Symptoms of old age in dogs, how to notice them?

The size of the dog and its breed influence when considering what are the most frequent causes of the death of the animal

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Publication date: January 30, 2012

Diseases do not affect all dog breeds equally. While heart problems are responsible for the death of about 20% of Chihuahua's small dogs, owners of a Boxer dog should know that their pet has an above average chance of cancer. Knowing the most important causes of the death of our pet allows us to prevent the most frequent diseases that can end the life of our friend.

Our dog's breed gives us certain clues about theCauses more frequent that can end up causing the death of our pet.

Heart disease is common in certain small dogs, such as Chihuahua

The heart disease, for example, are common in certain small dogs, such as the Chihuahua. Nearly two out of ten animals belonging to this breed will die from a medical condition related to cardiac malfunction.

Small dogs: heart disease

Cardiovascular problems, however, are not exclusive to Chihuahua dogs, as they are shared by other small dogs. He Maltese BichonFor example, you also suffer from heart ailments frequently, as do pets Fox terrier. About 20% of dogs belonging to any of these breeds will die from diseases or problems in their heart.

These are some of the conclusions reached by a team of veterinarians from the University of Georgia, which has analyzed the causes of death in a total of 75,000 dogs, of 82 different breeds, in clinical hospitals throughout the United States. His study has been published in the specialized scientific journal Veterinary Medical Database.

Cancer: a frequent cause of death for the Boxer dog

If the genetics and the small size of the Chihuahua, Bichon Maltese and Fox terrier dogs, predispose these pets to suffer cardiovascular problems more frequently, for large dogs such as Boxer or Flanders the main enemy is another: cancer.

The owners of these large pets should know that there is a high risk of suffering from this fearsome disease. In the case of the elegant Boyero, statistics say that the probability of cancer is very high: every second animals will get it, according to the conclusions of the same study published in the journal Veterinary Medical Database.

The size of our pet also determines that the dog may suffer from ailments in the muscles or bones. These types of conditions are more common in large dogs. The same applies to those abnormalities related to the stomach: pets larger than average suffer more frequently.

These typical diseases of large breeds should not worry owners so much. small dogs. A dog of reduced size is not so frequent that he suffers bone-related problems. Nor does cancer appear in these small animals with the same frequency as in large dogs, according to this study. The high metabolic activity of these small dog breeds, however, predisposes them to other fatal diseases, such as diabetes.

Death from liver diseases

The liver diseases, related to the malfunctioning of the liver, explain one in five "non-accidental" canine deaths, according to the American Canine Liver Disease Foundation.

"He liver It is the organ that organizes the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. A healthy liver is essential for the dog to have the amount of protein it needs, "explains the foundation created by dog ​​owners who suffer, or have suffered, liver problems.

There are certain alarms that can be used to detect that there is a liver problem in our pet.

For big dogs like the Boxer or the Boyero of flanders the main enemy is cancer

An unjustified loss of appetite It is one of the signs that may be warning of the existence of a problem in the liver mechanism. If the situation worsens, the ailment can lead to a case of anorexy in the dog The stomach pains or diarrhea and vomiting are other possible indications that liver disease may exist. For any symptoms, it is essential to make a prompt visit to the veterinarian.

Remember that the breed of the dog gives clues about the most frequent causes that could cause his death.

Do not forget that small dogs, such as Chihuahua, tend to suffer from heart disease more often than large dogs.

The high metabolic activity of these small races predisposes them to diabetes.

Consider that large dogs, such as Boxer or Flanders, are more predisposed to cancer.

The size of our pet influences when suffering from ailments in the muscles or bones, which are more common in the large dog.

Liver diseases are among the most common non-accidental causes of dog death.

Symptoms of old age in dogs

Not all dogs get old age at the same age, Aging is different in each of them and depends on different factors:

  • Race: each one has its genetics and its characteristics and develops at different rates.
  • Size: small dogs age more slowly than large dogs. Thus, dogs of giant breeds reach old age at approximately 7 years, while the mini breeds can be considered old from 10 or 11.
  • Quality of life: the care you give your pet has a direct impact on your health, so a good quality of life.

