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Caring For your Pomeranian

Senior Pomeranian Care

How do Pomeranians age ? It may be sad, but all dogs eventually get older. And that means they’re more likely to face health issues. An old Pomeranian will face numerous health problems, including those related to genetic and lifestyle reasons.

The good news, though, is that with today’s advanced medicines, a diagnosis tends to take place sooner, which means prevention and intervention can extend your senior Pomeranian’s life. Older dogs tend to experience health problems over time, rather than suddenly. Be on the lookout for anything that appears to be an issue, no matter how small.

Nutrition for a Senior Pomeranian

As a dog ages, his metabolism slows. Exercise becomes more trying and fewer calories are expended. Thus, special diets should be used for pets over five years old. You can create these in tandem with your veterinarian’s suggestions. Older dogs will also need more fibre than younger Pomeranians, for the same reason as older humans.

However, they also need enough vitamins, minerals, fat and protein. Some owners decide to stick with their Pomeranian’s typical foods, offering it in smaller portions. Other owners choose special food specifically created for senior dogs.

These types of food have a basic protein content of around 18 percent (14 percent for Poms suffering from kidney disorders), a basic fat level of 10-12 percent, and a basic fibre level of 3-5 percent.

They also may contain additives like minerals, beta-glucan, omega 3 and 6, glucosamine and vitamins. You’ll find food suitable for older Pomeranians in cans or bags in commercial stores or through your veterinarian. If your pet gets a bit fussy, just warm the food slightly to increase the taste and smell and he’ll most likely munch away!

How to handle problems with Senior Pomeranian senses.

As with people, dogs grow old. They can have issues with poor cognitive functions and senses growing weaker. However, dogs are more capable of handling such changes than most older people.

Old Pomeranian Suffering Loss of sight

As he grows older, the usually black pupils of his eyes start becoming a little hazy. It’s normal for a dog and only minimally affects his sight. However, if the pupils turn white or grey, it’s likely that he has cataracts.

New Treatment for Older Pomeranian Eye Problems 

A new treatment for this condition involving the use of eye drops is now available for humans. Hopefully this new way of treating cataracts will be available soon for our canine friends too. A dog eye specialist can operate and take out the affected lens. An artificial lens can be inserted in its place. This is the same way that people have their eyesight improved.

Your vet needs to ascertain two major elements before operating:

• Is your beloved older Pomeranian healthy enough to handle eye surgery and the recovery process?

• Is your dog’s retina still working properly? After your pet has the cataract procedure done, he’ll need lots of love and care but it’s certainly worth it for you and your dog. If he goes blind, his life will change dramatically, as will yours. Unfortunately, there are sometimes problems with eyesight that can’t be cured. You might not even realise he’s slowly losing his vision until he’s virtually blind.

To assist your older Pomeranian in getting around safely, there are a few precautions you’ll need to take immediate action on, so he can lead as “normal” a life as possible, if he does go blind.

Actions include:
  • Not moving furniture unless necessary.
  • Closing off hazardous areas such as your pool, staircases and anything else where he may stumble and falls and hurt himself.
  • Use smells and sounds around your home to help him work out where he is. Examples include: ticking clocks, radio or CDs, perfumed face towels or other fabrics, and smelly shoes that always get put in the same place.
  • Create paths he can touch. For example, use gravel paths outside or carpet runners inside. As with people, most blind dogs can go on to lead long, relatively normal lives.

Senior Pomeranian Loss of Hearing

Older Pomeranian dogs often succumb to hearing loss. They can hear very high-pitched noises but that’s the initial problem. If your dog doesn’t react when you call or whistle for him, try using a lower voice.

Hearing aids are no good for dogs. So it’s up to you to retrain him to communicate in different ways. Hand signals can be understood quite easily. If he’s outside and you call him to come inside, he may not respond so train him to come in when you turn the porch light on and off a few times. It’s critical to pat your dog a lot so he doesn’t think that you have stopped talking to him.

Loss of Cognitive Functions in an Old Pomeranian

If your old Pom seems to be pacing up and down, wandering around aimlessly or standing in a corner and wondering what to do, he may have an issue with cognitive dysfunction. In other words, his thought processes aren’t as sharp as they used to be.

