The males are a tiny statistical tick ahead. At least that of our readers. Of the masters of the dog creation, 37.4% are older than eleven years, with the females “only” 36.6%. More than half of the dogs described in the survey are still living in their prime between five and ten (50.6%). Hardly any of them are alone. Every third person has a canine companion at home (31%), and the oldies get along with one or more cats even more often (42.6%). Singles with their people are only 24.4%.
And they’re still pretty fit. Almost 80% of senior dogs have neither suffered nor suffer from any serious or chronic illness. The many years of life have changed them, also externally: Over half of the dogs visibly turn gray with age (53%). And the bit is no longer the best in 23.2% (more bitches than males). The owners report arthritic complaints in 29.2% (more males), of the senses the eyes are most likely to decrease (21.4%), then the hearing (16.8% more females). Every tenth dog thins in terms of fur (more bitches) and almost a third gain weight (29.8%, significantly more bitches).
The elderly four-legged friends also change their behavior, apparently almost exclusively for the better. Or are the oldies so dear to their owners that they overlook a few weaknesses? 45.8% of the oldie dogs want to sleep a lot (more bitches), 18.8% want less exercise (more bitches), the need for cuddling of all seniors increases enormously: 36.4% of all dog owners state that their oldie significantly more Seeks contact with them than before (significantly more males with 41.6%). A full 2% feel the opposite (less need for contact). Many older dogs suffer in midsummer, because 20.4% of oldie owners register increased sensitivity to heat, while only 13% are more sensitive to cold.
During the clinical examination, the veterinarian looks at the dog at rest and in motion. He pays particular attention to the eyes, ears and orifices. Older dogs often suffer from dental problems, which often lead to further damage to their health. Therefore, the oral cavity is also examined in detail. When palpating the dog, the vet feels swelling, hardening or painful areas. It also assesses the condition of the skin and coat. The heart and circulatory system must be examined in depth. If listening to the heart or symptoms such as coughing and restlessness at night indicate a heart disease, special examinations such as x-rays, ultrasound and EKG are recommended. With timely drug treatment, the process of creeping heart failure can be slowed down significantly. Particularly in the respiratory system, a normal age-related restriction of function is often difficult to distinguish from a pathological occurrence. Additional examinations, such as chest x-rays, may be needed.
And what about the typical grouchiness towards other dogs? It’s not as bad as you think. Only 15.2% of the older dogs (16% of the bitches) do not like to spend time with their kind. All in all, the letters show: Over the years the love of the owners grows, at most they smile at the occasional defiance, disobedience and even the puddles on the carpet. The older dog’s wisdom seems to have a good influence on them. (Text: Ursula Birr)