How should we take care of senior Shih Tzus?
Although no pet owner wants to think about their Shih Tzu aging as time passes by, it is absolutely something that should not be overlooked. As your Shih Tzu ages from adult to senior, it is essential for owners to understand how to take care of senior Shih Tzus, what to expect, and which typical age-related health problems and diseases that affect senior dogs to watch out for.
Wellness Checks for Senior Shih Tzus
Beginning at your Shih Tzu’s first year, throughout his adult life to the ninth-year mark, wellness checks must be scheduled on an annual basis. When your Shih Tzu becomes a senior, the checkup frequency should increase to twice per year or once every six months. This kind of visit to the veterinarian is usually called a geriatric visit.
With senior Shih Tzus, their immune system is not as strong as it used to be, and health issues can come on quickly. An examination every six months will help ensure that any problems are caught early for the best possible prognosis.
These checkups include comprehensive biochemistry profiles, blood testing, and urine and stool testing. These could also include ultrasounds and x-rays since a lot of diseases and health concerns involving your dog’s major organs could not be detected through blood work alone.
Caring for Older Shih Tzus
Keep your Shih Tzu Active
As expected, there would be gradual muscular degeneration as you Shih Tzu reaches his senior years and some level of osteoarthritis, as well, that might impede a senior Shih Tzu’s capacity to exercise as much as they did. Nevertheless, these are the same reasons why you must keep your Shih Tzu active.
When you let a senior dog become sedentary, it could be challenging to get him back to regular exercising. Thus, do not stop. Being active helps keep their joints lubricated, could loosen stiffness due to arthritis, reduces muscle atrophy due to aging, boosts the immune system, and is great for the heart.
Address Arthritis Concerns
A huge mistake in taking care of a senior Shih Tzu is thinking that the indications of arthritis, such as lethargy, difficulty getting up from a down position, trouble sleeping, and morning discomfort, among others, should be accepted and deemed as a normal part of aging.
Please keep in mind that there are many treatment options to help alleviate the inflammation, pain, and stiffness that comes with this degenerative disease that could gradually damage bones and joints.