Omvårdnad av den geriatriska hunden

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

Abstract: Due to progresses constantly being made in veterinary medicine combined with increasing knowledge in pet owners, the dogs of today gets older than before. The population of geriatric dogs is there for constantly growing, which makes them an important group of patients on small animal clinics and hospitals. As dogs age, so do their interior organs. Geriatric dogs are prone to several diseases and in this text the author has decided to focus on three of the most common: Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), cancer and osteoarthritis (AO). All of these illnesses are incurable in dogs, but it is important to remember that they are still treatable. Cancer and osteoarthritis are known to be very painful, still they are two of the most disregarded and forgotten diseases when it comes to pain control. CDS is relatively unknown to the public, leading to a great deal of dogs suffering in silence without their owners knowing there is help to get. Managing pain is the most important aspect of cancer nursing. Dogs suffering from OA needs painkillers as well, but there is a lot that can be done by the owner to make life more comfortable for the ill dog. For example weight loss, comfortable soft places to rest and ramps to avoid jumping are relatively easy things for owners to execute. Also massage and other forms of physiotherapy are proven very effective in managing pain. Dogs suffering from CDS are very sensitive of sudden changes in their home environment. They need structure and routines to avoid unhealthy stress. This demands a lot from owners of dogs with CDS. Ill dogs require more frequent walks and some can’t handle new people in their homes. This may affect the owners working hours, social life and so on. An increase in knowledge of these diseases, and most importantly what you can do at home to help your dog, will give many geriatric dogs a happier and more comfortable life.

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