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Common Problems For Senior Pets

Common Problems For Senior Pets - paws at peace pet hospiceAs our senior pets age, just like us they will find it harder to fight off infections, and their immune system will not be as good as it used to be, and they will also develop some health conditions. Having said that, it can be easy to put any changes in their behavior down to aging, but it is always better to be safe than sorry, and take them to the vet if anything seems out of the ordinary. Moreover, let us take a look at some of the more common problems for senior pets and what to look for.

One of the most common problems in senior dogs is gum disease, which may not seem such a big deal, but if left untreated can lead to some serious health issues. In addition, gum inflammation, or gingivitis can lead to gum disease, which is where the gums actually pull away from the teeth, and thus this creates pockets, which can then become infected, and even lead to bone loss. Gum disease can even lead to infections in the blood, in turn leading to possible serious damage to one, or more of the internal organs, so be sure to take him for regular checkups, especially if you notice bleeding or swollen gums or gums that are tender and red.

Another condition that is becoming more, and more common today in our senior pets is Diabetes, and usually occurs in dogs around the age of 8 or 9. Diabetes is basically improper functioning of insulin in the body, and can often be hereditary, and is more common in females than in males. Symptoms of Diabetes are weight loss, irritability, increased urination and thirst, and cuts that heal slowly, or slow healing bruises, if you notice any of these signs then it is probably a good idea to have a vet check him out.

Blindness is a condition that we’d rather not think of as a common disease in senior dogs, but it is a process that occurs over time especially in many older dogs, yet it doesn’t have to change their lives drastically due to their amazing smell and hearing. Senior dogs that have gone blind can be fine outside on a leash, and they can navigate their home environment without any problems as long as furniture isn’t moved around too frequently. Early signs of deteriorating eyesight is Cataracts, which is a white covering over the eye, while other more obvious signs are bumping into things, falling down and red or irritated eyes.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in senior dogs, and is not very often diagnosed with blood tests in its early stages, so it is important for us senior dog owners to check them out frequently. That being said, be certain to check for lumps, or bumps that shouldn’t be there, bleeding from the ears, nose or mouth, sores or cuts that heal slowly and weight loss. Other things to watch for would be blood in the stool, diarrhea or constipation. However, these are not guaranteed signs of cancer, but if you do notice any of these signs it is always best to get them checked out, cancer has a good success rate if caught early on.

Finally, although there are many common problems for our senior pets, not every pet will get one or more of these conditions mentioned, and if they do develop one or more of these problems, many are treatable if caught early on. Having said that, being a responsible pet owner means that we should check them over thoroughly once in a while, be aware of any changes in their behavior and mood, and report these changes when you see your vet. Regular checkups, and good communication with your vet is important, and can play a vital role in detecting conditions early on, so even if you think a change in your pets behavior is insignificant, tell the vet anyway, it could just save his life, and help him to easily enjoy his senior years too.

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Keeping Your Senior Pet Comfortable During The Winter Months

Keeping Your Senior Pet Comfortable During The Winter Months - Paws At Peace

Winter time can be harsh on both humans and animals, and although we can take medications, and wrap up warm our senior pets rely on us to look after them. Winter time is the time for joint pain, colds, sores, and worsening health conditions, but we can do a lot to help our senior pets to have a more comfortable time during these cold months. Having said that, let us take a good look at some things we can do to help our pets have a nice time even during the winter, and be more comfortable so they don’t have to suffer at all.

One of the first things to think about during the winter is where your senior pet is sleeping, because where he sleeps during the summer months may not be appropriate during the colder weather. Make sure there are no constantly opening doors where he sleeps, or relaxes as the hot, and cold air can be hazardous to his arthritis if he has any associated joint pain. A warm room that stays at a constant temperature will be much better for him as well as a comfortable bed.

When it comes to beds for senior pets, this may be a good time to purchase a new one, especially if he has had his bed for a long time. Manufacturers are constantly thinking of new ways to improve products, and more recently you can buy special beds that have memory foam or foam that forms to your pets body when he lays down. These orthopedic type beds are ideal for senior pets, especially those that suffer from arthritis, any type of joint issues, and hip dysplasia, making them much more comfortable and able to get better sleep.

Another thing we have to think about when it comes to our senior pets is when it snows, or there is ice on the sidewalks and roads, as it can be very hazardous for them. Even though dogs, and cats have nice furry coats, their paws can be affected by the cold, ice, and salt that is put down on these surfaces, making them sore and prone to cracking, which in turn can lead to infections. Therefore, you may want to consider giving them some boots, or booties to wear to help protect their paws while outside.

