Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable

iconiconNote: On Barnes & Noble's website, the ebook listing for this book is separate from the hardcover listing, for some reason, but you can find it here: Good Old Dog ebookicon.

We have two dogs who are getting older, one of whom has hip dysplasia and is therefore showing her age more rapidly than the other. So I was naturally very interested when I saw Good Old Dog in our library's ebook collection.

The book has chapters on the most common issues that owners of older dogs encounter: diet, cancer, heart problems, joint problems, and so on.  Since I was looking for specific information, this made it really easy to just read the chapters I actually needed (although I did skim most of the rest).  I found the chapter on joint problems quite helpful — it talks in detail about the medications available, as well as other ways you can keep your dog comfortable as long as possible.  Surgery is approached as a last resort, although the author does say not to delay necessary surgery because you think your dog is too old, because older dogs actually do much better than you'd think with surgery.  The vet has to be more cautious with anesthesia, obviously, but older dogs tend to recover just fine from surgery.

The chapter on dementia was also very interesting.  Grace (our white shepherd, the one with hip dysplasia) could be showing the early signs of this, although it sounds like the only way to be sure is to completely rule out physical and training issues first.  Since her discomfort and failing eyesight could certainly be causing all but one of the issues we're seeing, we probably need to get her into the vet sometime soon for a physical, a blood panel, and some advice on making her more comfortable.

This is a fantastic book full of good information, and ought to be required information for anyone with an older dog!

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