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Older Dog Health: How Much Do You Really Know?

Older Dog Health: How Much Do You Really Know?

Most of us really try to keep tabs on issues like older dog health, but how do we really fare when it comes to age-related illnesses and spotting the signs in time?

A recent study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice tells us that the vast majority of owners of dogs older than the age of nine were not aware of at least one major health problem in their four-legged friend.

The study reveals that at least 80 percent of owners frankly fail the awareness test.

In fairness, the study only looked at veterinary consultations of 45 senior dogs. In these consultations, the medical professional took a history of the dog’s lifestyle, performed a full physical exam and did a urinalysis.
The 45 dogs in the examinations were found to have an average of eight health issues each. These concerns ranged from dogs suffering with arthritis, ear infections to heart murmurs and even lung cancer. The study revealed that the owners “frequently” did not recognize the symptoms of these conditions and did not report these signs (because they didn’t know what they were, obviously).

See the details below of what items you should keep in your dog’s medicine chest for a heat stroke.The good news was that owners did report symptoms like increased time spent sleeping, hearing loss, lameness, and pain.

Of the 45 dogs involved in the examination, veterinarians ordered 29 further diagnostic tests, 10 dental procedures, seven additional medical treatments, two surgeries, and the ultimate euthanasia of two dogs. As you can see, the cost of ignoring (for any reason) the signs and symptoms of the rigors of age in senior dogs can be deadly.

It’s hard to say if this is the norm, but studies of this sort prove instructive in terms of showing us how much we might be missing.

The Best Approach to Caring for Your Old Friend

Some pet owners avoid going to the veterinarian regularly when their pets age because they are afraid of the expense or the potential laundry list of problems.

Obviously the best approach is a holistic one that lends itself to lifelong health and well-being. If we prioritize keeping our pets healthy always through a good diet, proper rest and the right amount of exercise, we’re already miles ahead in battling the rigors of aging.

If we already have a senior dog, there’s no reason to be afraid of the vet and of regular visits. We need to report symptoms of illness and educate ourselves in terms of what to watch out for so that we can help our four-legged friends enjoy a good quality of life as they venture off into the sunset.

How much do you know about older dog health? Do you know the signs and symptoms of serious illnesses? And are you afraid of visiting the veterinarian for any reason?

Sound off in the comments below..

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