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Older Dog FAQ Part 3

Older Dog Frequently Asked Questions - Part 3

Can older dogs develop cataracts? Yes, but cataracts can also be seen in younger dogs.

Do mixed breeds live longer than pure breeds? Researchers have not found that the longevity differs greatly between mixed and purebred dogs.

Are there any kinds of parasites that would particularly affect older dogs? If an older dog gets hookworms, it might affect him more. In general, it all depends upon the dog's state of well-being.

Are organ transplants performed in older dogs? These operations are performed experimentally. But practically, the cost would be prohibitive, not to mention the problem of availability of organs.

Do older dogs shed more? No, they may even shed less. But they may develop more seborrhea.

What dog diseases are communicable to humans? Ringworm, rabies, sarcoptic mange, ticks, can all be communicated to humans. Incidentally, ringworm is a fungus disease of the skin and, as such, it is a misnomer. In the case of sarcoptic mange, when you kill it on the dog, the human symptoms will disappear.

Does an aging dog become senile? In general, no, unless there are other circumstances involved, such as a brain tumor. But it is also recognized that dogs can suffer from Alzheimers.

Do dogs utilize their full capacity of intelligence? We know, and most people are amazed to discover, that a dog has a tremendous capacity for learning, regardless of age. This potential is seldom tapped by most dog owners.

Are there special food considerations for diabetic dogs? Yes. In general, you should not be using the semi-moist packaged foods for a diabetic dog, because of the sugar they contain that moderate in whole grains, and high in high biological-value dairy products.

Can you tell a dog's age by the condition of its-teeth? No. Some two-year-old dogs could chew on rocks and have teeth that look like the dog is fifteen. Others retain the shape and color through very advanced years.

Is there any age beyond which you should not purchase a dog? You should try to find out why the dog is being sold at an advanced age. If he is aggressive, you likely will have a problem. But if you are satisfied that the reasons are valid as to why the dog is being given up, then, beyond the fact that you will have a shorter life together, the love that passes between you will be just as strong and meaningful as if it had been a complete life span.

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