Common diseases in old dogs

By: John Braise

It is widely known that the ability to fend off diseases depends on the efficiency of the immune system. If the immune system does not perform at its best, it is likely that your dear fur buddy is prone to some particular health issues. Many dog owners understand this fact so to protect their dogs’ health; they try to strengthen their immune system by many different methods such as a balanced diet with supplement pills, daily walking, periodic check-up, and stuff. However, no matter what they do, there is one determining factor that still threatens the health condition of their dogs: age. As your dogs grow older, the immune system gradually declines with time, and even if you have taken all kinds of preventative measures, some certain illnesses may come up. Within the length of this article, some common diseases of dogs shall be walked through.

Arthritis

Arthritis is associated with abnormal changes in a joint. Due to the adverse wear-away of the cartilage, the joint capsule surrounding the joint turns to be less elastic and vulnerable. Accordingly, blood vessels to and from the joint dilate, and the joint becomes swollen and inflamed. This joint degeneration often appear in senior dogs with a very high rate of older dogs have to stand the discomfort and pain of arthritis.

Symptoms
Weight gain is one of many first signals that you can notice in dogs with arthritis. At the first stage of the disease, your dogs tend to sleep more, less interested in physical activities and show changes in attitudes or alertness. If you come home and no longer see your dogs rushing towards your embrace or follow you up and down the stairs like before, be aware that your dogs may be suffering from arthritis.

Prevention
The best prevention for any kinds of disease is to feed your dogs with proper diet and exercising schedule. Especially for arthritis, a balanced diet and training routine can lessen the risk of your dogs getting arthritis. The amount of food for your dogs should be counted on the size and activity requirements of his breeds. If you are not confident enough to make the decision on your own, call your vet. Another thing that you should pay attention to is a comfortable living environment for your dogs. Too much pressure on joints is a contributor to canine arthritis. Cover the slippery floor with some carpeting and raise the bowl to a suitable level to make it easy for your dogs to eat and drink.

Diabetes

Diabetes is the illness in which the blood sugar levels of your dogs is no longer under control. In diabetic dogs, the degree of hormone insulin- a hormone needed to absorb sugars, fat, and protein – is lacking or their body response to insulin is inadequate. Due to that, they no longer can break down glucose and transfer it into the blood. The amount of extra glucose in the blood is too high that it elevates the blood sugar level, which can lead to many other dangerous canine illnesses. Diabetes often appears in older dogs (between 7-9 years old) and female dogs. Some breeds that are more prone to diabetes than others include Poodles, Samoyeds, and Keeshonds.

There are two main types of diabetes in dogs based on the cause of insulin lacking. Type I (Insulin Independent: IDDM) happens in dogs whose pancreas cannot produce insulin anymore. The beta cells that generate insulin are destroyed, and their function in producing insulin stops forever. Type I is the most common kind of diabetes in dogs. Type II (IDDM or NIDDM) results from the decelerated reaction of the cells to insulin or some cells in the pancreas that do not produce enough amount of insulin. This type appears more in cats than in dogs.

Symptoms:

Either type I or type II, diabetes has some common symptoms that could be the indicators for any guardians to find out whether their dogs are diabetics or not:

  • Excessive thirst and increased water intake
  • Lethargy
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss

These symptoms are the natural reaction of the dog’s body to the increasing level of glucose in the blood. Since the cellular uptake can no longer adjust the glucose level, the body tries to eliminate that by more regular urination and higher water intake. At the same time, the cell is hungry due to the lack of glucose, so it stimulates the dog’s appetite. The process begins again as even more foods is eaten, the body still cannot absorb the glucose, and the level of blood sugar keeps rocketing.
There are still some more symptoms in dogs that guide you to identify diabetes such as poor hair coat, wounds that do not heal themselves, cataracts or skin infections.

Prevention:
Proper diet and regular exercise are the most efficient measure in reducing the risk of diabetes in your dogs. You can follow a holistic approach to provide your dogs with pure organic products such as dandelion leaf/root, garlic, and cinnamon. You should also remain the same amount of exercise at the same time and with the same duration on a daily basis.

Cancer

Cancer is the most dangerous health threat to any dogs over ten years of age. According to many vets, cancer is the leading cause of death in older dogs. Cancer is a disorder of a cell in the canine body that grows beyond control, conquers surrounding tissue and keeps metastasizing. This disease can occur in one single body part of your dogs like the lungs, or it can spread throughout the body. The causes of cancer include a variety of factors, but heredity and environment are considered to be the major contributors.

Symptoms:

The early warning sign of cancer is similar to many other diseases such as weight gain/loss without reasons, changes in appetite or behaviors. When you notice these symptoms in your dogs, stay alert as it can be the first indicator for cancer. After a short time of showing these signs, more severe symptoms will start to uncover. Collapsing, weakness and general lethargy are common in dogs with cancer. Some problems concerning the respiratory system can be noticed such as hard breathing or frequent coughing. The sores on the doggie body suddenly do not heal, and their eyes or noses keep on discharging. Your dogs can even bleed or have difficulty swallowing or urinating.

Prevention
The first thing to mention in any disease prevention is proper diet and exercise. You want to keep your dogs fit then you need to fulfill his stomach and meet up with his physical requirements. Overweight dogs tend to have a higher rate of getting cancer so make sure your dogs’ weight is kept under control. Particular outside factors can harm your dogs and trigger cancer so limit the doggie exposure to toxins. A highly recommended preventative measure from many vets is to permit your dogs to stay away from spraying and neutering at least until the age of 18 months to two years. By doing this, you can decelerate the risk of cancer occurring in our dogs.

Author Bio: John Braise is a professional blogger with years of experience writing and giving advice for pet owners. With a love for pets in general and dogs in particular, he strives to provide information and guidance for those who want the best for their pet. John also writes helpful dog care tips to make owners feel at ease with their four-legged buddies on http://gohappydogs.com/

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