It is a sad fact that as dogs age, they will become more susceptible to various health conditions. You are likely to outlive your dog, and that means that as he or she ages, you will have to face any number of issues that could make him or her uncomfortable, and react accordingly. Aging dogs are prone to many of the physical conditions that plague humans as well, including arthritis, bone loss, and loss of muscle tone. Another common issue is bridging of the spine, or spondylosis.
What is Spondylosis?
Spondylosis is a condition of the spine that is seen most often in senior dogs. It is a degeneration of the spinal disks that can result in bone spurs that create bridges between the vertebrae, hence the term “bridging of the spine.” It can inhibit your dog’s flexibility, and reduce mobility. Any breed can develop this condition.
Causes of Spondylosis
Although old age cannot really be termed a cause of spondylosis, it does occur most often in dogs age 10 and older. Some experts think that every dog, if it lives long enough, will develop this condition. Your dog could have a genetic predisposition to developing spondylosis. Other causes can be stress, lack of exercise, injury or poor nutrition.
Symptoms of Spondylosis
You may not notice symptoms until quite late in your dog’s life. The most common indications of the disorder are difficulty moving, sensitivity to touch, limping, and stiffness. You may even notice growths along the spine.
Treatment for Spondylosis
Most of the time, you will not know that your dog has spondylosis until the vet has reason to do an x-ray. The condition cannot be cured or reversed, but it can be treated. In serious cases, surgery may be needed to remove the bone spurs. In less serious cases, your vet may simply recommend a pain medication to be used as needed. Overweight dogs may experience some relief if they can drop a few pounds.
Exercise is also recommended, and one of the best exercises is to take your dog swimming. It is one of the best low-impact exercises for both people and dogs, so if your dog is not afraid of water, suit up and get in the pool with him.
Spondylosis and Dehydration
A side effect of Spondylosis can be dehydration, so make sure that your dog has plenty of fresh water to drink. Dehydration can cause dryness, cracking and bleeding in your dog’s snout which just adds to the discomfort. To prevent dryness, or sooth it if it happens, Snout Soother from Natural Dog Company can make your aging dog much more comfortable. Here is a review from a satisfied owner of a dog with spondylosis:
“Sending well wishes and thanks for an absolutely amazing product!! Pictured below is my Golden Retriever/Border Collie Mix who just celebrated his ninth birthday on June 12th. Buddy suffers from bridging of the spine where occasional meds & steroid shots are needed which causes dehydration (as you can see in the “before pics”) resulting in extreme cracking and drying out of his poor snout. I previously tried several products (GNC DOG ESSENTIALS: Nose Care” which I purchased from PetSmart, I cannot remember the other brand before that one) which did nothing for poor Buddy’s nose. I purchased the Snout Soother & Paw Soother and I am absolutely thankful for both. Thanks again for developing amazing products.”
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Bridging of the spine can be a debilitating condition, and one that can break a dog owner’s heart. No one wants to see their best friend having difficulty with movement, or unable to play joyously the way he once did. Fortunately, there are treatments available for spondylosis that can help your dog to enjoy his senior years longer. The dehydration that goes hand in hand with spondylosis can also be eased by ensuring that fresh water is always available, and by treating a dry snout with an all-natural, vegan remedy like Snout Soother from Natural Dog Company.
One thing you will never have to worry about as your dog ages is not seeing the love in his or her eyes. Give that love back by taking extra care of them in their senior years.