Your vet may prescribe various medications to help. However, the process can take weeks or even months, and even then, there’s no guarantee it may work. Dogs vary in how they react to medications.

Owners of senior Pomeranian dogs that have had remarkable results are extremely happy, with their Poms back to “normal.”

There are other ways you can help. Provide small challenges to make your dog think more…teach him new tricks or games. If he still loves the games he played in his younger days, you can keep doing them as well.

However, don’t do too much because he’ll tire easily. Less activities that require a lot of energy are ideal. For example, hide some treats and get your pet to look for them. Car trips are fun because they’re not draining him of precious energy and he gets to see new sights.

Having you for company is what all dogs crave. Studies have proven results that doing these things will help avoid a reduction in mental capacity.

Older dogs have more health issues.

Humans suffer from more health problems as we get older. The same thing applies to your Pomeranian dog. Lots of parts can be affected including bones, joints, kidneys, heart, brain and various other organs. Cancer is more likely to occur in older dogs as well.

Your senior Pomeranian dog needs more preventive actions to avoid such problems. Have the vet do a full examination twice every year. Older Pomeranian dogs will need more things checked. For example, blood tests are essential because they can reveal all sorts of real and potential problems such as: anaemia, clots, high white blood cells, infections, deficiencies in vitamins and minerals and so on.

Tests can determine if your beloved dog has diabetes, liver or kidney failure and other health major concerns.

Here are Typical Ailments that Senior Pomeranian Dogs May Get

Arthritis:

Poms remain cheerful for most of their lives. However, you shouldn’t push older dogs as hard as young dogs when it comes to physical activities. Use a doggy ramp or steps to help him get on and off furniture instead of making him jump and cause injuries.

Older Pomeranian dogs should still get some physical exercise but when it comes time for a rest, ensure his bed is soft and comfortable. Short walks will most likely be all he can handle. Your vet may prescribe certain medications to improve the arthritic joint and ease the symptoms.

Certain medications can help rejuvenate cartilage and increase the collagen production. Most pharmacies can help with some of these drugs.

Body odour:

The smell of an older dog is generally more powerful than that of a younger one. The most common causes are ear infections, teeth issues and kidney disease.

Body temperature:

As dogs age, they become more susceptible to cold and heat. If he’s too hot and is panting, or if he’s shivering from the cold, do what you can to help him feel better.

Dry skin:

As they grow older, dogs lose a lot of the moisture in their skin, thus making it itchier. Brush him regularly and you’ll stimulate the production of oil and more moisture will be created. When washing your beloved Pom dog, use a moisturising conditioner.

Issues with Older Pomeranian Teeth: 

It is not unusual for problems with an older dog losing teeth. Senior Poms often have issues with their teeth including: licking lips, doggy breath, a dislike for chewing and avoiding your hands touching his mouth. However, these issues tell you that a visit to the vet is needed. He can pull out any loose teeth and give your old Pomeranian dog’s mouth a clean and check up to detect other issues.

Senior Pomeranian Digestion Problems:

Diarrhoea and vomiting both cause dehydration and an energy drain in older Pomeranian dogs and this can happen quite fast. Liver or kidney troubles may be the cause. As he’s older now, you shouldn’t delay in getting him to your vet.

Immune System Issues:

Older Pomeranians have a weaker immune system so regular vaccinations are critical. If he spends all his time at home, you may not need them all but ask your vet because these decisions can change.

Older dogs are prone to numerous other health issues including:

Diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and liver disease. Cushing’s syndrome (there’s too much cortisol in his system) is another serious health problem. It can cause your dog to have a pot belly as well as other symptoms including: diarrhoea, weight loss, a runny nose, coughing, changes in his appetite, a distended abdomen, extra thirsty and more frequent urination.

The majority of ailments that older Pomeranian dogs face can be treated and cured providing that you take action as soon as possible. The “wait and see” approach isn’t wise as an old Pomeranian will become dangerously ill faster than young dogs. Always contact your vet if you see any unusual symptoms. It’s best to be safe than sorry.

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References and Further Reading:
[1] Denise Leo “The Pomeranian Handbook”.

Senior Pomeranian Care
Senior Pomeranian Care

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