Depending on the breed of your dog, you may also want to consider a dog jacket, or coat to protect them, especially in areas where the temperature can go below freezing, or areas where it gets very damp and cold. Generally, the larger dog breeds with heavy coats, like the Labrador or German Shepherd Dog do not require a coat, but with smaller dogs with much less hair or fur, the cold wind can penetrate their coat easily. Many of these relatively new products out on the market now are very affordable, and if you buy them off season ready for next year you can often get large discounts, making it a worthwhile purchase.

One of the main concerns with senior pets during winter months is joint pain, this can be for a number of reasons, and as we all know pain is not very nice. However, talk to your vet about adding some Glucosamine, and Chondroitin to his diet, which helps to lubricate their joints, which even in a healthy pet can stiffen up in the winter time and become painful. Moreover, you should not stop exercising your senior pet during the colder months, in fact you should keep up with regular exercise to avoid stiffening of the joints.

During winter you may also want to take your senior pet to the vet for a checkup, as our pets age much quicker than we do, and can develop conditions fairly quickly compared to us. Also, look out for unusual behavior during the cold months, like your pet may not want to go upstairs, or climb onto a bed that he used to do all the time, this could be an early sign that he is having joint problems. Protecting your senior pet from the rigors of nature is not so hard to do, and it will make for a much comfortable life for him during these potentially dangerous months, and he may even live longer for it too.

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Comfort Products For Senior Dogs

Comfort Products For Senior DogsWe all want to make sure our senior dogs are healthy, and comfortable in their later years, and with many products that are out on the market today we can make their lives even more comfortable. Having said that, some products can even help prolong their life, especially if they suffer with certain conditions like joint problems. Therefore, in this article we will take a closer look at some of the products that will make a senior dog’s life more comfortable, as well as help them to improve his quality of life, so read on to learn more.

Boots Or Booties

Boots, or booties as they are often referred to, are not just for looks or people that pamper their pets, they actually serve a purpose that your dog will be grateful for. Boots will stop them from slipping on icy surfaces in the winter, and also protect their paws from the toxic additives when salt is laid on the road or pavement. Also in winter, many dogs that walk on icy, or snowy surfaces suffer with sore paws that can lead to infection, so booties actually have a practical use for your senior dog as well as younger dogs too for that matter.

Orthopedic Mattress

These mattresses make a huge difference to the quality of life for your senior dog, especially larger dogs that can suffer with joint and back issues. These mattresses are not only comfortable for your senior dog, but are extremely practical with dogs that suffer with arthritis, and other aches and pain conditions. Moreover, they can be extremely affordable, and can last the whole dogs life, and even if you start a younger dog on a orthopedic mattress, it will help him later in life easily.

Steps And Ramps

You can now purchase steps, or ramps for your senior dog, which can be a great help for those senior dogs that have trouble getting to higher places due to joint issues. Many older dogs cannot get up on a sofa, or couch that they so used to love, or some that are used to sleeping on their owners bed just can’t jump up anymore due to arthritis or other conditions. However, by purchasing a ramp, or step it can make their life much easier, and get them to where they are most comfortable without too much effort, and it makes it easier on their limbs.

Life Vests

This may sound a strange idea until you actually think about it, many dogs live near water of some kind like a river, lake, pond or even the ocean, and they probably love to swim. The life vest is a precautionary garment that is very practical as your dog gets older, because his limbs aren’t as strong as they used to be, and the life vest will protect them if they get worn out or tired while swimming in the water. Swimming is great exercise for all dogs, because is uses virtually every muscle in the body, and is also therapeutic, yet it is also a good idea to ensure their safety by fitting a life vest before they go into the water.

Hind Limb Harness And Slings

The hind limb harness, or slings are both great products for senior dogs that have joint problems, arthritis, or just have problems walking, especially those that are paralyzed. Hind limb harnesses attach to the dogs rear end, and attach to a handle so that you can support their back legs, and many owners have said that without the harness their dog would not be able to get out and about. In addition, the slings are designed to fit under the abdomen to support the hips, and are made with a padded or cushioned underside for comfort.

There are many products out on the market for dogs that are just gimmicks, or do not serve a real purpose, but every so often there are products that come out, which do actually help. The products we have looked at here today provide both practical, and health benefits to make life easier for your senior dog. Moreover, some of these products can actually add years to your dog’s life, and make life much more comfortable for them, whether it be getting in, and out of a bed or couch, or having much needed relief for their arthritis.

Fur Babies Pet Health Spring Uncategorized

Spring and Fur Babies

Happy Spring to all my pet parents and their fur babies.  Even though we had an early Easter all of the different lilies are still blooming.  Remember there are a lot of toxic flowers and ornamentals that grow in the yard.  Even if you do not have any be aware of the flowers in the neighborhood as you are walking your fur baby.  Make sure they do not eat any of them.

For those of you pet parents that like to garden as I do, compost can be very toxic to our fur babies.  Make sure to keep your compost bind confined and away from the curious noses our 4 legged family members.

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