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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2006
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    909

    Unhappy My dog is starting to act old

    In the last couple of months, my dog is suddenly starting to act old. She is 12-13 year old lab/beagle mix that we got from the SPCA almost 11 years ago. She's always been very playful, and acted much younger than she actually is. Just recently, though, she's started acting old. Not all the time, but it seems to be more often. She went through a rough period over the summer, with severe ear infections that took about four months to finally clear up, and it seems to have taken the toll on her hearing. She's not deaf, but is definitely lost quite a bit of her hearing. She also sleeps much longer and much heavier than she did even a few months ago. She always went up to bed when I did...now she won't notice that I'm going, and I have to either shake her awake, or leave her sleeping in the living room. She's also starting to have trouble going up the stairs - again, not all the time, but on occasion. At other times, she still runs around, playing keep away with her toys, and acting just like she always has, and races up and down the stairs. She's gone to the vet, had blood work, etc, and seems to be okay physically. It's just sad to see the old dog starting to creep in and take over.



  2. #2
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    Nov. 19, 2002
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    Oh yes, it is sad when you finally notice and have to admit that your dog is aging and just not the same dog as last year. I feel for you. We all have been there and it is a sad realization.



  3. #3
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Ask you vet to look your dog over again, do some blood work for a base line if nothing else.
    There are some good medications today to improve the quality of life of old dogs, ask about them, may help your dog feel and get around better.
    So much of aging is in some part due to inflamation processes and some medications are geared to minimize that.



  4. #4
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    We started our oldie on fish oil capsules in addition to her anti-inflammatory meds and she's like a new dog. Could be a coincidence, but I'm keeping it up. Her x-rays show arthritis through her whole body. Poor thing went undiagnosed with Lyme for a while. I'm thinking about trying Adequan injections.

    Funny story about an older dog. My sister's golden was ancient. One day they were unable to wake her. It was a Saturday afternoon in the summer and they live in southern California, so were unable to bury her (no property) or take her to their vet who was closed. After about 15 to 20 minutes of discussion on what to do with the body, the dog got up and walked away. She lived for 2 more years.



  5. #5
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    We started our oldie on fish oil capsules in addition to her anti-inflammatory meds and she's like a new dog. Could be a coincidence, but I'm keeping it up. Her x-rays show arthritis through her whole body. Poor thing went undiagnosed with Lyme for a while. I'm thinking about trying Adequan injections.

    Funny story about an older dog. My sister's golden was ancient. One day they were unable to wake her. It was a Saturday afternoon in the summer and they live in southern California, so were unable to bury her (no property) or take her to their vet who was closed. After about 15 to 20 minutes of discussion on what to do with the body, the dog got up and walked away. She lived for 2 more years.
    Wow ... wow ... wow!

    That really was a close call there!

    I know someone that had that happen with an ancient pet rabbit.
    They took it out of the cage and left it laying there for dead, gone just for a little bit, when something else came up.
    Came back, no rabbit, looked around and there he was, sitting under some bushes and looking at them.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2003
    Location
    N. Augusta, SC (but forever a BUCKEYE!)
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    1,793

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    We have a 12 year old lab mix that we have had for 6 years. He's quite gray, but he's having more difficulty getting up and down, and is quite happy sitting on the sofa with my husband when he has the electric throw blanket turned on. It has to feel good on his old body. The recent snow/ice storm was really difficult for him.

    I've found that Chondroiton/Glucosamine supplements have helped him as does weight management and daily walks. Our goal is to just make him happy and comfortable in his older years. We are realizing that he just can't do the things he could do a year ago, so we make accomodations.
    Random horse pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/glfprncs/
    Talk to me about fitness or nutrition (I'm an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer)!
    My blog! http://personalsweatequity.blogspot.com/



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2010
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    planet earth ;)
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    96

