Pomeranians are a loyal little breed of dogs who live 12 to 16 years. In their later years, Poms can develop a number of health problems that will require your care. As a responsible pet owner, you need to understand what symptoms to look for and how to help the aging sweetheart.
Dental problems commonly plague Pomeranians as they age. As the dog gets older, you may need to have your vet professional clean your pet's teeth on a regular basis to help remove plaque and tartar. Proper teeth care is essential, especially as your dog ages. Buildup of tartar can lead to an infection in the gums and roots of the teeth. This can result in your pet losing her teeth. Once this happens, the kidneys, heart and joints can be affected. Dental problems can reduce your dog's lifespan up to 3 years. Check your dog's teeth for tartar buildup on a weekly basis. If the tarter is hard to remove, a professional cleaning may be necessary.
Cloudiness in your pet's eyes could be cataracts. Pomeranians are prone to this eye condition; while it can appear as early as 4 years of age, it is common in senior Poms. Dogs are very adaptive to the loss of sight in one eye. If you're worried about your dog's vision, or if cataracts affects both eyes, surgery may be an option to restore vision.
Otherwise known as patellar luxation, dislocation of the kneecaps is common in the Pomeranian breed. If you notice your dog lifting one leg as she runs, or skipping or hopping, she may be experiencing luxation. A dog experiencing this condition will usually kick its leg outward to pop the kneecap back into place. In most cases, treatment is simply anti-inflammatory arthritis medication. If the condition worsens, surgery can help prevent the kneecap from becoming dislocated. Afterward, it's helpful to put your dog through rehabilitation exercises.
Obesity is another condition that can happen at any age. However, as your Pomeranian gets older and experiences typical aches and pains, she may be less likely to get enough exercise. This can cause weight to come on more quickly. If you notice your pet getting heavier, cut back on the amount you feed her each day or choose a weight-loss food formula -- cutting back is healthier. Do so gradually, taking away just a bit of food at a time until you're feeding about three-quarters of what you were feeding before.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- “Pomeranians: An Owner's Manual”; Joe Stahlkuppe; 2000
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.