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Senior Dog

“Rockwall Veterinarian Swears Under Oath That Witch Doctors Did Not Give Him Healing Powers To Cure Old Dogs… But Clients Think He’s Lying”

Most pet owners fail to realize that dog’s age more rapidly than humans, and the gradual onset of old age problems in a previously healthy dog may be both unexpected and distressing. Generally, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds.  Depending on the age, breed, weight and health condition of your dog will determine whether or not your pet is considered a “senior”.  Smaller breeds of dogs can be considered a senior at the age of 10 years old and for larger breeds they can be as young as six.  The object of health care of older pets is to make them feel better and have the longest productive, useful life possible. We cannot cure them – there is no cure for old age.

Signs Of Aging

Some general signs of old age will include: wandering aimlessly, slowing down, not responding as quickly, loss of senses, weight changes, sleeps more, parts of the coat starting to turn gray, stiffening of the joints, reduced muscle tone and lack of exercise. Many of these problems are readily detectable and can be controlled if diagnosed early and treated properly.

Proper Nutrition

Nutritional requirements do change with age. Vitamin requirements generally increase, and nutritional needs differ greatly from those of younger animals. Feeding a proper diet is crucial for an aging dog. When getting older it is very important to feed a high quality senior diet that fits your dog’s needs.  As pets age they will have different needs and may have health conditions that requires a certain type of food.  Remember to always avoid table scraps.  Table scraps can upset their stomach and/or cause diarrhea.

Tooth and Gum Disease

Sources of chronic infection, such as tooth and gum disease, can adversely affect internal organs and contribute to failing health. Dental hygiene is a very important factor when taking care of your senior dog. It is important to start taking care of your dog’s teeth when they are young but even more important when they start getting a little older.  Getting regular dental cleanings every year to every six months is recommended and having your own routine at home for oral care. Practicing good dental hygiene will add years to your dog!

Lab Testing

As our dogs age, stress upon vital internal organs is likely to become more serious so it is also recommended to have blood tests done every six months to a year.  Running blood tests is the best way to identify an early disease.  Routine blood work checks for early signs of kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, anemia, infection, and dehydration.  By running these tests regularly, it can help catch early stages of the condition and more than likely avoid aggressive treatment.

Regular Checkups

It is always important to take your pet to your veterinarian regularly but even more important when your pet is a senior.  It is highly recommended that you get a complete physical examination every six months for senior pets.

To keep your senior pet healthy and living longer remember to feed a proper diet, have routine physical examinations, yearly vaccinations, yearly dental cleanings, and annual to semi-annual blood tests.

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