What Are Some of the Problems that Aging Dogs Face?

What can be done for a very old dog with severe dysplasia problems? First, the condition would have to be evaluated through X-rays. The symptoms may be due to a neurological problem and not a bone problem. If surgery is indicated, and the dog is checked out as a good surgical risk, operating can prove very helpful in alleviating the pain. Excellent results have also been obtained using vitamin C therapy.

What is the incidence of cancer in dogs? Cancer incidence is low as compared with humans. Even when there is a lymphoma, a benign fatty tumor, or breast tumors that are diagnosed as malignant, these do not precipitate a spreading malignancy or death. Occasionally dogs will have a liver or spleen tumor that spreads to the lungs. Such dogs can bleed to death because the tumors bleed, or the malignancy can cause sufficient damage to the liver to cause death.

Fibrosis of the heart and kidneys, which means a loss of elasticity in those organs, is far and away the most common disease-induced cause of death. Cancer affects more cats than dogs, but the reasons for this are somewhat obscure. Much can be done to control and prevent cancer in dogs.

Is the older dog more affected by heat prostration? Yes, an older dog’s thermostat does not work as well, so he will be more affected by extremes of heat and cold. If a dog has a bad heart or bad kidneys, he will be more affected than the healthier dog. However, if you were to put a two-year-old dog and an eleven-year- old, both in good physical condition, into a sun-baked car, they will both suffer with equal severity and trauma.

Is it advantageous for an older dog to wear protective clothing of any kind? Wearing apparel we would define as being generally superfluous. However, there are some good reasons for wearing clothing on certain occasions.

Are older dogs subject to high blood pressure? If a dog has a bad heart, he usually has low blood pressure because he is hampered by an inefficient pump and poor circulation. This is why a dog with heart problems often also has kidney problems. You must maintain adequate pressure and blood supply to organs in order to maximize kidney efficiency.

Should an owner take his own dog’s temperature? No! In consideration of safety factors such as thermometer breakage and absorbing the thermometer up into the rectum, as well as not being able to diagnose the symptoms concurrent to the temperature (which at 101 degrees to 102 degrees F is normal in a dog), you should not to take your own dog’s temperature, but to call the vet without delay if you suspect illness.

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