When your dog reaches seven years of age, they are considered a senior and from here on out, life tends to go at a quieter pace. Older dogs require a little more care and attention than their younger counterparts, and they might slow down a little bit which is quite common, but can also be an indication of a health problem.
Part of caring for a senior dog involves bringing them in more frequently for health checks (we recommend once every six months) as older animals are much more prone to developing several serious health conditions, which also develop much faster at this age. On this page, you’ll find some of the most common health problems we see in senior dogs that can be properly monitored, managed and treated with regular visits to our clinic.
Owners often mistakenly assume that if their pet is eating well, then their teeth must be in working order. However, in most cases the dog learns to chew differently to avoid pain or will simply tolerate it. If left untreated, dental disease can affect several major organs, so we recommend taking advantage of our complimentary dental check-up services.
Chronic health conditions
For animals over 7 years old, regular blood and urine tests are advised to screen for diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, tumours and liver disease which often develop in older dogs. These fast, simple tests can often diagnose previously unknown conditions before they begin to impact your dog’s quality of life.
Just like in older humans, senior dogs can suffer from arthritis which if left untreated, is a painful and debilitating disease. Happily, this condition can easily be managed through a combination of medication and some small lifestyle changes. Signs of arthritis to look out for include a slowed walking pace, lower activity levels, and stiffness when getting up.
Lumps and bumps
Lumps and bumps are a fact of life with a senior dog, and most of them aren’t anything to worry about. However, it’s important to get them regularly checked out by a veterinarian as some can be cancerous and cause serious illness.