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Common illness in dogs when they get old

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Senior dogs are susceptible to certain health issues or diseases just like elderly people. Below are some of the most commonly diagnosed illness that older dogs encounter. While some are nuisance, others could be severe problems which can lead to death.

#Dental disease

One of the common health issue that senior dogs are facing is dental disease. Gingivitis or gum inflammation is a painful condition that causes inflammation and bleeding around the gum line. If it is not treated, bacteria infection will occur and the bacteria are believed to contribute to larger health problem like kidney and heart disease.

dog teeth

#Eye problems

Like us, when dog grows old, their vision become worse. Two common findings among dogs are cataracts (white cloudiness in the pupil) and dry eye (eye drying up,becoming red,swollen and irritated). When a dog’s eye issue becomes more severe, it can ultimately lead to blindness.

Dog eyes

#Hearing loss

As dogs grow old, their sense of hearing are greatly weakened. Some dogs may lose their sense of hearing completely. Nothing can be done to stop the deafness, but you can help them adapt to it. Try to use hand signals instead of commands. Since dogs don’t depend much on hearing senses, so hearing loss will hardly affect them.

dog ear


If your senior dog is having a hard time getting up or walking up or down the stairs and jumping, he might be suffering from Arthritis (inflammation of one or more joints). Though there is no cure for Arthritis, there are ways to slow down its progression and ease the pain. For instance, medicine from veterinarian and a nice massage.

dog arithis

#Dementia or cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS)

Dogs can develop changes similar to Dementia or Alzheimer diseases just like humans, which is known as dog cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). Signs of CDS include not recognising their owner, blank staring, wandering around without purpose and forgetting their familiar toys. Although no cure for CDS, sometimes medication and behaviour modification techniques might helps.

dog blank stare


Unfortunately, cancer is becoming more prevalent in dogs as they age. The most common cancers in dogs are bone cancer, bladder cancer and mammary (breast) cancer. Like cancer in human, if it is discoverd early, the chance of survival is high. If you notice your dog has lost weight, lack of energy, difficulty in breathing and sores that heal slowly, take him to vet for a screening check.

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Aging dogs are more susceptible to diabetes. Diabetes is a result of poor production and functioning of insulin. Symptoms of diabetes include weight loss, fatigue, lethargy and etc. Diabetes in dogs is a treatable disease, but it is going to be a life long treatment. The symptoms will return once the treatment is discontinued.

dog drinking water

#Kidney failure

Kidney failure is very common in dogs. Normally when dogs grow older, their kidney lose its ability to function. As a result, toxin begins to build up in the body and causes various symptoms– frequent thirst,loss of appetite,lethargic and constant urination. If your dog is diagnosed with kidney failure, diet change and medication could help to stabilise him.

#Heart disease

If your dog gets tired easily even with light exercise such as walking, this might be an indication of heart problem. Medication and diet can help if your dogs is being diagnosed with heart disease. Heart disease is a very serious illness, better prevent it if you can. A healthy diet with lots of veggies and fruits can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease.

#Vestibular diseases

This disease typically appear in dogs’ old days. Vestibular disease is described as a sudden, non-progressive disturbance of balance. Simply put, your dog has lost his balance. Symptoms of the disease include extreme head tilt, nausea, rapid eye movement, turn in circle or roll and staggering. Treatment is possible.

dog head tilt

Aging is a natural process. As dogs age , they potentially suffer from any kind of illness. Therefore, it is vital to bring your dog to a vet for a checkup regularly. Remember that treatment works better if the disease is discovered early.

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