Caring for Your Senior Aged Dog
Pet ownership carries with it the responsibility of being proactive in health care. There are certain steps that you may take to prevent health problems. We recommend the following.
1. Have your dog examined annually unless there are health problems in which case he/she should be examined more frequently.
2. Keep vaccinations current.
3. Brush teeth daily.
4. Maintain on heartworm preventative year round and topical flea preventative during flea season.
5. Feed a high quality diet as recommended by your veterinarian.
6. Brush coat frequently to keep from matting.
7. Clip toenails as often as weekly to prevent overgrowth.
8. Keep plenty of fresh water available and monitor its consumption.
9. Weigh your dog on the same scale and record results at least every 60 days.
Early Signs of Disease
As your dog ages it becomes more important to watch for signs of disease. Some of these are so minor that they may not seem significant. However, our goal is to diagnose and treat diseases in their early stages when the success rate is much higher. Present him/her for an examination when any of the following occur:
1. Sustained increase in urination.
2. Weight loss.
3. Decrease in appetite or failure to eat for more than two consecutive days.
4. Repeated vomiting.
5. Diarrhea that lasts over 2 days.
6. Difficulty in passing stool or urine.
7. Lameness, limping or difficulty rising.
8. Masses, ulcerations (open sores), or multiple scabs on the skin that persist more than one week.
9. Foul mouth odor or drooling.
10. Increasing size of the abdomen.
11. Increasing inactivity or amount of time spent sleeping.
12. Patches of fur loss.
13. Breathing heavily or rapidly at rest.
14. Inability to chew or eat dry food.