10 Tips for Managing Your Senior Dog’s Medications
Has your Yorkshire terrier transitioned into his teens? Is the hair on your golden retriever’s muzzle now a lovely shade of gray? If so, it’s likely that some medical issues have accompanied your dog’s aging process. Examples include:
- Heart disease
- Digestive Issues
- Cushing’s disease (an overproduction of cortisone)
- Hypothyroidism (an underproduction of thyroid hormone)
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence (urine leakage)
- Dry eye
- Chronic ear infections
- Kidney failure
Fortunately, many of these maladies can be successfully managed with long term, if not lifelong, medication. Here are ten tips to ensure that, as a conscientious caregiver, you are doing the best job possible with your dog’s medications:
When a new medication is prescribed for your dog, talk with your veterinarian to gather answers to the following questions:
- What is the medication supposed to do?
- What signs of improvement should I be looking for?
- Is this medication compatible with other drugs and supplements my dog is receiving and can they all be given at the same time?
- What are the potential side effects and what should I do if I observe them?
- Does the timing of administration need to be exact?
- Do I need to take special precautions when handling the medication?
- What happens if a dosage is accidentally skipped?
- Should I give the medication if my dog is having an “off day”- lethargic or not eating well?
- How long should the medication be administered? (Just because the pill vial is empty, doesn’t necessarily mean that your veterinarian wants it discontinued.)