Dogs of all breeds are enjoying longer lives today thanks to advances in veterinary care in recent years. The availability of vaccinations and heartworm preventive pet meds can add years to your dog’s life.
Aging dogs may have subtle symptoms that appear to be related to advanced years but instead may be signs of pain or stiffness that can be relieved. If your senior dog has difficulty rising from a lying position he may be suffering from osteoarthritis. If his disposition is not as sweet as it once was, he may be in pain.
Our pets have no way of telling us what is hurting them and they endure pain with dignity. A pet in pain may not favor a limb but may whine when you manipulate one of his back legs or massage him. He may not be able to tell you his teeth hurt but may turn his head away from a hand reached toward his mouth and may shun chew toys he previously enjoyed.
Veterinarians recommend health checkups for your canine companion every six months for good reason. Regular visits are especially important for senior dogs as your vet may notice a health issue that can be addressed before it becomes critical or life-threatening for the animal.
Symptoms of health problems for older dogs may appear slowly and be so subtle that the owner does not consider the change in behavior unusual. You may not realize your dog is in pain until your vet prescribes Rimadyl to relieve the stiffness and soreness of arthritis. Once the pain is eased, your dog may act like his younger self again.
Before your dog’s semi-annual checkup keep a list of questions to ask your vet. If you notice your dog is drinking more water, doesn’t seem to hear you when you call or appears confused at times, these may be signs of disease or parasite infestations.
Any change in urination or waste elimination noted in your pet for several days should be reported to your veterinarian. The same is true if your dog seems to have periods when he is disoriented or confused. These symptoms may be only a reflection of age and hot weather or an upset caused by changing the animal’s food. They can also indicate the beginning of a debilitating disease that must be diagnosed by your vet and can be controlled with pet meds.
Arthritis is a common affliction for older dogs. They may obviously be in pain and favoring a leg or hip or may only move slower and seem stiff. The symptoms can come and go depending on weather and the dog may appear to move normally after some physical activity.
We cannot keep a senior dog from developing hip dysplasia (common for some breeds) or arthritic joints but we can stop the pain and stiffness associated with the disease.
Baby aspirin is often recommended for arthritic dogs. The low dose is usually enough to ease the pain and aspirin acts as an anti-inflammatory to relieve stiffness in the joints. Aspirin should only be administered on the advice of your veterinarian as repeated use can cause stomach and digestive problems for canines.
Treating your older dog for arthritis does not have to be expensive. If your vet recommends Rimadyl or Feldene you can buy those prescriptions at a discount pet medication site online. You might also ask if you can use the generic forms of the drugs to save even more.
You may be advised to give your pet a joint supplement such as Duralactin, Anthrogen or Cosequin. Prescriptions from your vet’s office can easily be filled online at a veterinarian run pet medication website featuring discounted pet medications.
Your older dog may have many years left to spend with you. With regular health checkups and by observing any changes in his behavior and reporting those to your vet, you can provide your arthritic pet with the best new dog medicines to make his life as active and pain free as possible.