly important. Since animals can also suffer from age-related osteoarthritis, you should also pay attention to whether your dog has difficulty getting up - this could be a sign.
Also watch out for knots or knobs when brushing or scratching, these can be harmless grits, but also a tumor.
If you discover one or more of these changes in your dog, don't worry first. An examination at the vet will bring clarity and also help your four-legged friend guaranteed.
What does the vet do?
A detailed blood test, as well as urine samples, X-rays and EKG are the standard examinations that the veterinarian will carry out on senior dogs. Additional examinations can also be carried out, for example blood pressure measurements, ultrasound examinations or computer tomography. In this way, diseases can often be identified and treated in good time. Because even if your dog is old, appropriate treatment of the condition can improve the quality of life. For example, dogs with osteoarthritis can walk painlessly again if they are treated with medication. Changes in food, especially in the case of liver and kidney diseases, can often extend the life of your four-legged friend by a few years.
So if you notice that your dog is slowly getting older, preventive medical checkups definitely make sense and will make life easier for you and your furry companion.
How are you with your senior dog? Please write it in the comments for a mutual exchange!