My previous Devon Rex was dumped at a shelter after 18 months being locked in a room. She’d been bought on the misguided belief that she wouldn’t cause cat allergy. It took me years to get her settled after that rough start, and it could have been worse.
I’ve seen plenty of animal lovers who are allergic to their pets. It’s heartbreaking to watch. The good news is there are things you can do to help.
The dog breeds famous for short lifespans are the giant breeds like Great Danes and Wolfhounds. I think that the diseases they are known for (bone cancer and dilated cardiomyopathy) take them while they are still in the prime of life. If we look at the large breeds, like Golden Retrievers for example, it’s not at all clear that they live any shorter lives than small dogs.
When Is A Dog Considered Old?
British is an Airedale terrier who inspired this blog. By the old method, he’s 63 years old and even the new way says he’s 57. Most importantly, in his head, he’ll always be a teenager.
Dogs are only as old as they feel. I don’t think we should talk about ‘old age’ in dogs the way we do about people being retired or pensioners. True, knowing the equivalent human age is helpful in thinking about healthcare but it says nothing about their state of mind.
When I wrote about how to know when to go to the vet I said all change is meaningful. Old age is just the sum total of separate diseases. If we keep them under control our dogs can feel and act young right up to their senior years.
Lebeau, A. (1953). L’âge du chien et celui de l’homme. Essai de statistique sur la mortalité canine. Bulletin de l’Academie Veterinaire de France, 26, 229-232. The matching of human and dog ages in this visionary study from 1953 has stood the test of time and become the basis for modern approaches to assessing dog age.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. These blogs are from a series regularly posted on email and Twitter. Subscribe via email here to never miss a story! Have something to add? Comments are welcome below and will appear within 24 hours of lodging.
What do you think when you see a dog like this? Many people would say he’s not pretty, or pedigreed, and he probably doesn’t have too many fine manners. Of course we’d disagree. And more and more dog lovers are also seeing the rough diamond in these dogs.
Most decisions to own a purebred dog are based entirely on positive aspects, like temperament, personality and lifestyle. These are important, but we should also focus on the negative, like what can go wrong. Some people believe that genetic diseases are becoming more common in fcertain purebred dogs due to limited gene pools and close breeding. Regardless of whether this is true, genetic diseases are well-known and common and we should make ourselves aware of them. Read about diseases of cat breeds here.
Runt. What a powerful word. It instantly brings to mind images of poor, sickly puppies destined to never be as healthy as their brothers and sisters.
What if the whole idea of the runt of the litter is a myth? Well that’s what I think, anyway. My 20 years tell me you can take home the smaller puppies without having poorer health, as long as you follow a few basic rules…
Here I go again! Another unbearably cute puppy picture in the paper and all I can do is complain!
There’s no question that adorable images of a Shar Pei puppy and a Scottish Fold kitten from the Adelaide Advertiser melt the heart. So why do most vets see something different when we look at these pictures?