Pretty much all dog breeds are prone to specific health issues as they age, but dogs in general start to have problems when they start to get a little grey around the collar. Your once playful and vivacious pup will likely start to slow down a bit, get a little less interested in their usual routine, and may require a few extra trips to the vet. However, if you have an elderly dog, you should also be prepared for the physical health changes as well. Here are a few of the most common canine health issues that can come up with your aging dog.
Much like aging humans, the cartilage and flexible tendons around the joints in an aging dog's body start to wear a little thin and be a lot less resilient as they grow older. Inflammation can set up around the joints, which is a common issue known to humans as arthritis. When an old dog develops arthritis, you may start to notice that they are not as interested in play as they once were. Usual tasks, such as hopping up on the couch or even scratching, can seem to be a difficult feat resulting in moans and whimpers. Thankfully, arthritis can be treated in dogs by your vet, usually with anti-inflammatory prescription medications and something to relieve the pain, such as aspirin.
Once your dog hits a certain age, you shouldn't be at all surprised to see signs that they are having bladder issues. If your pooch is an indoor pet, you might see dribbles of urine on the floor or wet spots in their bedding. Urinary incontinence is perhaps one of the most common elderly dog health issues, and this is usually caused by a weak bladder or even issues with their kidneys. If your dog is having a hard time holding it in, it is a good idea to talk to your vet. There are some vitamins, changed in food, and routine alterations that can help.
Older dogs are prone to dental issues just like humans, especially if your pooch has not followed the strictest diet or if you have not taken the initiative to keep your dog's teeth cleaned throughout its life. Plaque can lead to decay, and decay can cause gum diseases and infection in your dog's mouth. This is usually indicated by symptoms like a change in appetite or a swollen gum line. If you spot any of these changes, make sure you talk to your vet about possible treatment options.