Your dog has enjoyed a long, full, and happy life with you.  What are the signs of a dog dying of old age? Disorders! She anticipates your every move and seems to understand what you’re thinking about almost before you do. You have kept her in the excellent physical condition and have safeguarded her health to the best of your ability.

The hardest part of owning a dog is watching them age.  You can do a few things to make their last year’s comfortable, but you can’t reverse the aging process. The best you can do is to fill their remaining days with love and caring and know when the time is right to say goodbye.

Your Aging Dog(What to Expect)

Generally, small dogs live longer than big dogs do. Your dog is no exception. Unless she encounters a fatal accident or disease, you should expect to have your dog for at least 9 years. Many dogs live as long as 15 years. When dogs reach their seventh birthday, some people consider them as senior canines. For every human calendar year, dogs age roughly five to seven years, though this depends on a variety of factors.

By seven years, they start to lose some of the elasticity in their joints and will begin to take life at a little slower pace. It’s a good time to begin observing your dog everyday for signs of diseases acquired in old age and to have her teeth cleaned a little more frequently. Time passes quickly for senior dogs so don’t hesitate to act if you suspect a problem.

Age-Related Disorders

Every living being ages. While some dogs age gracefully, others are not so lucky. With advanced years comes the likelihood of life-threatening disease. If these serious health problems can be caught at first onset, you might be able to give your dog a few extra years to enjoy life with you.

Arthritis

Arthritis can affect people as well as dogs. This degenerative joint disease causes stiffness in the joints, which can be quite painful. You may notice that your dog suffers from it if she struggles to get up from a nap, moves stiffly, or seems hesitant when she moves. Always have your suspicions checked out by your veterinarian.

If your dog has the beginning stages of arthritis, be sure and continue her exercise program once or twice a day while continuing to feed him a good quality well-balanced diet.

To prevent slips and possible falls and broken bones in the house, cover any slick flooring you might have in your home with rubber-backed rugs or plastic runners.

Obesity

As dogs age, they become less active and generally require a lot fewer calories than they did as youngsters. If they continue to eat the same amount, they will gain weight. Dogs who border on obesity tend to develop diabetes and will have more health problems, especially with arthritis. The weight adds more pressure on vital organs and joints and causes the dog to feel even less energetic.

Prevent obesity by cutting back on the amount of food you give your dog or switch to a senior recipe, which has slightly fewer calories. Be sure to maintain your dog’s regular exercise program or increase it slightly. This will help your dog to lose weight as well.

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus an abnormal increase in blood sugar level usually caused by a deficiency of insulin. Although treatable, diabetes can be responsible for long-term complications for your dog. For signs of diabetes, watch how much food and water your dog takes in. An increased appetite and more water consumption increase his urination, but there may also be weight loss.

If your suspicious that your dog has diabetes, take her to your vet for laboratory tests and an evaluation. If Left Untreated, diabetes may cause blindness, infections, weight loss, pancreatitis, and death. For dogs with diabetes, you can control the disease with insulin injections or twice a day. Preventing obesity May prevent diabetes.

Cancer

What are the signs of a dog dying of old age
Young and senior veterinarian examining a Labrador dog.

Years ago people who were told that they had cancer knew it meant the end of their lives. Nowadays better treatments are available and more lives are saved if the disease is diagnosed and treated in time. The same is true for dogs. Unfortunately, many of the cancer treatments for dogs, such as radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and gene therapy, are expensive. Still, these options are always there for you to consider.

Types of cancer found in dogs include bone, breast,mouth, uterine, and testicular. Early spaying or neutering can prevent uterine and test cancers.

Many older dogs develop soft lumps beneath the skin. These are often fatty tumors, which are not cancerous and do not cause any problems. Even if you suspect the lump is harmless, it’s always safest to have it checked by a veterinarian. Early detection of cancer can improve your dog’s chances of surviving the disease and reduce the cost of treatment.

Kidney and liver Failure

The kidney can become injured by infection, toxins, drug trauma, shock, or immunologic attack at any age. Senior Dogs can also develop kidney failure simply because the kidneys wear out in old age. They also produce hormones and chemicals the body needs. When kidneys fail to function, the entire body shuts down, leading to serious illness and death.

It’s a good idea to give your older dog a blood test every year or so. This will catch problems before they become serious.

If a dog has unusually bad breath, becomes dehydrated, drinks a lot of water, and is constantly urinating, he may have kidney disease. Good management of kidney disease includes controlling the amount of protein in your dog’s diet. This can improve the quality and length of your dog’s life.

Heart Disease

Although heart disease is rarely curable, it can be managed with drugs and diet, often giving dogs years of extra life. As with most problems, the earlier it is discovered, the more effective treatment will be.

Dogs who may be experiencing heart problems seem weak and may not have as much energy as they once did. It’s not their fault. As they age, the heart valves may become worn and won’t close as completely with each beat as they once did. Some blood flows backward through partially closed valves, which creates a heart murmur.

Eye Disorders

Cataracts can be a problem for all older dogs. The lens of the eye becomes milky white, blocking light and interfering with vision. Cataracts often grow slowly, but in some dogs, the vision loss may be complete and sudden. Also, very mature cataracts can cause painful inflammation of the eye. A veterinary ophthalmologist (eye specialist) can evaluate a dog’s particular case and possibly perform surgery to cure the cataract and restore vision.

If your dog’s field of vision is narrowing, and she has trouble getting around the house, try to picture your home from her viewpoint ( close to the floor with limited vision) and make accommodations. For example, try not to move any furniture around and keep sharp objects out of her way. Certain areas of your home may be dangerous, such as the doorway to outdoors and the top of a stairway, so take precautions to guide your dog through these areas.

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