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Common Aging Issues for Canines

Dec 3rd 2015 at 11:10 PM

As a young pup, your dog was full of fun-loving energy and boundless excitement. As the years tick by, canines mellow out and experience a wide variety of issues related to aging. These are some of the most common, according to a professional veterinary clinic.

Mobility issues

One serious symptom that deserves your attention is the inability to move easily. In most cases, difficulty getting around can be attributed to arthritis.

There are varying degrees of arthritis that can affect your dog’s ability to walk, move, and jump. Dealing with mild arthritis might be as easy as providing your pup with a heated pad and shortening his daily walk. More severe forms of the disease may require medical assistance.

Arthritis isn’t the only issue that can decrease mobility. With both hip and elbow dysplasia, ball and socket joints don’t fit perfectly together, which can cause extreme pain when your furry friend walks or moves. Mild cases can be treated with medication, while severe dysplasia may require surgery.

Behavioral changes

It’s obvious that your dog will experience behavioral issues as he ages. He’ll lose some of his energy and spend more time sleeping, but there are also other behavioral changes that you may not realize are due to old age.

In general, your dog’s personality won’t change, but he may become less affectionate. This may seem strange, but if you take a minute to consider your behavior when you feel especially tired or ill, needing a little space doesn’t seem so unusual. Older canines can also become more stubborn.

These behavioral changes don’t usually require any medical intervention. Instead, they require patience and understanding on your part.

Bad breath

This may seem like a strange issue associated with aging, but it has a more severe consequence. As plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on the teeth, gingivitis and gum disease can develop. As the teeth and gums rot, your pup’s breath can smell quite bad.

Preventing this from occurring in the first place is quite easy. All you have to do is brush your dog’s teeth regularly, or at least provide him with a variety of dental treats. If your pooch does develop gum disease, you may have to consider having some of his teeth pulled.

No matter what your dog’s issues, you should schedule regular appointments with your local veterinary clinic.

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