9 Rat Terrier Old Age Problems & Care

Rat Terrier Old Age Problems

Rat Terrier old age problems become a problem for owners who know nothing about caring for older rat terriers.

Rat terriers are generally a healthy breed, but they still face some challenges as they get older.

So, I will be discussing some of the rat terriers old age problems you should know and I’ll also outline ways you can care for older rat terriers.

Keep reading…

Rat Terrier Old Age Problems

Given that many health problems related to aging in rat terriers begin around the age of 11 to 13, you may be in for a protracted struggle with an older rat terrier.

Some of the most frequent problems with elderly rat terriers include the following:

1. Cognitive dysfunction

Depression and cognitive deterioration can cause confusion and disorientation in senior rat terriers.

The cognitive dysfunction illness that affects rat terriers is known as dog dementia.

Another significant health danger to be aware of is their mental health, which might make rat terriers agitated and prone to mishaps.

Cognitive failure in rat terriers is thought to be primarily caused by neural network deterioration. The loss of brain cells is what leads to this degeneration.

Senior rat terriers may become less enthusiastic or lose interest in playing with you as a result of these changes.

Read more: 10 Reasons For Rat Terrier Shaking.

2. Patellar luxation

The ailment known as luxating patella, which damages the knee joint, is common in rat terriers.

A bone abnormality or an injury received when the kneecap dislocates might cause this issue.

Rat terriers occasionally display signs of luxating patella, typically in the form of agonizing knee pain.

Owners might observe their dog barking loudly before acting normally again.

After a few days, swelling may develop, which commonly leads to ongoing pain. If neglected, this medical problem often gets worse.

In moderate to severe cases, surgery may be necessary to realign the kneecap.

3. Impair vision

You shouldn’t disregard this because rat terriers at advanced age frequently experience vision problems.

A rat terrier may go entirely blind if certain illnesses, such cataracts, are left untreated.

Cloudy eyes in your rat terrier might be a sign of cataracts or nuclear sclerosis, a less serious ailment.

In contrast to cataracts, this condition only causes the eyes to appear cloudy.

In either scenario, you need to take your dog to the vet for an accurate diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment.

4. Seizure disorders

Seizure disorders can affect a Rat Terrier at any stage of life, although they are more likely to experience seizures as they mature.

A seizure is, to put it simply, a neurological health issue.

Your Rat Terrier will become physically uncontrollable after having a seizure.

When people become older, their organs become weaker and they are more likely to develop renal and liver disorders, which can cause seizures.

Most seizures are brief in duration, however they can occasionally occur often for unknown reasons. Idiopathic epilepsy is the name for the disorder.

5. Heart diseases

In their latter years, Rat Terriers are also susceptible to heart issues.

Among elderly Rat Terriers, mitral valve disease is thought to be a common health risk. This cardiac issue is brought on by a valve’s deterioration.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that your Rat Terriers’ heart condition is not exclusively caused by old age.

Small dog breeds are more likely to inherit heart disease than larger dog breeds are, and as they age, they may become more susceptible to it.

6. Increased shedding

Rat terriers are known for shedding as much as pugs or other dogs since they don’t have an undercoat.

Rat terriers shed for a variety of causes, but the majority of them may be readily remedied with a veterinarian’s assistance.

If your dog continues to shed excessively despite receiving treatment from your veterinarian, you will need to understand how to manage this long-standing problem with rat terriers.

When you see a tiny quantity of fur where your senior rat terrier stood up, that may be a sign that he is nearing the end of his life.

You should anticipate your rat terrier to shed more as they get older. Learn how to control rat terriers’ shedding.

7. Urinary tract problems

The urinary system of your rat terrier is in charge of controlling water, electrolytes, and eliminating waste from the body.

The urinary system also helps with blood pressure regulation and aids in vitamin D digestion, which is necessary for a robust immune system.

While some conditions affecting the urinary system are hereditary, others are caused by trauma, illness, or chemical exposure.

If your rat terrier urinates a lot, has bladder infections regularly, and starts having “accidents” within the house, he may have bladder stones or a urinary tract infection.

8. Painful joints

In older rat terrier dogs, painful joints are among the most common signs of a problem.

You should use caution at this age because this can start as early as 10 to 11 years old.

Always take your rat terrier to the vet if they develop stiff joints or display other unpleasant signs.

When your rat terrier’s mobility declines, you’ll know he’s becoming older.

Your rat terrier may exhibit severe discomfort when you touch his joints, at which point you should take him to the clinic.

9. Dental issues

The majority of dental issues and related medical issues may be avoided by brushing your dog’s teeth and, when required, letting your veterinarian do it.

As they mature, rat terriers are more likely to develop gum disease and tooth damage.

At older age, when bacteria enter the mouth, gum disease develops.

To prevent these problems, they should brush their teeth thoroughly or go to the dentist for a cleaning at least once every 30 days.

Ways to care for old rat terrier

The following are some of the most well-liked methods for caring for an aged rat terrier:

  • Provide a stress-free environment for your rat terrier as they get older
  • Mineral and vitamin supplements that have been authorized by a licensed veterinarian should be included in your rat terrier’s meals.
  • Keep your rat terrier away from allergies.
  • Avoid new activities around your rat terrier as they get older.
  • Feed your rat terrier quality dog food as it ages.
  • Always keep your rat terrier well-hydrated as they become older.
  • Maintain regular grooming as they get older to avoid skin issues.
  • Reduce your rat terrier exercise level as they get older.
  • Make sure your rat terrier has a cozy and peaceful bed.
  • Avoid carcinogens for your rat terrier, such as smoked food.
  • Schedule a routine visit with your veterinarian.


As your Rat Terrier ages, talking to your vet regularly is one of the essential things you must perform.

When you ignore little changes in your aging Rat Terrier, sometimes things turn out badly.

Therefore, do not hesitate to take your Rat Terrier to the veterinarian as soon as you detect a difference, particularly as they become older.

A number of serious health problems that your Rat Terrier can develop as they age might be avoided with routine exams.

I hope this information resolves your concerns about Rat Terrier Old Age Problems!