It can be challenging and even disheartening to see your best friend grow old, especially if you can start to see signs of old age. But what are these signs?
The physical changes that indicate the beginning of old age in your pug
Gray snout A thinner layer. Less energy Bad dental health Nebulosity of the lens of the eye. The falls. Decreased sense of smell Rigidity or pain in the joints. Less tolerance of extreme temperatures.
Other signs of aging include weight gain or weight loss, changes in appetite, urination more frequently due to excessive thirst, and poor skin condition.
Some geriatric Pug sleep more, they stop paying much attention to what is happening around them. Others develop behavioral or mental changes, such as fears of strangers.
The Pug however beyond that they can present in general some health problem is a young race of heart, and often they act like puppies all their life, what also is necessary to control because with the years to be so vital it can be a question of attitude but this has to have a control on our part to avoid skin or joint injuries, is a very sensitive breed over time, fragile in every way.
Fortunately and thanks to advances in the field of veterinary medicine, which has improved the understanding we have about animals, their needs and the pathologies they suffer, the life expectancy of our pets is higher than a couple of decades ago, and of better quality.
Factors as important as food, vaccination, deworming and new treatments, allow us to enjoy our animals for more years. That is why we currently find many pets that enter the third age, and it is important that the owner is aware that certain changes occur gradually and have different requirements and demands.
Essentially they continue to be our four-legged friends, but they need us to look after them more now and be more understanding.
Quality, in this phase of his life, is largely conditioned by the type of life he has had during the past years. A correct diet, regular exercise and regular visits to the veterinarian, will make them arrive in better conditions at old age. Logically, genes are determinants and the health transmitted to them by parents is also fundamental; but dogs of small-medium size, like our Pugs, tend to live longer compared to larger dogs. But all these are statistics that are not always met so that each individual is a different story.
It is advisable that from the age of 7 or 8 years veterinary check-ups be done every 6 or 9 months, to make a general exploration that allows detecting any pathology with sufficient time. Many times, the rapidity of diagnosis can mean the difference between an efficient treatment or a long treatment without satisfactory results.
According to the history of each pet, the living conditions and the result of the physical examination, the doctor can decide to do some more tests (such as blood tests, urine or x-rays) to make sure that there is no disease in an initial stage, which has not yet manifested external signs.
Associated problems and necessary care
Our pets, when they reach a certain age, require more attention to guarantee a good quality of life. They do not stop being our companions, and we will still be able to enjoy with them good times if we help them in the necessary thing.
The most common problems that arise with age
Important: If the animal is not neutered, several reproductive problems may appear. Infections of the uterus are particularly common in older bitches; psychological pregnancies or secretions may also appear. In males, testicular and prostate tumors may appear. “The oldest animal can still be fertile,” we must remember that our dogs do not suffer from significant hormonal deficiencies to stop reproductive cycles that even at advanced ages can continue to reproduce but pregnancy at this age is very dangerous so we must avoid accidents.
Decreased senses: it is common for them to develop cataracts, a certain degree of deafness due to the aging of the eardrum, and decreased smell and taste that will result in less appetite and a bit of disorientation. An old dog with a vision disorder should be helped to adapt to their new lifestyle.
Consult the veterinarian, it is important to assess the extent of your dog’s problem. You can help your friend by evaluating the environmental conditions and adjust them to your best comfort. If deafness is confirmed, there are other ways to communicate with him, by means of stamps or common words already known to him, for example.
Dogs that have lost their hearing remember that they should not be surprised by the back or surprisingly since permanent fears can occur or they can have violent reactions. Mobility problems: with age, they often suffer from arthritis that makes exercise difficult. It may be more difficult for you to climb or descend stairs, jump or run as you did before. In turn, they lose muscle mass due to this inactivity. Arthritis, for example, can make several movements difficult.
For example, when it comes to standing up and can not, especially when standing for long periods. You can also start limping when walking, and need help getting in and out of vehicles, climb steps, etc. What does not mean that you can not do an activity, exercise is essential for the animal at that stage of life, should not just be laying around all the time. Putting heat on the muscles can be very beneficial, warm water bags or heat therapies that are popular today as treatments in bones and joints of pets are a great help for them.
The problems of locomotion caused by pain can be alleviated with the correct medication prescribed by a veterinarian and significantly improve the mobility condition in our pet. Periodontal disease: brushing the teeth is not a common practice given its difficulty and low tolerance, and although there are products that help reduce the production of tartar, its appearance is inevitable.
They may lose some teeth and may develop excessive gingivitis. A buccal cleaning performed at the veterinary center may be necessary to avoid more serious problems. Given the age, precautions must be taken to ensure satisfactory anesthesia.
The heart weakens over the years, and our pets may manifest signs such as exercise intolerance, coughing or fluid accumulation in the abdomen or chest. They can be signs of mitral valve insufficiency, which decompensates the heart. In this case, it requires diagnosis and apply the appropriate treatment. Renal insufficiency: this is a very common pathology and many veterinary centers include routine blood and urine analysis from a certain age to diagnose this disease in time and treat it successfully.
The usual symptoms are: Drink more water (we have to fill your drinker more often). They urinate more often (sometimes they can not stand until the ride). Loss of appetite (do not finish your ration) and weight loss. Halitosis and ulcers in the mouth.
Bad appearance of the coat
With age, skin problems begin to appear due to decreased elasticity and increased time for the healing of cuts and wounds. Hair loss is increased due to the weakening of the hair follicles. The defense system of the skin decreases allowing the appearance of tumors. Emphasis should be placed on humidification, there are creams and ointments on the market for these problems.
Loss of vitality, changes in behavior (sometimes seem to forget the orders or rules that had learned or are more grumpy), different habits (such as sleep more, even more), are other associated factors that we can expect from an animal in the Third Age. In some this deterioration is very marked and it is called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.
In many occasions, the veterinarian can offer advice and some drugs that help improve the quality of life, but that will hardly solve the problem, since it is associated with age, but will reduce the discomfort. Given the age, the administration of any medication (especially if it is for a long period of time) has to be monitored closely and the doctors may believe necessary periodic reviews to ensure that there are no side effects that may be harmful.
We have to be understandable and tolerant in some aspects, and understand that it is no longer that puppy with whom we played for an entire afternoon; Maybe now enjoy spending an afternoon at your side, receiving caresses and attention. The following points must be taken into account: Change the diet to one more appropriate for their age.
Smaller portions, wet and more palatable food and more frequent rations. In the case of pathology, the diet has an important weight in the treatment. Obesity is one of the greatest health risks in older dogs. The tendency of older animals with weight gain is the result of a change in metabolism, it is very dangerous for the joints, heart and other organs of the aging dog.
Pay attention to the environmental conditions, temperatures affect more an old dog. This happens because your dog is producing fewer hormones that help maintain body temperature. Give bars to chew and help keep teeth clean. Shorter trips but more frequently. Moderate exercise Maintain a constant routine, in a stable environment that they know, without many changes. Easy access to water, food and your bed (do not have to climb stairs for example).
Close observation of the animal, looking for signs of disease. Avoid introducing another pet. Although some owners think that it will be beneficial for them, in many cases the old animal is left behind with the arrival of a younger member and can trigger problems of hierarchy, stress, and depression. Periodic reviews at the veterinary center. Do not forget vaccinations and deworming.
In conclusion, we can say that our pets, when they reach a certain age, require more attention to ensure a good quality of life. They do not stop being our companions, and we still have to be able to enjoy good times and help them in what is necessary so that they live their last years of a happy life. After all, it’s what they would do for us, unconditionally …