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevertoolate View Post
    In the last couple of months, my dog is suddenly starting to act old. She is 12-13 year old lab/beagle mix that we got from the SPCA almost 11 years ago. She's always been very playful, and acted much younger than she actually is. Just recently, though, she's started acting old. Not all the time, but it seems to be more often. She went through a rough period over the summer, with severe ear infections that took about four months to finally clear up, and it seems to have taken the toll on her hearing. She's not deaf, but is definitely lost quite a bit of her hearing. She also sleeps much longer and much heavier than she did even a few months ago. She always went up to bed when I did...now she won't notice that I'm going, and I have to either shake her awake, or leave her sleeping in the living room. She's also starting to have trouble going up the stairs - again, not all the time, but on occasion. At other times, she still runs around, playing keep away with her toys, and acting just like she always has, and races up and down the stairs. She's gone to the vet, had blood work, etc, and seems to be okay physically. It's just sad to see the old dog starting to creep in and take over.
    Oh my.... I am in the exact same situation. We made the mistake of not spaying my little girl, and it has bit us in the arse now. Fought breast cancer, and then became so angered at my vet for not even mentioning the option of spaying her simultaneous of her tumor removals. I was stupid then because I didn't know anything about the issue. I went to the vet to have the tumors checked out and he said he'd have time to remove them through surgery the next morning. I complied and didn't have the time for me to do secondary research. I guess he was just wanting money for a second/extra surgery when I realized she needed to get spayed. I trusted him, should have not. What I am thankful for though, is that he found 2 more tumors than the ones that I found. They luckily came out benign. However, the results said "basically benign." I don't really know what they mean by "basically."

    My poor girl then showed signs within a few months of having ovarian cancer, so I didn't question it and just took her to get spayed at the local charity spay/neuter clinic since I didn't have money to forge out for another expensive surgery at a vet. She did for sure, and I am ever greatful for clinics such as this! Never have I been so inspired by a wonderful group of people. And it only costed me $50, for the antibiotics, pain medicine, EVERYTHING!

    She is about to turn 11 in February. It breaks my heart. I love my dog as much as I would any child and would defend her with my life. I think the most depressing thing in my life so far is to watch her get old. I certainly can feel your pain. I am doing routine geriatric blood tests every 6 months to just make sure I don't miss something that could make her life expectancy shorten that could be easily treated with medication. I also go to different vets because I haven't yet found one that I trust.

    It feel for you, really. I know how much we love our animals!!
    "The bare necessities of life will come to you." -The Jungle Book



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2001
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    Neighland!
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    From someone who lost their 12 year old corgi suddenly in August, treasure every day and take none for granted. Trudy was totally fine one night (partaking in her favorite activity, grasshopper hunting!) and super lethargic the next morning, we did everything we could, but lost her in a week. I was/am devastated, and honestly wasn't prepared, since she was in such good health. Lessons learned I will always do senior dog wellness checks once or twice a year including all blood work.

    Give your girl lots of extra cookies, treats and hugs and enjoy her, I miss my senior girl although I have a bouncy happy puppy that is lucky he's cute because he's certainly mischievous!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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    14,257

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Ask you vet to look your dog over again, do some blood work for a base line if nothing else.
    There are some good medications today to improve the quality of life of old dogs, ask about them, may help your dog feel and get around better.
    So much of aging is in some part due to inflamation processes and some medications are geared to minimize that.
    THis^^^^


    Start her on a Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM supplement (for people, is cheaper, and works). Add a fish oil capsule to food (pierce it with a pin and squeeze over food).
    Ask your vet about starting on Adequan.
    Use a raised dish for feeding. Neck arthritis can make eating out of a dish on the floor painful. Even putting the dish on a phone book will make it more comfortable to eat.
    Keep excess weight off. It's harder on the joints and heart.
    Exercise lightly daily. Swimming is great if able.

    You CAN make her more comfortable.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
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    4,770

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    Yep, our 12 year old ACD mix has been really showing her age the last couple of years. Most of it, I believe is due to arthritis...she has trouble getting on and off the furniture and sometimes is lying down just because it's hard to get up, not because she's tired. It's also tiring to be in pain a good bit of the time. Her right elbow is trashed, very bad arthritic changes to the joint. She's always been a very hard charger...did everything 150%, never knew when to rest or slow down. We've had her on Adequan for about six months and it seems to be helping, nothing could ever "fix" that joint, but it seems to be reducing the pain and inflammation. For several days after each shot, she wants to go out and play when she wakes up then she slowly gets sluggish again until it's time for the next one.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2005
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    6,769

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neighland View Post
    From someone who lost their 12 year old corgi suddenly in August, treasure every day and take none for granted. Trudy was totally fine one night (partaking in her favorite activity, grasshopper hunting!) and super lethargic the next morning, we did everything we could, but lost her in a week. I was/am devastated, and honestly wasn't prepared, since she was in such good health. Lessons learned I will always do senior dog wellness checks once or twice a year including all blood work.

