Dogs Care

Dogs Care: How To Determine If Your Older Dog Is Sick

You and your dog have been together for numerous years and have shared numerous good and bad times. When you were a child, you could tell your parents if something hurt or was not well with you. Even as a baby you could at least cry to indicate that something was wrong. However, our beloved pets cannot do either. Besides, a dog’s pain threshold seems to be considerably higher than that of humans, and they will not whimper or cry until the discomfort is quite severe. It is, therefore, necessary for you to know what is normal for your dog, any changes will be quickly detected. One good way to do this is to develop the following habits of observation. Learn more at Dogs Care!

1. On first greeting your dog in the morning, stop what you are doing, and watch him for about one full minute, allowing him to move about as he wishes.
2. During the morning and evening outdoor activity, observe him for at least ten seconds as he moves up or downstairs, on and off a curbing, porch, etc. Let him walk a short distance ahead of you and watch his body movements for ten seconds.
3. Once a day observe the first twenty seconds of eating a meal, a full twenty seconds during sleep, complete urination, and a complete bowel movement.

Many subtle variations from your dog’s normal patterns will be noticed by doing this, even though you are not looking for anything specific. In addition, unconsciously noticed changes will register on your brain, and, during the giving of the medical history at your veterinarian’s clinic, they will come into your conscious memory. If gross abnormalities are seen, resist the urge to get upset and excited. Try to objectively watch those abnormalities, so you will be able to describe accurately what has occurred. Dogs Care

This observation pattern should become a habit. Though it will take practice at first, it will eventually occupy only a total of four to six minutes spread out over your waking day. Most symptoms of illness are vague, general, or nonspecific. A single symptom, by itself, is often meaningless, at best, and misleading at worst. There are so-called pathognomonic symptoms which supposedly, in and of themselves, indicate a specific illness or disease. While such symptoms do exist, they are few and far between.

Hyperplasia In Older Male Dogs

Hyperplasia of the prostate gland is a benign enlargement due to an increase in the number of cells within the gland and occurs in about 2/3 of older male dogs. However, only a small percentage of these dogs ever show any noticeable signs of the abnormality. The underlying cause is unknown but is thought to be an imbalance of the hormones produced in aging testicles. As the prostate is located directly below the rectum, the enlarged gland may press up against the rectal wall and cause difficulty and discomfort while defecating, straining, and constipation. Unlike man, there is rarely any pain or difficulty in urinating.

Medical treatment with an estrogen injection generally stops the symptoms, reduces the size of the prostate within five or six days, and will keep it that way for several months, in most cases, and occasionally for several years. Some few dogs respond poorly, or not at all, and can be helped only by castration, which causes a permanent shrinking of the prostate.

Should your dog need this operation, he will be home from the hospital in just a few days, but you should keep him quiet and resting for at least one week. A low-bulk diet may be advised for several days. He will probably walk cautiously at first, experiencing some slight discomfort each time he moves a rear leg. This may prompt him to lick or bite at the stitches. Restraint collars or tranquilizers may be used for a short time until the operation is healed and the stitches can be removed.

Cancer of the prostate is rare in dogs and fortunately so because, by the time any noticeable symptoms develop, the tumor has almost always spread to other parts of the body, making it inoperable. Severe loss of weight, lameness in one or both rear legs, pain and difficulty during urination, blood at the beginning of urination, and low back pain may be present in addition to difficult defecation and constipation. Castration or estrogen therapy offers temporary relief of symptoms, but the tumor continues on its destructive course. A recent discovery holds out hope that immunotherapy may be successfully used to treat prostatic cancer but such research is still in its infancy. For more information on Dogs Care click Here!

 

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