5 Serious Signs Your Senior Dog Might Be Sick
Getting older is no fun. Neither is it for our senior dog I should know about aging because it’s happening to me right now. I like to think that I take good care of myself. After all, I watch what I eat (most of the time); only drink occasionally, and have my annual checkup and physical every year like clockwork. I’m aware of when something isn’t right and I need to see the Doctor right away. But, can you intervene the same thing about your senior dog? Do you know the signs of a serious concern and when you should take your pet to the vet? Let’s discuss the 5 serious signs your senior dog might be sick, and always remember it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Change in Weight | AppetiteA change in weight may include an increase in weight or possibly losing weight. Both can be red flags that something else might be going on. Of course, if your pet is not exercising like they use to due to arthritis or other condition, weight gain may be a by-product of their lack of movement. Senior dogs should be fed a diet appropriate for their age and general health and remember some dogs do require special or prescription diets.
ArthritisArthritis results from damage to the cartilage in the affected joint. Typically it is caused by wear and tear, although there can be other reasons as well. The symptoms of arthritis may be subtle and may include limping, stiffness, pain, licking or chewing the joint, and reluctance to go up or down stairs. An exam, in addition to X-Rays, is the most common way to diagnose arthritis in older dogs.
Change In Urine Output | ThirstThere are many reasons why a dog may become thirsty or change the amount they urinate. But, dogs should not drink more water because they are older, because it’s hot outside, or because the heat is on in the winter! The most common causes of thirst is kidney problems or diabetes. Often, senior pets will become incontinent due to loss of sphincter control or infection. And always be mindful of the fact that this can indicate a more serious problem.
Hair Loss | Itchy SkinHair loss | itchy skin can be caused by many different things such as allergies, molds and fungus. But, this symptom can also point toward autoimmune diseases (lupus, pemphigus) or endocrine diseases such as hypothyroidism or hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s disease.