Older dogs tend to develop mobility issues, whether from arthritis or injury. Many aging dogs will experience increased difficulty getting on and off furniture, in and out of cars, or up and down steps. Quality pet stairs come in many styles and prices. A small stepping stool designed for pets could be just what your senior dog needs to continue living comfortably!
Many clients bring their aging dogs to me for private sessions because they have started having difficulty or reluctance with or can no longer perform normal life activities like climbing stairs, getting into the car, or walking on smooth flooring. These problems are often related to muscle atrophy in the hind end. Once the dogs get the all-clear from their veterinarian, we work on fitness exercises designed to rebuild hind-end strength; we increase the difficulty of the exercises slowly over time until more function returns.
Older dogs, like older people, have an easier time getting around if they aren't overweight. Losing weight can be a challenge for dogs at any age, but more so as dogs grow older. Still, weight loss for dogs is worth the effort. Slender dogs not only get around more easily, but also actually live longer. A 14-year study showed that dogs fed 25 percent fewer calories than their free-fed littermates lived nearly two years longer, showed fewer visible signs of aging, and enjoyed an extra three years of pain-free mobility before developing canine arthritis.
If your dog has arthritis or is recovering from an injury or has a condition that restricts her range of motion, a variety of assistance devices ranging from simple to sophisticated can help her live a more comfortable, active life. Steps and ramps are affordable, portable aids for dogs who need help getting onto or off of furniture or into and out of vehicles. For dogs with neck or spine injuries or osteoarthritis, elevated food and water bowls may help reduce pain (or anxiety about pain) from reaching down to eat or drink from low bowls.
Exercise is essential for dogs of all ages. It helps maintain muscle tone, a healthy weight, joint flexibility, good circulation, and overall health and happiness but when movement causes pain, it's only natural to slow down or stay still. That creates a vicious cycle in which inactivity contributes to pain, pain reinforces inactivity, and the dog's health deteriorates.
We gathered nine high-end, medium and large dog beds that were marketed as orthopedic
Sometimes we don't want to admit our dog is aging. We ignore the graying muzzle and scoff at the idea of a senior dog food." After all
When my husband asked me to come to the shelter where he worked to meet the 8-year-old Australian Shepherd he had fallen in love with and wanted to adopt, of course I said yes. When Paul first met Missy, she threw herself on her back at his feet, and he was hooked. When I saw her striking red merle coat, her stunning odd eyes" (one brown
Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), also called cognitive dysfunction syndrome, is comparable to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Dogs with CCD may show signs such as confusion, disorientation, anxiety, irritability, apathy, reduced interaction, house soiling, forgetfulness, and aimless wandering or pacing, especially at night. CCD can rob a dog of quality of life, and make living with an old dog difficult.
Some are reluctant to perform surgery on old dogs because of anesthesia risks or complications, but these risks are minimal in the case of most lipomas. Modern anesthesia protocols are far safer than they used to be, and complications are generally minor, usually limited to superficial infection or delayed healing. There is no reason not to remove lipomas from older dogs when they interfere with their quality of life.
Do you have a dog recovering from orthopedic or neurologic surgery, one who has mobility issues, or a senior dog who has arthritis? If so, at some point, you have probably wished you could do something anything! to help make your dog's life (and your own) a little easier. I asked two veterinarians who specialize in canine rehabilitation to share some of their top picks for canine assistive/rehabilitative equipment. Laurie McCauley, DVM, CCRT, is founder and medical director of TOPS Veterinary Rehabilitation in Grayslake, Illinois, and is considered one of the pioneers in the field of veterinary rehabilitation. Evelyn Orenbuch, DVM, CAVCA, CCRT, recently opened Georgia Veterinary Rehabilitation, Fitness and Pain Management in Marietta, Georgia, and has focused on veterinary rehab medicine since 2003.
If we're fortunate enough to have them live to old age, at some point, most of our canine companions begin to lose their hearing and may eventually be, for all intents and purposes, deaf. It's painful to watch a beloved dog become less and less responsive to his environment because he's unaware of what's going on around him, and even more so when it limits your ability to communicate with him. The thought of a hearing-impaired dog wandering off and not being able to hear your calls is frightening. Here are five things you can do if your dog's hearing isn't what it used to be.
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