If you are fortune enough to still have your dog in his senior years, he may start to suffer from age-related hearing loss (ARHL). It is very similar to what human’s experience as they age that causes many to get hearing aids. It is very hard to watch when your dog no longer responds to your voice or is aware of the sounds around him. This can also create a very dangerous situation if your dog doesn’t come when called or wanders off.
Who doesn’t love a puppy? They are cute, adorable and full of fun. You can’t help but smile when a puppy is around, complete with adoring eyes that follow you everywhere you go. Their faces are so sweet!
However, puppies are not for everyone. This true story tells the tale of how a puppy can be a disaster if placed in the wrong hands.
My mother-in-law is 84 years old and lives on her own in a senior community in California. She is in relatively good health but has a bad back and mobility issues. Six months ago she lost her beloved labradoodle Hannah and was devastated. As she has had dogs ever since she was a child, she decided she was ready for another dog.
I encouraged her to get a senior dog, one that was already trained. However, she was insistent the dog be a labradoodle. I called animal shelters and rescue groups throughout California and was told these dogs are rarely abandoned because they are “designer dogs”. Instead, she decided to get a puppy who was lovingly delivered to her at 12-weeks-old.
My mother-in-law has brand new white carpeting and a white couch. She was having trouble housebreaking the dog because ”stern” is just not in her personality at this age. Even though she could give us the “stink eye” over the years, the dog did not respond to this type of discipline. It’s now been 4 months and “Lucy” is still pooping all over the house. “What are you going to do?” I ask her. “No worries”, she says. “I’ll just buy new carpeting.” “I leave the patio door open every night with the light on in hopes she’ll go outside on my patio.”
Does she think there are no burglars? She leaves the lights on – might as well invite the thieves in for a cup of coffee!
When children are hurt, you can often tell by their screams or the expression on their faces. When dogs are in pain or hurting it can be hard to tell.
If you step on their paw accidentally, they may respond with a loud help. However, it is part of the animal instinct not to show they are hurting as the pack may see it as a sign of weakness.
If your normally sweet dog suddenly becomes grumpy, aggressive, or begins to snap at you or other dogs, a trip to the vet is definitely in order. Sudden behavioral problems are indicative of many senior dog’s illnesses, one being hypothyroidism.
There are 5 main senior dog illnesses that are prevalent among older dogs that dog owners should be concerned about. These include:
Here we will talk about hypothyroidism.
What is Hypothyroidism?
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck that produces the thyroxine hormones. According to WebMD, “hypothyroidism is a clinical condition resulting from a lowered production and release of T4 and T3 hormones by the thyroid gland.”
It is an autoimmune disorder that certain breeds are genetically predisposed to or can be influenced by environmental factors such as: chemicals in medicines, flea and tick products, heartworm drugs and vaccines.
Hypothyroidism is an illness that affects all breeds, but it is more common in golden retrievers, Doberman pinchers, Irish setters, dachshunds, boxers, and cocker spaniels. It usually happens in middle-aged dogs (ages 4 to 10) of medium to large breeds. Neutered males and spayed females also have a higher risk, but vets aren’t exactly sure why.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
- Hair loss on trunk, back of legs, ad tail
- Excessive hair shedding
- Dull and thin coat
- Flaky skin or black patches of skin
- Slower heart rate
- Toenail and ear infections
- Weight gain
- Muscle loss
- Intolerance to cold
Unfortunately, these symptoms don’t occur until 70 percent of the thyroid is already damaged! And once the thyroid is damaged, it doesn’t regenerate. So, instead of waiting for these symptoms to appear, it’s really important to recognize the early symptoms that may indicate a damaged thyroid
Treatment for hypothyroidism
Your vet will run some routine lab tests including a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. Based on the results of these tests, your vet may also run an endocrine panel.
The good news is that once diagnosed, hypothyroidism can be easily and affordably treated and is rarely fatal. Your dog will have to take an oral prescription for his remaining years and will be placed on a daily dose of a synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine). Or, there are many natural therapies that may help before resorting to conventional synthetic thyroid replacement.
At HelpEmUp, we want to give you enough information about your senior dog to make informed decisions.
Most of us wish our pets could live forever. Although the life span of dogs has increased over the years and there are better tools to manage their health, many dog owners still get confused when it comes to senior dogs because of the volume of mis-information out there. Help’EmUp will clear up some of the misconceptions!
As the hustle and bustle of the holidays draw near, we sometimes forget the simple things in life –what we are thankful for. As we are adding up our blessings, our family and friends often come to mind first. It’s sometimes simple to overlook one of the most important aspects of our life: our canine and feline companions.
As a pet parent myself, I know that our dogs have brought me an endless source of love. Here is my list of what I am thankful for … I encourage you to make your own!
If you have had the flu recently, you know it is miserable – headaches, coughing, sneezing, nausea and a high fever. Although the symptoms for a dog are slightly different, did you know your dog can get what is known as “canine influenza virus” or “dog flu”? It can be equally as debilitating for dogs!
What is Canine Flu?
Canine flu was first identified at a Florida racetrack in 2003, but the main strain identified now was brought to the United States by a single dog from Korea in 2015 (via Chicago). The two strains that are prominent are H3N2 (originally from horses) and H3N2 [originally from birds). In just a year the virus has spread to 26 states and 820 dogs. According to the Center for Disease Control, dog flu can be spread “by direct contact with aerosolized respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing) from infected dogs, by uninfected dogs coming into contact with contaminated objects, and by moving contaminated objects or materials between infected and uninfected dogs.”
I have sciatica. My husband has a bad shoulder and back. My 15-year-old dog has arthritis. What a fun threesome we are!
My 75-pound Labrador Buddy lives to hunt ducks with my husband. In fact, that is a big reason we moved to Texas after 40 years in Colorado. My husband and Buddy spend three months a year getting up at an unreasonable hour and enjoying time on the boat. Wouldn’t catch me getting out of bed at 4:30AM to set up decoys! And just so you know, all the meat that we can’t eat is donated to the church. In the summertime they take the boat out to fish … anyone want some free catfish?