Own A Senior Dog? Issues To Be Aware Of

When you have a dog, you may wish that they will stay a young and vibrant puppy forever. However, sooner than you might think, your dog will be a senior. Senior dogs have various health issues that are often quite different and more pronounced than those of their younger counterparts. Get to know some of the issues faced by senior dogs that you may want to be aware of so that you can take the best possible care of your senior dog now and for the rest of their life. 

Fecal and Urinary Incontinence

As many dogs get older, they begin to experience trouble with incontinence issues. It may start out as a minor issue with occasional accidents in the house when you have been away for several hours or some leakage when they sleep. However, incontinence issues usually progress the longer your dog has problems with it. 

Luckily, there are solutions to senior dog incontinence. For urinary incontinence, there are prescription medications that your veterinarian can provide your dog. These are pills (often in chew-able form, like a dog treat) that your dog will need once a day. The pills help to make the muscles involved in urination contract, preventing unwanted leakage and uncontrolled accidents. 

There are also diapers designed specifically for adult dogs with incontinence issues. If you know that you are going to be gone for several hours (such as a day at work), you can put a diaper on your dog to prevent messes around your house. These diapers can also be helpful overnight if you do not want to get up with your dog every few hours. 

High Blood Pressure

Another issue that you will need to look out for with your senior dog is the problem of high blood pressure. Just like with humans, the older a dog gets, the more susceptible they are to heart problems and issues with blood pressure.

The blood pressure issues that your senior dog may suffer from can be primary high blood pressure meaning that it is not caused by another known condition. However, oftentimes, the high blood pressure problem has to do with issues like diabetes, kidney problems, or even cancer. 

Signs your dog has high blood pressure can include mental confusion, nosebleeds, blood in the urine, and blindness. When you notice any of those symptoms with your dog, be sure you take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible to get checked out. If your dog does have high blood pressure, daily pills can help as well as changes to their diet to a low sodium food. 

Now that you know a few health issues to watch out for with your senior dog, you can be sure you are keeping them happy and healthy in their senior years. If you would like to learn more about potential health risks for senior dogs, reach out to Parkview Animal Hospital.