Now, what are these symptoms of old age in dogs we are talking about? Take note:

Less energy

If your dog gets older, You will notice that he has less desire to walk and play, that he is bored or tired before. All of us who have dogs know that the time of the walk is their favorite moment of the day, in each walk they not only make their needs, but also it is time for play, socialization and exploration.

However, when a dog gets old it is normal for him to start losing interest in these activities before. Nothing happens, it's normal. He simply has less energy than before, is tired and prefers to stay at home resting. But remember, This does not mean that you should completely eliminate your walks, you still need them, just adapt the pace to your new needs.

Less agility

Have you noticed that your dog no longer goes up or down the stairs with the same agility as before or that it costs him a little to get on the couch? With age, the agility of dogs is also reduced a little and it is harder for them to move.

If this change is slight, it is normal and you should not worry. However, if you see that your dog really has difficulty moving and that complicates his day to day, you should take him to the veterinarian, as it could be osteoarthritis or any other problem.

Weight changes

Both gaining and losing weight considerably is common among dogs. It is more common for you to gain weight, so your physical activity is less intense than in the past. If you notice this symptom in your dog, go to the veterinarian, you may need a change in your diet!

Mouth problems

Oral hygiene is very important, also for our pets. Good teeth care results in good health, but when this aspect is neglected during the dog's lifeIt is common for older people to start to develop problems, such as bleeding gums, gingivitis, bad breath and even loss of teeth. Take care of your pet's oral hygiene!

Skin disorders

Another of the symptoms of old age in very common dogs is the appearance of bumps and other skin disorders: rashes, redness, inflammation, peeling, itching ... The triggering problems can be very varied, so it is important to go to the veterinarian for a diagnosis and treat it accordingly.

Do you have an older dog? Do you have these symptoms of old age?

When to euthanize the dog

The delicate state of health of the dog, the economic situation of the family, which can not always assume the expensive treatments for certain chronic diseases of the dog, or the serious deficiencies in the state physical and mental of the pet because of age, are some of the reasonable reasons to opt, prior veterinary examination, for euthanasia of the dog.

The weak dog health, or the advanced state of certain painful irreversible chronic diseases, such as CancerIt may be a reason to provide our dog, when the time comes, the dignified death it deserves. The degenerative diseases that entail a suffering hardly bearable by the dog, the vital failures of certain organs, or excessive damage due to a serious accident, are some of the reasons that can justify the euthanasia of the dog.

In any case, a exam Detailed doctor by the veterinarian will guide the owner in knowing exactly what is the state of health of your pet. This analysis will also help you make the best decision about whether or not to end our friend's life in a medical way.

Elderly dogs

Not all dogs become elderly at the same age. In the world of can, aging does not only depend on turning years. It also influences the size of the animal. The small dogs They are longer than large breeds. While a large dog, above 25 kilos, is considered senior at age five, a small dog, up to ten kilos, is not old until he turns seven. For a medium-sized dog, which weighs between ten and 25 kilos, the third age reaches seven years.

There are dogs that can arrive without health problems Remarkable up to 15 years or even more. However, after the age of 13, serious or irreversible health problems related to old age Of the dog. If these ailments are irreversible and cause the animal to suffer unnecessarily, it may be time to consider euthanasia as a worthy death option.

The joviality An elderly dog ​​can serve as an indication to know that he has a good quality of life and that he lacks relevant health problems. On the contrary, when an elderly animal is sad or decayed, it may be a sign that there are serious and lacerating chronic ailments, and then euthanasia may be an appropriate option. A veterinary exam It will help you, in any case, to determine which is the best option.

A death without suffering

The absence of pain and sedation or previous total anesthesia are some of the requirements necessary to consider euthanasia as adequate.

The joviality of an elderly dog ​​can serve as an indication to know that the dog enjoys a good quality of life

But the dog psychology It must also be taken into account. In this regard, the World Society for Animal Protection (WSPA) believes that the controlled death of the dog should involve the least suffering for the animal. "Euthanasia has to minimize fear that our pet can feel, "they say from the animal protection organization.

Make the decision to provide euthanasia to the dog calmly, and with information: it is essential to face the medical death of your pet.

The absence of pain is the golden rule when it comes to veterinary death.

The medication provided must also make our friend lose consciousness as soon as possible.

A painful irreversible chronic disease, such as cancer, can be a reason to provide our dog, when the time comes, the dignified death it deserves.

