Five things to look out for in older dogs
October 14, 2020
With the hot spells we’ve been having over the last few months, older dogs will be feeling that heat a little more than their younger pals. Regular health checks really are worthwhile, and at Avenues Veterinary Centre we pride ourselves on providing the best care for our older patients.
If your dog is getting on a bit and you’ve not had them checked out recently then why not book a senior dog health check
Our head vet has put together a list of some of the things we’ll discuss with you or be looking out for when you visit.
- Diet – Your dog’s nutritional requirements will change as they enter their senior years. Their metabolism will slow and their ability to repair damaged cells in the body decreases. There are special diets available that take these changes into consideration. We’ll help you decide if it’s time to change to a senior food and how to make the transition.
- Weight – One of the best ways to monitor your pet’s health is to keep a close eye on weight and body condition. If you can, weigh your dog regularly in between vet visits (you’re welcome to bring them in and use our scales). Keep good records and let us know if you notice any weight loss or gain which isn’t expected.
- Arthritis – A degenerative and incurable condition, arthritis affects 4 out of 5 older dogs. The good news is, with the right combination of treatment and medication, the symptoms of arthritis can be managed and your dog can have a good quality of life. So, if you notice any new stiffness, limping or difficulty climbing stairs or into the car in between vet visits, then please do contact us.
- Dental care – Age takes its toll on your dog’s teeth, so it’s well worth keeping dental problems at bay. Poor dental health will affect your dog’s general wellbeing through pain, discomfort, and problems eating and drinking. It can also affect the rest of their body as harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream and damage organs such as the kidneys, liver, or heart. If you don’t know how to clean your dog’s teeth then pop in and we’ll show you.
- Incontinence – This can be a relatively common problem, especially in older spayed females. If you notice damp patches where your dog has been sleeping, or if they’re constantly grooming the wet fur where the urine is leaking, then bring a fresh urine sample to your next appointment as we may need to run further tests to make a full diagnosis. Thankfully the majority of cases can be managed or treated.
If you have any concerns about your older dog’s health, book a senior dog health check with our veterinary team so we can advise you on the best treatment for them.