Common Dog Health Problems And Prevention Tips
Dog health problems are common in old dogs with Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia often leading the way. Although both diseases can affect all breeds and sizes, the larger breeds seem to have a higher risk for Hip Dysplasia.
These are very painful diseases and can be distressing for dog owners who often feel helpless.
Unfortunately, there are no cures for Arthritis, Osteoarthritis or Hip Dysplasia. As we all know, prevention is the best cure and should be started as early as possible.
Although genetics do play a role, by starting your dog on a whole diet that includes fresh meat, vegetables and supplements as early on as possible is critical for preventing and rehabilitation of these diseases.
We have seen tremendous results by feeding our own aging dogs a fresh diet rich in nutrients and by integrating a component such as glucosamine that naturally renews the synovial fluid around the damaged joints.
There are several prescription drugs available through your veterinarian that can help your old dog tremendously. Take note that although these drugs will help quickly, unfortunately, they are very hard on your dog’s organs just as quickly.
Most veterinarians do blood work every six months to monitor animals when placed on non-steroidal drugs.
Many of the natural pain medications for dogs have really come a long way in a matter of a couple of years. ArthroIonix for pain control of hip dysplasia and arthritis in dogs has been perfected with very positive results since first entering the market.
If your dog is currently on prescription medications, always inform your Veterinarian when adding any new treatment or medicines whether all natural or not.
Tips For Joint Pain And Stiffness In Your Old Dog
- Give “COATED” Aspirin such as Ascriptin but NEVER IBUPROFEN or any products that contain Ibuprofen.
- An orthopedic dog bed made specifically for dogs with joint problems.
- Purchase doggie stairs or a ramp and never allow him to jump and land on his front legs.
- In the summer, don’t put his bed directly in front of the air conditioner vent.
- In the winter, place his bed in a warm plce and away from drafty areas.
- Have a dog sweater ready for colder days and nights.
- Avoid allowing your old dog to go up or down the stairs too much.
- Place a thick rug down on hard wood floors for him to lay on.
- Provide exercise with shorter walks through out the day.
- The right Dog vitamins and supplements for senior dogs are a huge help.
- A good massage can go a long way for your older dog.
The Right Food Is A MUST for Dog Health Problems & Prevention
Feeding quality food and treats is critical to how your dog will actually feel as he gets older. But it’s NEVER TOO LATE and we encourage you to look to better dog foods. Diet should top the list for aging dogs.
Again, treating many dog health problems start with diet and nutrition. By feeding a premium diet rich in vitamins and minerals, you can avoid many dog health problems such as anal gland problems and diabetes later on in your dog’s life. Diet even plays a role with anxiety issues in dogs. If you need to save money, this is not the place. Like us, “dogs are what they eat” and his/her health starts here.
Lack Of Exercise
Dogs with arthritis or joint problems should still be exercised daily with small walks.
If overweight, it will be “twice” as hard for your dog if he develops dog health problems such as Osteoarthritis or Hip Dysplasia.
Lack of exercise and weight issues are major factors for many dog issues including incontinence and constipation. All dogs need exercise daily no matter what their age. With this in mind, you also have to use common sense. If your dog is older and has a hard time getting around, limit the exercise to several small walks daily and check with your vet.
Your Old Dog’s Ears
The ears are one of the most sensitive parts of your dog’s body. Dirty ears and ear infections will cause your dog to shake his head frequently.
Clean your dog’s ears weekly and check for odor, redness or a thick pasty substance which could indicate a yeast problem and/or an ear infection.
We advise against using antibiotics over and over for dogs with reoccurring ear infections. This only makes the problem worse.
A good food combined with a fatty acid supplement is usually all that’s needed.
Caring For Your Senior Dog’s Eyes
Use a soft damp warm cloth to gently remove sleepers around the eye.
A haze or cloudy look to the eyes usually means cataracts are present. Have your Vet check.
Caring For Your Dog’s Pads And Paws
Dogs sweat through their feet and by panting. The pads on your dog’s feet should maintain a naturally rugged surface to avoid slipping. But, once in awhile the pads may become irritated and need a little help:
Gently blot petroleum jelly on each pad that is cracked and dry. The best time to do this is before bed so that it soaks in all night. Although the petroleum jelly won’t hurt him, he will try and lick it off. You can place a child’s sock over the foot and use velcro to keep it in place, but not too tight with the velcro.
There are also many different products on the market to aid in healing your dog’s pads if this doesn’t work. Be sure to regularly check the pads and between the toes on your old dog’s feet. Look for cuts, bruises and foreign objects.
Please, Keep Your Old Dog Clean
It’s important that you regulate your older dog’s weight by not over feeding at meal time and by limiting the amount of treats you feed. Avoid giving your dog a little of everything you eat.
A clean dog is a happy dog, so remember to bathe your best friend regularly.
We recommend approximately every six to eight weeks. You can also use a warm damp cloth or natural baby wipes in between bathing.
Dog Health Problems – Parasite Prevention
Parasites such as heartworms should be high on your list when it comes to prevention. Faithfully provide your older dog with monthly heartworm medication if you live in Florida or Texas. However, we highly suggest that all of our visitors talk with a HOLISTIC veterinarian and move towards safer alternatives when it comes to caring for your sick dog.
If you live in other areas of the U.S., talk to your holistic vet about just keeping your dog on heartworm prevention 6 months out of the year. While heartworm prevention is critical, many methods of treatment that we’re using to prevent dog health problems are causing bigger problems such as kidney and liver disease.
For example; bulking up on vaccinations and using monthly chemical flea and tick treatments tend to weaken the immune system causing more health problems for dogs. Holistic vets typically want to do a blood test called 4DX to check for heart worms, lyme disease, etc.
Heartworms are becoming increasingly resistant due to dog owners overusing chemicals on their dogs. Because mosquitoes transmit heartworm, it’s important to protect him at all times. Consider using an all natural bug repellent for dogs such as TripleSure (shown below) to defend against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes which cause heartworm infestations.
Fleas and Ticks Cause Many Dog Health Problems
These pests can cause a lot of distress for older dogs. Fleas and ticks cause several dog health problems such as anemia, tapeworm infections, plus fleas are also the primary cause for some skin conditions in dogs who may have an allergic reaction to just one bite from a flea.
Being a responsible dog owner means providing your old dog with a solid routine incorporated with a little discipline, alot of love and good judgment on your behalf. Avoid potential dog health problems by using this page as a model for applying all your dog care needs and don’t forget to keep a first aid kit on hand for your four legged friend. Both you and your aging friend will be grateful for your efforts.
Even the best of care won’t prevent all dog health problems, but it can certainly eliminate many and slow down the aging process. That care also plays a significant role in determining your dog’s longevity and the quality of his life as he ages.