A medical examination will, in any case, guide the owner to know the health status of his pet and to make the appropriate decision.

The diseases of the elderly dog ​​can be very delicate

When the disease arrives, it is normal for the animal's personality to be modified. There will be less resistance and will. The animal may begin to suffer from hearing or vision problems. It will also be normal to show something apathetic, and do not want to leave home.

It is very important to know what are the diseases of the elderly dog. In this way, adequate preparation can be available.

Main diseases of the elderly dog ​​and its treatments

It is the best known among the diseases of the elderly dog. It also manifests itself in people, and in other animals. The symptoms of arthritis will be the same in the dog as in the person. Joint and bone pain, discomfort when performing movements, among others.

If detected early, arthritis is treatable. Although it is a progressive disease, there are several ways to curb its impact on the body. The veterinarian will be in charge of granting a correct treatment to fight arthritis. It is important to go to the professional at the first symptoms in the animal.

Kidney diseases

Most elderly dogs suffer from kidney problems. It is a chronic disease. It usually begins to manifest itself through renal failure. There are clear symptoms that warn about these types of diseases. Loss of appetite and nausea are two of the main ones.

As in the case of arthritis, these pathologies have no cure. Even so, it is controllable even in dogs with a lot of age. The veterinarian will grant appropriate medications to reduce discomfort caused by kidney disease.

It is also one of the most common diseases of the elderly dog. Deafness is a very uncomfortable condition in our pets. Therefore, it will be necessary to develop the animal's visual attention very well. In cases of deafness, you often start using your eyes more to communicate.

Along with deafness, blindness is another common condition in elderly dogs. We can differentiate two types of blindness. One is the degenerative, which has no cure. The other is related to the falls. For the latter, it will be possible to consider the surgical intervention.

It should be remembered that the sense of sight, although very important, is not the primary one in a dog. A blind dog will perfectly maintain its same life habits. The important thing will always be to preserve smell. This is the essential sense for dogs.

Notices on the food that alert that the death of the dog arrives

The dog's body exhibits signals when the time of death approaches. Some of the warnings our pet offers when his death approaches have to do with a change in his eating habits. The loss of appetite It is, in this sense, one of the first alerts that usually warn that the death of the dog is approaching. A dog abandons its interest in food when it is very old. The desire to drink may also disappear.

The elderly can usually find difficulties, also, to swallow their usual food, so certain changes in the dog's eating habits must be introduced in order to spend the time he has left with the best possible quality of life. Opt for one bland diet, specific for these ages, can help our pet. When the animal ages, its organism works at a lower rate than that of a young dog. It loses regenerative capacity and some organic functions slow down. And the diet of the elderly can be directed to counteract these risks.

In case of detecting food anomaliesWith a visible reduction in food and water intake, a prompt visit to the veterinarian should be made. The doctor can examine your pet, and diagnose the health status of the dog. The idea is to rule out possible diseases that may be the cause of these dietary changes or to recognize as soon as possible, if any, whether they are due to the advanced age of the animal.

Cognitive dysfunction

Like people, the dog also suffers from cognitive dysfunction.. This is very normal in the elderly. Among the symptoms of this disease, there is insomnia, disorientation, confusion, among others. In these cases, it is necessary to go to the veterinarian. The professional may prescribe appropriate medications to control the disease.

This fearsome disease is not unique to the human. Dogs also suffer from cancer. It originates in them due to two major factors. One is food, and the other the great pollution of the environment. Do not forget that it is a silent disease. For frequent detection, a frequent visit to the veterinarian is essential.

The same happens in the human case, cancer diagnosed in time can be fought. It is a very delicate disease.

Dogs may also have a high degree of obesity.. This aspect can manifest itself at any age, but it will be in old age when major damage is caused. Treats and pecking are also key factors in animals. The elderly and obese dog will begin to experience joint pain. These symptoms may be announcing heart and kidney diseases.

The correct diet of the animal is essential for its good health. Many of the diseases of the elderly dog ​​originate due to bad eating habits.

Knowing all these diseases of the elderly dog ​​makes it much easier to detect them. The organism of the animal works almost the same as that of a very old person. And as with people, attention and care in these pets must be maximum.

