Senior Dogs

Your dog may be getting older, but that's no reason why your senior pet cannot enjoy life to the fullest. From nutrition to common health problems, here you will find tips to help your dog get the most out of life.

Nutrition for older dogs

As your dog gets older, their nutritional requirements change.

Older animals may be less able to cope with nutrient excesses or deficiencies, or changes in nutrient intake and quality. It is important to select the right diet to help keep your dog healthy for as long as possible.

Senior diets, like Royal Canin Mature, aim to maintain body weight and prevent obesity, and contain added nutrients to help with problems associated with aging including:

  • glucosamine and chondroitin to help manage arthritis
  • antioxidants such as Vitamin E to eliminate free radicals that cause tissue damage
  • omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

Your dog may also have a medical condition that could benefit from a specific veterinary diet.

Contact us or drop in for a chat about which diet is best for your senior dog.

Increased water intake?

Excessive drinking is an important symptom of many medical conditions. It is normal for dogs to drink up to 100mls of water per kilogram of their body weight each day.

Sometimes increased thirst can be due to normal environmental factors. Dogs will naturally drink more on hot days, after exercise or after a very salty meal.

It can however also be a symptom of medical conditions including:

  • kidney problems
  • liver problems
  • bladder infections
  • diabetes
  • excessive production of cortisone (hyperadrenocoticism)

Your vet will always ask you for a urine sample to help evaluate the potential cause of excessive drinking, so please feel free to visit us or your local vet for a free urine sample jar and advice on how to collect a sample.

Heart disease in dogs

Heart disease is a common problem in dogs as they get older.

A heart murmur is often the first evidence of this. Your vet will find this on a routine physical examination. A heart murmur refers to an extra noise that your vet hears between the normal beats of the heart.

As heart disease progresses, you may notices changes in your pet at home including:

  • unwillingness to go on walks
  • more time spent sleeping
  • tiring easily
  • a soft moist cough, usually in the morning or in the evenings

If heart disease is suspected, blood tests, x-rays and potentially an ultrasound will be recommended.

These tests help your vet to:

  • determine where the problem is in the heart
  • evaluate how severe the problem is
  • choose the appropriate treatment

Advances in veterinary medicine mean that many heart problems are managed well with medications. This means your dog can potentially live a longer, more fulfilling life.

Eye problems and blindness

Eye problems in dogs require prompt assessment and treatment. Many eye conditions can lead to permanent eye damage or even blindness if left untreated.

Signs or symptoms of eye problems in dogs:

  • Yellow, green or brown discharge from the eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Holding the eye shut
  • Cloudiness
  • Bulging of the eye

Most dogs adapt very well to blindness because they are much better at using their other senses like hearing and smell.

There are a number of potential causes of blindness in dogs, including:

  • cataracts
  • scarring of the surface of the eye
  • lens luxation
  • degeneration of the retina at the back of the eye

If you notice any problems with your dog's eyes or vision, please contact us.

More information

For more information, please contact us at Glen Iris Veterinary Hospital & Cattery.

We are conveniently in the City of Stonnington and Glen Eira. The pawfect location for pet parents living in Glen Iris, Malvern, Toorak, Kooyong, Armadale and surrounding areas!