Changes In Your Aging Dog(older dogs)
Aging dogs (older dogs) are less adaptable to, and more adversely suffering from pressure and changes. Numerous dog owners don’t take this into recommendation when making plans regarding their older dogs. For example, for years you and your dog enjoyed those races by means of the woods or around the playground. You may still enjoy it now, but your older dog probably finds it hard to keep up with you.
What used to be plenty of fun may now make him a bit grouchy and force him to breathe abnormally difficult. You have just redecorated the house, and what used to be your dog’s favorite spot to settle down in, is now occupied by a piece of furniture. Your dog becomes restless, temperamental, could also urinate or defecate in the house or right on that piece of furniture, and you cannot comprehend why.
It is not needed to baby or spoil a dog just for the reason that he is aging. if truth be told, this should be carefully avoided, as it is a trap into which numerous dog owners promptly fall. You should encourage your older dogs to become part of family life as constantly, but you must be warned to keep away from undue stresses or useless changes. That piece of new furniture doesn’t have to stand on the precise spot where he has snoozed for more than 10 years. In your dog mind, that spot is his personal territory. Even in his youth, such a loss would have been upsetting, but he would find another alright location. The older dog finds it harder to adjust and can create undesirable patterns as a result.
A dog is both a dependent and an autonomous animal in his relationship with you. In youth, he will go after your every footstep even to the point of getting underfoot. His greatest joy is to be with you wherever, and there are a few times he wants to be by himself. As he gets older, though, this will often change, and he may seek solitude much more of the time. But he loves you still, depending on his physical state, he just prefers to be by himself. He will play with you and be your companion, but don’t expect necessarily the same sort of response you got from him when he was a lot younger.
Don’t “kill him with kindness” by giving what you think tasty human food such as cake, ice cream, bacon, or liver. Such sudden changes in diet can generate serious abdomen and intestinal frustration, resulting in profuse vomiting or diarrhea. It could also encourage your dog to refuse his common food and hold out for the “goodies” which in time can cause severe nutritional imbalance.
Does Your Aging Dog Have Lymphosarcoma?
Accounting for better than five percent of all tumors known to occur within the dog, lymphosarcoma is the commonest malignancy seen in aging dogs, especially those in the eight to twelve-year range. Its cause is unknown and is relentlessly fatal, but early diagnosis combined with one or more of the therapy modes just described can comfortably prolong life for eight months to a year.
This tumor can develop in any organ or part of the body, and symptoms will naturally depend on the location. If it’s in the digestive system, there may be vomiting, prolonged diarrhea, and continuing weight loss despite a good or even ravenous appetite. The liver or spleen may become quite enlarged causing a “big belly.” Tumors in the chest can cause coughing and difficulty breathing, as can tumefied tonsils.
In the skin form, there may be many hard, reddened areas that ulcerate easily. Some older dogs show tumor development in one or both eyes, usually in the iris or just under the cornea. Any or all of these can occur in one dog, but the commonest symptom is an enlargement of the lymph nodes located just under the skin on the back of the thighs, the front of the shoulders, and on either side of the throat near the jawbone. Such a dog may appear perfectly normal in all other ways and could misleadingly induce you to ignore the swellings until the tumor spreads further and causes obvious signs of illness.
A biopsy of an enlarged lymph node or suspicious skin will confirm the diagnosis. X-ray studies can confirm the additional disease in the chest or abdomen and are essential when there are no external tumors. Blood studies are also helpful, about half of the older dogs with lymphosarcoma tumors also have leukemia. Most cases of lymphosarcoma involve multiple parts of the body, thereby making surgical excision of the tumors impractical, if not impossible.
Chemotherapy is the method most often used and initially, prednisone, a cortisone-like drug, is the medication generally prescribed. It makes your dog “feel better” and is less dangerous than most other effective drugs. These more toxic drugs may be used later on, or they are sometimes combined with the prednisone right from the beginning of therapy. Radiation treatments and immunotherapy are occasionally used as adjuncts to chemotherapy.