Dkrainwater’s Weblog

Common Ailments of Senior Dogs

Posted on: November 4, 2008

There are several diseases and ailments that your dog can have as she or he ages. Some of them are treatable, some of them you just make them as comfortable as possible until it runs its course. Like most diseases if caught early they can be treated and your dog will have a healthy, long happy life. That’s why it is important to be diligent with your dog’s veterinarian care such as their yearly checkup and as they age those checkups should include x-rays, urine screenings, blood work and anything the doctor orders in order to make sure your dog is in tip top shape for her age.

Here are just a few of the things to expect as your dog ages, they are ailments and diseases that are most common to elder dogs. Not all geriatric dogs will get one or the other of these ailments or diseases. Some people and their dogs are lucky and none of these things seem to ever bother their dog, however, you still need to be assiduous and bring your dog to the vet once a year even if you feel your dog is healthy there could be hidden signs to the disease or an ailment that you just don’t notice.

Ailments and Diseases

Loss of hearing – your dog may experience the loss of his hearing as he ages. Dogs use many other senses to communicate with us besides their hearing. They know our patterns and continue to interact with us effortlessly so the first signs that your dog is losing its hearing would probably be he is walking into things or stumbling.

You can teach your dog hand signals, a sort of shorthand for sign language and they will respond well if you keep up the training and be consistent. One example is to use a flashlight to call your dog in from the yard at night; even during the day a dog would be able to see a flashlight.

Vision changes and eye problems – Nuclear sclerosis is common among aging dogs. It’s cloudiness in their eyes and has little or no effect on the dog’s vision. People sometimes mistake this for llcataracts which does cause vision loss. An ophthalmic examination should be part of your dog’s annual checkup. However if there are other problems with your dog’s vision between checkups this could be a sign of some diseases and should be taken care of right away.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog letter and has written many articles and books about aging dogs and the grief one suffers as a pet ages and dies. To learn more about senior canines go to for senior dog products, books, beds, supplements and more


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