Keeping an eye on your aging pet can make all the differenceAs your dog ages so too does their ability to ward off diseases and ailments. This means it is even more important to keep an eye on your mature pet for changes in his or her behaviour and get them to your Vet as soon as possible. With this in mind, we’ve listed several problems that mature dogs are susceptible to.

1. ARTHRITIS

Cause: A common ailment in our aging pets sees the damage of important cartilage between bone joints, causing inflammation, stiffness and pain.
Signs: Limping, reluctance to move, difficulty standing and obvious pain when picked up. Your dog may lick the affected area or may even show aggression when touched.
How to help: Change in diet and exercise, as well as available drugs may help this disease.

2. CATARACTS

Cause: Eyesight deterioration and cataracts are common in older dogs, but very commonly dogs will adapt to use their other senses to help them in moving around.
Signs: Eyes appear to be covered in a milky white coating and pupils look dilated. Your dog may also start bumping into things and falling frequently.
How to help: While expensive surgeries are an option, you can also help your dog by keeping near and guiding them when in strange places.

3. DIABETES

Cause: Poor production and function of insulin means glucose is not removed from the blood properly. Diabetes is most common in dogs around 8+ years old.
Signs: frequent drinking and urination, weight loss, fatigue, irritability, recurring infections, blurred vision and slow-healing cuts/bruises.
How to help: Talk to your Vet about changing diet to assist this condition.

4. KIDNEY DISEASE

Cause: Kidneys are responsible for removal of waste and maintaining the body’s balance. When they fail, waste and toxins buildup and cause issues. Many things can cause kidneys to fail, including aging.
Signs: Frequent drinking and urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting and very bad breath.
How to help: It’s important to visit a Vet immediately.

5. DENTAL DISEASE

Cause: Bacteria turns to plaque, which turns to tartar, which then causes painful and inflamed gums. Gingivitis and Periodontitis (where gums pull away from teeth) can cause serious infections and bone loss if not treated.
Signs: Gums that bleed, are red, tender and swollen.
How to help: Talk to your Vet about the best dental treatment for your pet.

6. CANCER

Causes: There are a number of causes for various cancers. Detections do not appear in early stages so it’s important to check your dog for lumps, bumps and behavioral changes regularly.
Signs: Weight loss, slow-healing cuts/bruises, bleeding, drooling, coughing, excessive panting, loss of appetite, fatique, diarrhea and constipation among others.
How to help: Treatment is more successful the earlier the cancer is caught so make sure to keep those Vet visits up.

7. DIMENTIA

Cause: There is no known cause of dementia or canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in our dogs.
Signs: Forgetfulness of the familiar, like toys, toileting and owners. Dogs may appear vacant and stare into space. They may also pace and develop repetitive, compulsive behaviours like walking in circles.
How to help: There is little to no treatment for dementia, except to keep your beloved pet comfortable and safe from wandering off.