A unique aspect that can make veterinary medicine and pet ownership challenging is that our pets can’t tell us when they are in pain. Additionally, animals are inherently inclined to hide their pain as it is associated with weakness. This is especially true in senior dogs as they are generally more laid back and difficult to read to begin with.
As dogs age, they may try to
hide any indications that they are in pain. Not only does this stop pet owners
from seeking veterinary care to put their pets at ease, but it could mask
larger medical problems that could be fatal. Some of
the most common illnesses for older dogs include arthritis, dental disease,
urinary tract disease, Cushing’s disease and certain types of cancer – all of
which can cause increase pain, sensitivity and irritability when left
untreated. When caught early, however,
many of these diseases can be effectively managed.
So how can pet
owners recognize the warning signs in
elderly dogs? The following symptoms are pretty consistent across all breeds.
Here are a few of the physical warning signs:
- Trouble sleeping or eating
- Limping or difficulty moving
- Stiffness when walking or attempting stairs
Here are a few behavioral signs to look out for:
- Posture changes such as arching the back
- Changes in displays of affection
- Decrease in cognitive or physical functions
- Increased anxiety
- House training lapses
If your pet starts showing any of the symptoms above, it’s important to schedule an exam with your veterinarian so that they can determine if your dog is in pain.
There are many prescriptions options available today, so don’t hesitate to ask a Butte Oroville Veterinary Hospital staff member what options are available for your senior pet. To help manage pain, catch potentially harmful issues early on and ensure we are treating your senior pet with the right treatment for their individualized needs, we recommend bi-annual veterinary exams for senior pets.
It’s our goal to make it possible to share as many years together with your pet as possible and we are fortunate to have many techniques available to provide senior pet services. To keep your senior pet happy and healthy for years to come, please call our office today and schedule a senior appointment.