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A dog offers companionship, understanding and often joy beyond anything else. Walking a dog gives you a new appreciation of the outside world, helping you see it from a new perspective in every season, and as your dog’s personality emerges, you’ll find you have a companion and friend for all of those seasons.
Unfortunately, dogs can also bring with them worry and concern – you’ll know immediately if your dog is unwell, and its distress will likely be mirrored by your own. Unable to tell us exactly what is wrong and what’s hurting, a sick dog’s out of character behaviour can be deeply upsetting until we can find a reason and a treatment.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the common health problems dogs can experience, and what you can do to make things better.
Dog stomachs are a paradox: they can happily eat things they find in hedges, chew on waste they find on the ground and show no sign of concern, but if you try them on a new dog food it can upset their mood and their stomach immediately.
Occasional diarrhea needn’t be a cause for concern in dogs: as in humans it can simply mean they’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with them, and the problem passes quickly. If it happens regularly, you may have a bigger problem on your hands, however. You may need to be more vigilant with what your dog finds to chew on in the course of your walks, or look again at its diet.
If you’re worried about your dog, diarrhea treatment is available from vets, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment. Prolonged diarrhea and vomiting and can cause dehydration, so it’s a problem you should take seriously.
As your dog gets older, it becomes vulnerable to a wider range of conditions, and you’ll need to start thinking more about how you can help to support its health so it can continue to enjoy a high quality of life.
Dogs of all ages can develop cataracts (the lens of the eye becoming opaque), but they’re especially prevalent in old age. Your dog’s vision can be restored with surgery, but this requires lots of post-operative care.
Arthritis is another common health problem for older dogs. It’s a condition that causes swelling around the joints, making movement difficult and uncomfortable. It takes a long time to develop, and you’ll probably first notice it as your dog begins to slow down on walks, showing less enthusiasm for chasing balls and other dogs.
Arthritis is a condition that is mostly managed in dogs, rather than treated. Your vet can advise you about pain medication, diet supplements and hydrotherapy exercise that can keep your dog fit without stressing the joints too much.
This can all help to keep your dog’s older years just as happy and fulfilling as the rest of your time together, and help you worry less about their health!
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