    Give your girl lots of extra cookies, treats and hugs and enjoy her, I miss my senior girl although I have a bouncy happy puppy that is lucky he's cute because he's certainly mischievous!
    Yep... happened to me in October. Lost my 10 yo BC suddenly. She was fine Saturday night, woke up Sunday morning and she wouldn't get up. Took her to the doggy ER and they found a tumor. Opted for surgery since she had never been sick before. She made it through that but really struggled w/ recovery and couldn't walk. So we let her go. Ended up being malignant cancer anyways. Was probably best to let her go then. They think it had spread to her brain hence why she couldn't walk. It sucks.

    My other 2 BC's are almost 8. And just this past year, have started to show the "aging" signs. Grey muzzles and around their eyes. And slowing down just a little bit.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    5,034

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    I'm sure your vet has thought of this, but be sure to check his thyroid.

    Last year, at age 12, our Golden started to act old. Sleeping much more, acting deaf and disoriented much of the time. At an appointment for something else, I mentioned her behavioral changes to the vet and they checked her thyroid. It was only slightly low, but putting her on medication has made ALL the difference. My vet said that there is no reason a 12-13yo Golden can't be active and have a good quality of life. Now at 13 she is still doing really well. She still goes out running in the fields when my daughters hack out, and while we have to be careful she doesn't overdo, she acts about 5 years younger now.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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    14,257

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    Yep, our 12 year old ACD mix has been really showing her age the last couple of years. Most of it, I believe is due to arthritis...she has trouble getting on and off the furniture and sometimes is lying down just because it's hard to get up, not because she's tired. It's also tiring to be in pain a good bit of the time. Her right elbow is trashed, very bad arthritic changes to the joint. She's always been a very hard charger...did everything 150%, never knew when to rest or slow down. We've had her on Adequan for about six months and it seems to be helping, nothing could ever "fix" that joint, but it seems to be reducing the pain and inflammation. For several days after each shot, she wants to go out and play when she wakes up then she slowly gets sluggish again until it's time for the next one.
    See about having your vet put her on an NSAID like Previcox, Rimadyl, Etodolac, Deramaxx. They can help a lot with pain/immflamation and really add quality to her remaining years.



  14. #14
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    Feb. 22, 2000
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    passepartout
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    My ancient Chihuahua-Papillon mix died just before Christmas. I never knew his exact age as we found him on the street but he was at least 16+ and the vet thought he was in the 17-18 range. He was old.

    As my dogs get older, I do a blood panel every 6 mos. Some things are to be expected, like heart murmurs in small dogs or declining kidney function in general. It's not always easy to watch them get old but so long as they're happy and still there mentally (dogs do get dementia), I just try to keep them comfortable. At that point, they deserve it.

    With my dog, I spent the first 14 years chasing after him because he had a tendency to wander if I turned my back (he'd been a happy stray and was very independent). The last year of his life, the vigilance was reversed and he didn't like me to be out of his sight for long. So I complied. It wasn't always easy (he was very demanding) but he'd been a great friend over the years. For the last 6 months, I made him his favorite gluten-free pumpkin pancakes every morning for breakfast. Yeah, I know, it's ridiculous to be playing chef for a tiny dog but it was what he wanted so it was the least I could do.

    Good luck with yours. I hope she has a few good years left.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2002
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,361

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    (Hugs)

    I wanted to mention, even though our dog getting old is sad to us, the dog itself doesn't have to feel sad! He will read your mood, so make sure you are happy & cheerful to be with him, old & creaky as he is - and keep your sadness for when you are away from your dog.

    Its hard I know, but I do believe it makes the old dogs last months/years much better to have their human be "happy" around them, acting as if all is just fine! (when inside of course our hearts are already grieving the coming loss).

    My old GSD Nox is 11 and too old for his age (another undiagnosed Lyme case adding to his old age arthritis issues - i can relate to the guild over that too!)

    Along with regular vet checks & supplements, I'm just taking the time to put some extra lovin' on him, whenever I can. I know he feels most blue when the younger dogs gallop around and he can't keep up, so I make sure he has plenty of time with just me in the yard to play with, we "gallop" together joyfully at his pace then.

    He is slowly getting stiffer & requiring more & more support and I know the clock is ticking... my heartache over the coming loss is starting to creep in, but I cover it up when I'm with him with sheer joy & love!

    I do believe it matters that the old dog doesn't have to feel my sadness, only my joy in still being together with him!

