Caring for Your Senior Dog
Just as the health care needs for humans change as they grow older, so too do the health care need for older pets. With proper care your older pet can stay an active part of your family. It is important to be able to distinguish between normal behavior for an older dog and a possible medical problem that needs treatment. Because an older dog generally does not have the same level of stamina as a yonger dog, it is important to identify and treat problems early. If your dog at any age is in pain, lethargic, or obviously "not normal," please consult your veterinarian.
Arthritis pain is probably one of the most common problems in the older dog. Thankfully, there are many medications to ease arthritis pain in dogs.
Maintaining good dental health is particularly important for older dogs because dental problems can impact the overall health of the older dog as well as cause bad breath and bleeding gums. Bad breath and bleeding gums, as well as tooth loss, can also be signs of cancers, infections, and metabolic diseases such as kidney disease and diabetes. Cataracts can develop in only a few days in a dog with diabetes.
Other treatable symptoms that might be attributed to age are sudden blindness, hearing loss, or staggering. You should not assume that it is due to the age of the dog because these are also symptoms of infection, poisoning, cancer, and other diseases which may be treated and cured.
It is important to keep track of an older dog's weight and eating habits so that treatment may be more appropriately tailored to the older dog. It can also help in detecting the onset of diabetes if the owner is aware that his older dog is drinking more than normal.
Your older dog can be kept happy and comfortable with regular visits to the vet and lots of love.
When dealing with dog ticks it is good to keep it simple. The easiest and best way for tick removal is to remove them with a tick removing tool which looks like a measuring spoon with a V shaped notch in it. If one is not available, the next best option is using tweezers. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible so you make sure that you have removed all the mouthparts. Stay away from home remedies for removal, like petroleum jelly. Ticks can negatively affect dog health by transmitting several severe diseases like Lyme disease which can cause dog arthritis or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
It is best when removing a tick to put it in an airtight container and take it to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can identify the tick and tell you if that particular type is capable of transmitting disease.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing tick removal by yourself, ask a Vet to do the removal for you. They remove ticks from dogs often!