Hardening of the arteries, or sclerosis, is a curse of old age in dogs. The vessel walls lose some of their elasticity which results in a poorer diffusion of blood through the vascular system. The telltale sign is observed in most old dogs’ eyes: the pupil, once black, has become cloudy or grayish as a result of the small vessels of the lenses becoming “hard” or thick-walled. That its blood does not circulate as it did in the past is one of the reasons an old dog slows down.
What we think of as the nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord together with all the larger and smaller nerves emanating from and leading to them, down to the tiniest terminal branches. The system is affected by various troubles, ranging from injury to the terminal branches to the involvement of the brain itself by viruses, bacteria, protozoan organisms, toxins, and mechanical injuries.
To appreciate all the chances for nerve injury to which a pet is liable one need only consider for a moment the innumerable ramifications of nerves in a dog’s body. Aside from the possibilities of mechanical injury, the nerves are governed by secretions of the ductless gland and manifest odd and abnormal behavior when the glands fail to function properly. If the pancreas, for example, fails to secrete insulin, the blood fails to store sugar in the liver; if the blood becomes overwhelmed with sugar, a nervous manifestation – a convulsion occurs.
If there is too much thyroid secretion, the dog becomes nervous and overactive; too little, and it is sluggish. Interfere with the function of the parathyroids and a different kind of convulsion occurs. And when the pituitary is disturbed, a whole host of abnormalities in behavior develops. These manifestations are all nervous and all are controlled by or due to chemical secretions.
Drugs taken through the mouth may affect the nerves. A dog poisoned with strychnine trembles violently then rests a moment and trembles again. Put its nervous system out of commission with an injectable hypnotic and the trembling stops, indicating that the nerves were directly affected by the poison.
As a pet owner, you are required to be careful in detecting the disease in your old dog if at all it happens. The following symptoms of aging would help you to find out the incidence of the disease.
Symptoms of Dog Sclerosis
- On becoming old your dog would be gradually losing the jet-black color of the pupil of the eyes and would rather turn out to be bluish-white or gray.
- Though the vision of your dog would be unhampered during the initial stages of growing old the vision will deteriorate when the dog grows too old.
The capacity to see gets damaged when the dog has already lived a long life. Vision impairment in dogs is generally characterized by not being able to recognize the identity of individuals from a certain distance or not being able to acknowledge the presence of a person until he comes quite close.
See more: Dog Secretory Gland Depressants
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