Is your dog getting to the point where he/she does not have as much “spunk” anymore like he/she used to? This is considered normal in an older dog to a certain extent. It’s just like an older person. They cant do things like they used to do when they were younger. This does not mean that senior dogs don’t need anymore veterinary attention. Many individuals either stop bringing their dog to a veterinarian at a certain age or they don’t bring them in often to get checked. In fact, older dogs require more veterinary attention then younger dogs do. Here are some tips on giving your older dog the proper care.
A dog is usually considered geriatric at the age of seven years old and up. Larger dogs age quicker then smaller dogs due to their size and weight. Many veterinarians recommend that older dogs get physical exams done once or twice a year and blood work performed every few months to make sure that their organ function is working well. As a dog gets older, there tends to be some abnormalities with certain blood levels. Sometimes, these abnormalities are easily fixed. It just depends on what it is. Sometimes if the blood levels are abnormal, the issue can be controlled with medications but not always cured. So it just depends on the problem and it will be easier to catch an issue at a early stage if the blood work is done often. Then a treatment plan can be set up.
As canines get older, usually they are put on some sort of medication. Whether it’s a medication, such as an antibiotic or a pain killer, or a supplement to keep an issue under control and to make the animal comfortable. When a senior dog is on a medication for a certain period of time, usually blood work is recommended to see if the medication is helping the health issue or taking a negative toll on a specific organ. For instance, sometimes if a dog is on a pain medication for a long period of time, the dogs pain seem to be under control but organs, such as the liver, are being affected. In a case like this, the medication is usually changed.
Regardless, it’s very important to keep your senior dog comfortable. If the canine is recommended, by a veterinarian, to be on medications and supplements, then the owners should follow through. It’s a big expense taking care of a senior dog. If there are any financial issues, don’t ignore the animals health. Consult a veterinarian.