    Hugs again.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 7, 2004
    Location
    NoVa
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    5,449

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    My golden will be 13 on Wednesday (GO TONKA!!). I started giving her IM Adequan shots because she was slowing down on the stairs, and I tell you what, she runs around like a puppy! Still....deliberate the first time down the stairs in the morning but other than that, is kicking strong (*knock on wood*).

    Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
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    1,235

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    I lost my 14 y/o Dalmatian a year ago. I had her from 6 weeks old. Its so hard to see them get older. Here are a few things we did to make life easier for my girl. These things help her ease into her elderly years gracefully.

    I got her a GREAT thick supportive bed. This helped more than anything else. Crib mattresses are great! I even put a layer of the egg crate foam over the mattress.

    Chondroiton/Glucosamine supplement

    yogurt- a few spoonfuls helped keep her digestive tract happy

    Once she started to become reluctant, we carried her up and down the stairs. Yes, she was heavy!! We made a ramp for her to get down the few stairs outside.

    We got lots of rugs. Our floor downstairs is all tile, so she started slipping. The rugs gave her the grip she needed.

    A good winter coat to wear outside. She had very short hair and would get cold very quickly.



  18. #18
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    Mar. 29, 2007
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    I know just how you feel. 5 of my dogs are between the ages of 9-17. The 9 yr old is experiencing some very bad chronic issues. He is my right hand man around the farm but He is one of those dogs that has always been held together with bubble gum and duct tape and we are extremely happy he has made it this far. I have 6 dogs and I look around for someone to go for a walk with and I have to turn to the puppy. It is very hard to see them get so old Not to mention I have 5 horses as well and 4 of them are 20 and up! Hope your girl keeps on kickin for another few years. Previcox has helped a couple of my oldies. Do talk to your vet and give it a try.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2008
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    In the middle of Texas
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    Seeing my dogs (and their doggy friends) age is probably one of the hardest things I've had to deal with. You slowly prepare yourself over days, weeks, months, and years. But, you are never truly prepared. Having to say goodbye is just so damn hard.

    My sweet Chancie is 16 years old and never ceases to amaze me. At one point I feared that her bad days were outnumbering the good. But, now she is acting younger and more active than ever. But, in the back of my mind I know we will say goodbye sooner rather than later.

    Last week I had to put one of our beloved farm dogs, Harley, to sleep. He was hit by a car as a young dog and has metal rods/bolts/screws in his front legs. I knew it was his time when I tried to help him get onto his dog bed and it was next to impossible...his body wouldn't let him. Once he managed to lay down, he cried in pain (despite Adequan and Rimadyl), and his breathing seemed abnormal. The fog in his eyes eliminated the shine that had always been there. My heart broke in an instant. I knew that the kindest thing to do was to let him go...and I did.

    I bought him a bag full of kolaches and loaded him into the back of my lexus. He didn't cry out in pain like he had done earlier...he was at peace. I played oldies on the radio and we took a ride down the country roads. The vet came out to my car to do it and the whole experience was incredibly peaceful. I knew Harley was saying his last goodbye to me when he took his last breath and stuck his tongue out. He would always sit cross legged and stick his tongue out...he was a diva! As I held his head in my hands I watched the fog lift from his eyes and his normal spark returned. I cried like a baby as I lowered his head down and closed his eyes. I will miss my Mr. Harley forever...he was as good as they come.



  20. #20
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    Sep. 23, 2006
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    Thanks, all! I know it's inevitable, but it is hard to see it just suddenly start. It seemed to come about after my MIL was here over the holidays with her dog - Princess is an only dog, and isn't crazy about sharing her house, though she does tolerate the MIL's dog. She did get blood work done last week, and has been getting a geriatric exam (to include blood work) the past couple of years, but it hasn't shown anything. Will ask the vet about the thyroid, and arthritis, and see if she finds anything more. This vet made my dog her "project" last year when she was having ear infections - it wound up being a type of bacteria that was very aggressive and hard to fight - but she finally got it under control. We were at her office every couple of weeks for 3-4 months, so she got to know Princess quite well.

    Due to chronic allergies, we changed her food last year to a salmon/sweet potato dry food, and she just gets fish/sweet potato treats, but had seemed to adjust quite well to the new diet. As long as she gets treats, she's happy!

    Will look into the supportive bed as well. She used to spend a lot of time on our bed, but we just recently got a new bed which is taller, and she can no longer jump up there. She has her own bed in our room, but it is old...so a new one is probably in order.

    Thanks again for listening to me!



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