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5 Common Illnesses In Older Dogs You Should Know About

Old English Sheepdog: Image by Iamharryc, FlickrOld English Sheepdog: Image by Iamharryc, Flickr

As a dog ages, he has a higher risk of getting certain illnesses. Keep reading to learn some common ailments older dogs suffer from, so you know what to look out for.

1. Problems In The Eyes

Older dogs often get problems in their eyes such as cataracts, dry eye, and glaucoma. Cataracts tend to develop once a dog is 8-10 years old, and is a common cause of blindness in dogs. Signs of cataracts are cloudy eyes, or a blue tinted hue in the center of the eye. Dry eye will cause redness and irritation, and should be looked at by a vet. Glaucoma is another common cause of blindness and is characterized by a swollen appearance, redness, irritation, and rubbing of the eyes. 

2. Arthritis And Joint Pain

If your dog is suffering from arthritis or joint pain, he'll likely have a hard time walking around on hard floors like wood, tile, and linoleum. He may also seem stiff in the morning and walk with his back legs close together. Arthritis, unfortunately, isn't reversible. The most you can do is help him deal with the pain. Consult a vet to see how you can help.

3. Dental Diseases

Dental diseases tend to show up in a dog's later years, especially if he hasn't been receiving regular dental care like teeth brushing and dental treats. The most common oral diseases among dogs in older age are periodontal disease and gingivitis. Oral health is more important than most realize, and can add or subtract years from a dog's life. Sign of poor oral health include swollen gums, difficulty eating, bad breath, sensitive mouth, and loose teeth. 

4. Hearing Loss

This Old Dog is One of the Sweetest Creatures I've Ever Known: Image by Moriartys, FlickrThis Old Dog is One of the Sweetest Creatures I've Ever Known: Image by Moriartys, Flickr

Hearing loss is a common ailment for dogs as they age. If your dog isn't responding as well to commands in old age, it might be because he doesn't hear you. Some other common ear problems for older dogs include polyps, tumors, and infections. If your dog is frequently scratching at his ear, or if you see any blood or discharge coming from his ear, it's probably best to take him to a vet.

5. Skin And Coat Problems 

Older dogs often develop cysts, moles, and fatty deposits along the skin, so it's important to keep a close eye on their skin and coat to watch for any problems. A thinning hair coat, or dull or dry hair might also be a sign of problems.  If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it's important to take him to the vet to make sure there aren't any serious problems.

Keep a close eye on your dog as he ages to prevent any problems from surfacing. Be sure to give him the love and care he needs, so he can live a long and happy life.

Also Read: Warning Signs Of Diabetes In Your Dog for more information about dog illnesses. 

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