GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY
PART 3; RECOGNISING PAIN
We see our dogs every day so sometimes it is difficult to perceive change from one day to next, we also have strong emotional attachment, however the person who best knows your dog is YOU. There are simple questionnaires that have been created which allow us to maintain perspective, trial a new medication or supplement or change and review truthfully its outcome without the emotional bias.
Helsinki chronic pain index
Canine arthritis resources and education
Part 4; GENERAL HEALTH
It is important to get your dogs checked regularly, annual blood tests can also be useful to catch early significant changes to the internal organs, especially if on medication or about to be put on any medications such as NSAIDs.
Changes in older dogs may be easily dismissed as symptoms of aging but are likely to indicate underlying illness, pain or degeneration.
Symptoms causing changes in toileting can be more common in older dogs, it is important to get any symptoms checked by your veterinarian to rule out any links with the kidneys, dysfunctional nerves, infection or metabolic imbalance. Changes in stools can also be an indication of poor health as can weight loss, sudden weight gain, inappetence, change of character, a reluctance to exercise, and increased thirst.