Some milestones are easier than others. You made it through the chewing phase, and potty training. They’ve learned tricks and have been a part of your family for a long time. So, what can you expect now that your dog has reached his senior years?
Senior dogs have different needs than younger dogs, and those needs can look different based upon each breed. One of the most common issues seniors face is musculoskeletal ailments such as arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and hip dysplasia.
All breeds are susceptible to arthritis, just like humans. It is one of the most common diagnoses of older dogs. Arthritis causes inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Because dogs tend to be stoic and hide their discomfort, you may be unaware of any changes until their pain becomes severe. So once your pet reaches middle age, it would benefit them for you to be conscious and proactive concerning their joint health.
Symptoms include stiffness, slow movements, lethargy, and trouble rising from a sitting or lying position.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Due to their short legs and long spine, dog breeds like corgis, dachshunds, and basset hounds have different needs than other breeds. They are particularly susceptible to painful degenerative disc disease. This can then lead to spondylosis, a condition that creates bone spurs and immovable boney bridges from one vertebra to another. This makes mobility difficult and uncomfortable as it causes strain to their entire body.
First indications are usually mild behavioral changes like the unwillingness to climb stairs, hunched posture, and stiff or restricted movement. Though pain can occur. Radiographs are necessary to diagnose degenerative disc disease and spondylosis.
Hip dysplasia is more common in large and giant breeds. It is a fact many large and giant breed owners are keenly aware of and will get annual radiographs to check for any abnormalities. Hip dysplasia is a shallow formation of the hip socket causing the joint to fit inside the socket much too loosely. It is a painful condition and in severe cases, hip dysplasia can cause crippling lameness.
Some symptoms include the narrowing of stance, reluctance to go up or down stairs, decreased activity, and loss of thigh muscles. Because this is a genetic condition, some pets will exhibit these symptoms as young as four months old. If you think your pet could have hip dysplasia, it is urgent to see your veterinarian to assess the full scope of the situation using radiographs.
What can you do?
One of the most common suggestions veterinarians make to help with these muscular and skeletal issues is swimming. The act of swimming is extremely therapeutic to the body. This weightless exercise can message stiff joints, and build strength to core and back muscles. Giving your senior greater pain relief throughout a normal day.
The very act of keeping your pet moving for many ailments will help them in the long run. Low impact short walks, and veterinary chiropractic visits can help resist further musculoskeletal degeneration. Your veterinarian may prescribe pain medicines, as well. It is never alright to give your pet any over the counter medicines intended for humans, without talking to your veterinarian first.
Finally, you want your pet comfortable and supported at night time too. And that is why we offer different types of orthopedic beds.
Pet Paradise Orthopedic Bed
This bed is good for any breed. But it is simply the best for dogs who are large and struggling with joint problems, including hip dysplasia. The pillow on top helps disperse their pressure points perfectly across the extra firm mattress underneath. Should your pet need only the mattress underneath, the pillow is detachable. This mattress is waterproof, and the cover and pillow are machine-washable.
These beds are so comfortable happy dog owners have even reported falling asleep on these beds with their pet. See the reviews!
“Our service dog Reece loves her new bed. Her joints are very supported and she sleeps so soundly at night now. I have often fallen asleep on it next to her! Perfect product !”
- Amazon Customer on May 5, 2017
Purchased: Pet Paradise Orthopedic bed
“My mini poodle (14 inches tall, 22 lbs) is almost 14 yo & she can no longer jump up on the sofa or my bed (yes, I have tried steps, etc - no go for her!). So, I looked for a dog bed upon which she could stretch out & that I could keep clean (a little sleep peeing) & that would give her bones & joints support. This bed is ideal, although I needed to put in the bed her favorite blanket before she would use it. It is the perfect size & we are both very satisfied!”
-Amazon Customer, Colleen on February 18, 2018
Purchased Fusion Orthopedic Dog Bed
The Fusion Orthopedic Dog Bed
This heavy-duty bed is built for function, and stylish enough to put anywhere in your home. Because feather soft beads can actually cause strain to weakening joints, it’s extra firm mattress offers the ideal support to your pet, and actually protects their joints. The bolster top adds an additional sense of security if your pet is a little anxious, and likes to feel nestled in. The bolster is detachable for machine wash or convenience.
Firm Orthopedic Lounger Sofa.
This bed is low to the ground and supportive of aching backs and joints. Furthermore, when a pet lives with chronic back issues it is common that they may develop incontinence. To help our pet parents, this elegant sofa has a waterproof liner, and a removable cover for easy wash, and long-term function.