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Don’t overlook these subtle changes in your dog
As dogs age, they tend to move slower, play less and develop patches of white fur around their face, similar to people as they enter their golden years. Although most pet owners notice these changes, they can be easy to overlook, which can be detrimental to the animal's health.
Most owners regularly bring their dogs in to the vet for routine shots and to pick up a new supply of heartworm medication like Ivehart Max. However, many times they won't bring them in for a new limp or lump.
Although some owners don't deem these new issues a big deal, many times these small changes can actually mean something more serious is going on with a dog, so it's important to consult with a vet no matter what.
If you notice a new lump or bump on your dog while giving it a bath with oatmeal shampoo for dogs, you may write it off as a fat mass, and in many cases it is. However, masses found in spots such as the back of the knees or on its neck could actually be a swollen lymph node – a warning sign of a more serious condition.
Another issue that you may not even notice in your dog is the start of a subtle limp. You may assume that the dog pulled a muscle while out on a recent walk. However, the news outlet reports that lameness can actually be one of the early signs of bone cancer, so it's better to be safe than sorry and bring the dog in for a check-up. Large working breeds like Rottweilers or Bernese mountain dogs may benefit from going on joint-enhancing supplements like Glyco Flex III to keep them strong, flexible and pain-free with age.
Weight loss can also be a sign of declining health that owners overlook, especially as more pets are gaining weight. You may assume that your slender dog is the epitome of health, however if it has stopped eating its pet food or eats much less than it used to, there could be a problem. Weight loss can be a sign that a dog is suffering from diabetes, kidney disease or cancer among other medical conditions.
In order to ensure your pooch remains healthy as it ages, always stick to a once-a-year physical with its vet and make sure to call the office to consult about an issue or to make an appointment if you think something could be wrong.