Less desire to walk

The physical activity Our pet also slows down in the old dog. As he turns years, the movements are increasingly slow and the animal will have more complications to walk. No wonder even some kind of limp, or that our dog finds difficulties to climb the stairs.

The gasps They are also frequent when our friend, who ages, goes out to enjoy his usual walks outdoors. His ability to hear or distinguish sounds, moreover, is reduced, and his eyes are no longer as transparent as they used to be: the lens that was once translucent now appears cloudy.

The physical capacity is not the only one that suffers losses when the dog becomes an elderly animal. The appearance of an elderly dog, like that of people, changes as the dog turns years old. Gray hairs (white hair) they arise through your body, but they focus especially on the face.

The mouth serves as a 'thermometer' when death approaches

The state of the mouth It is another good indicator, able to reveal if the death of the animal is approaching. The gums serve as thermometer of the age of the dog: if the dog is in good health, and youth, its gums show a pink color. In the dog that enters its third age the tone becomes darker.

Detecting any of the described signals must be a reason to make a quick visit to the vet. The doctor will also guide you when it comes to knowing how much life your friend has left.

One in three people acknowledge having experienced feelings of grief for the loss of their dog for six months or even longer

Be aware of period you own To share with your dog will allow those last moments you spend in your company to be of the best possible quality. Knowing how much time your friend has left to be with you is the best way to plan your farewell.

Watch your dog's eating habits. When his death approaches, the pet usually reduces his interest in food.

Remember that an abnormal limp may be warning that the death of your dog is approaching.

If you notice excessive gasps when you go for a walk with your elderly dog, it may be indicating that the animal's health has worsened.

In case of detecting striking changes in the eating habits of your elderly dog, loss of movement or a darkening of the dog's gums, do not hesitate to make a prompt visit to the veterinarian.

Important data

Old age in dogs usually causes certain decreases in their senses. This deterioration can cause alterations in your sleep cycles and decrease your activity level. It is very common for adult animals to wander aimlessly, get lost and forget the habits and behavioral signs learned.

Too it is very common that they increase their anxiety and interact aggressively. They may not be as friendly and prefer to be alone or with very little company. But everything will depend on the degree of socialization of your pet, since many can present a contrary behavior, that is to say they can become dependent and companions.

Understanding the changes your dog is going through can help you effectively address behavioral problems that may arise over the years. In that sense, it is very important that you consult a veterinarian about the changes you see in your pet. Don't assume he is "getting old" and you can't do anything to help him. Many changes in behavior can be signs of treatable medical disorders and there is a wide variety of therapies that can manage your symptoms, including certain pain that you might be experiencing.

It is likely that your pet will have to adapt their games and exercises according to their age. Over the years, animals lose energy. Therefore, your movements, little by little, will be reduced. In those cases, it is best to talk with a professional coach to teach your little friend new behaviors and tricks that suit your needs. Similarly, a specialist can help your dog teach you new directions especially if he has lost vision and hearing. Remember: there are many ways to keep your friend's life healthy, without requiring a special physical effort.

Symptoms to consider

As we mentioned, during old age in dogs, It is very important to keep track of the changes that the animal is presenting. In that sense, you have to pay attention to certain symptoms that, if controlled in advance, can help prevent various diseases.

A Symptom that you should keep in mind is the so-called sudden blindness. The decrease in your vision can be caused by cataracts, a very common disease during old age.

Another sign that you have to pay attention to is the frequent inclination of his head. Perhaps it is due to a problem in your hearing. It is also very important that you turn to a professional if you notice that your dog has seizures.

He Change in weight or loss of appetite are other symptoms that you can not stop attending. Take care of your dog's diet and give him a balanced diet that fits his age.

If you notice excessive panting, hair loss, vomiting, diarrhea, cough or change in your habits, go to a specialist. He can guide you on the causes of his symptoms.

Actions you must take

Provide fresh water and controls consumption and urination habits.

Plan a regular diet and feed your dog on a non-slip surface. That way you prevent your legs from sliding.

Provide your pet with a comfortable, clean and dry bed in the hottest area of ​​the home. In times of low temperatures prevent your dog from sleeping in the yard.

Practice a low impact exercise routine with your pet, to keep your joints and muscles healthy.

If your dog is very old, try not to leave him alone for a long time. or, failing that, look for a person you trust who can take care of you during your absence.