Monday, May 08, 2006

Do Older Dogs Lose Their Teeth As Do Humans?

Aging Dog

Hi all,
Here is the part 6 of the Q&A on older dogs.

Q & A: Part 6

Do older dogs lose their teeth as do humans?
Yes, but for slightly different reasons. Excessive tartar builds up. This creates a bacterial climate whereby destructive agents invade the gum and bone surfaces, causing damage or destruction to both, and eventual tooth loss in some dogs. Machines such as the cavitron have been used with some success in removing excess tartar from a dog's teeth. Once the dog has bitten down on a piece of food, the outer surfaces are not utilized very much so most of the tartar forms on the outside of the teeth. The inner surfaces are being stimulated more by the action of chewing and therefore remain cleaner.

Why do dogs live such a relatively short life span?
Every type of animal has a predetermined life span and we cannot deduce any logical or medical rationales for the relatively short life span of dogs. However, all dogs will reach their maximum longevity if kept in good health. A proper diet will increase your dog's lifespan.

Why do small dogs live relatively longer than the larger breeds?
It probably has something to do with the metabolic rate. The greatest difference occurs within the very large breeds, such as the St. Bernards, Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds. Their average life span might be eight or nine years, as opposed to a tiny Poodle or Chihuahua that can seemingly live on forever, becoming senior citizens of eighteen or nineteen years old.

What is the most humane way of ending a dog's life?
Euthanasia, as performed by an overdose of anesthesia, is the most painless way of ending a dog's life. He simply goes to sleep, in a matter of seconds, and feels no pain or apprehension. Phenobarbital is the anesthesia used. Some facilities use suffocation, which means putting the dog in an evacuation chamber and extracting the air, a method most often employed where cost dictates mass disposal. This procedure, of course, is much less humane and to be avoided wherever possible. Carbon monoxide is also used, and could be considered a second alternative to the phenobarbital.

How often should the older dog be bathed?
The older dog, as well as any age dog, should be bathed whenever he is dirty, and as often as he needs it, in a wild, natural, herbal shampoo from a health food store.

Do older dogs need special vitamins?
An older dog should be on a good multivitamin, mineral, trace mineral, intestinal flora, and enzyme preparation, because he does not absorb nutrients as well from the intestinal tract.

Ok, that's all for today.
Keep your question coming, I shall select those good one and anwser them to the final part of this Q&A session.

Till then, take care of yourself and your doggie friend.


Aging Dog

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