Frequently Occurring Health Problems in Senior Dogs

Health problems in senior dogs vary based on size. Life expectancy also varies among breeds with small breeds living longer than larger breeds. Subsequently, changes associated with age may not be the same for all dogs. However strong, healthy dogs and dogs which have been spayed or neutered typically live longer than their counterparts.

Here are some common health problems that might plague your senior dog:

Joint problems

Arthritis is very common in older dogs especially larger breeds. Arthritis may decrease your dog's mobility and can become debilitating.

Dental problems

Periodontal disease is the most common problem for older dogs. Routine dental care throughout life may minimize issues later.

Vision loss

Changes in the eye may occur with age. Sclerosis is a condition in which the lens appears cloudy, however, the dog normally sees well. Cataracts and glaucoma affect certain breeds later in life.

Hearing loss

As with the vision, a dog's hearing may deteriorate with age.

Gastrointestinal issues

Some senior dogs may experience constipation or upset stomachs. The movement of food through the digestive tract slows as the dog ages, which may result in constipation. A decrease in activity and mobility may also add to the occurrence of constipation.

Urinary incontinence

Incontinence is an involuntary leaking of urine. Older dogs may have "accidents" in the house even though they've been housetrained for years. Medication is often given to treat urinary incontinence.