Chaz Tips... Living with A Maturing Dog

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Brattina88, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    I figured it'd be neat to have a thread where all of us can chime in with what we've experienced with our dogs aging, and what we're going through. Changes we've seen in our dogs and how we've changed along side them to cope with it. Plus, its always good to bounce ideas off of each-other - what is normal aging and what is health concerning to be persistent with advocating to our vets for their health.

    Also, I know a lot of us have the same anxieties of our dogs aging... Nothing like a good old fashioned chaz support group :p
     
  2. joce

    joce Active Member

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    Byron is treated as bubble dog now. We go slowly up and down stairs and I don't let blitz near him until I have already worn him out so he doesn't knock him over. He is very easily tipped over at times. Other times runs around just fine.

    He overheats easier so we do short walks. He will keep going even if its not the best for him.

    With tawny before she passed she would not eat on and off for a long time. Literally hand fed at times. It sucked. But she was always able to get around ok.

    Gizmos corgi is older than Byron. She's 14. Vision is horrible but other than that she is doing great. But if her kennel is moved or door closed etc she just walks to where it should be or walks into it. Try not to move stuff anymore. I keep her away from people because she snaps at things that go by her quickly.

    I hate having two oldies at the same time. So stressful at times.

    I keep it in the back of my head that I feel I let ginger go on to long in pain and tell myself ill take them In earlier but I dunno :( hard to say a specific time and it happened again with tawny. I think when Byron can't walk good but I had said when he couldn't play and really sucks I have to keep him away from blitz. Ugh.
     
  3. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Shadow's very much slowed down, not that she was ever a terribly "fast" dog to begin with :p

    Still a love for training, but very content to lay around the rest of the time. Still loves going for walks and swims, going to try dock diving for the first time tomorrow. She's a really easy keeper. Always has been.
     
  4. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    Other than being (in the past) reluctant to go down stairs, Kiba doesn't normally act a day older than 3, and she'll be 9 in a few weeks. Duralactin and GylcoFlex II has gotten her back to being a PITA.
     
  5. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    With both Blackie and Rose, I was able to tell a difference between "normal" aging and "this isn't right". And, in my experience, if you even THINK that "this isn't right", get them in to the vet ASAP. You are probably right, and catching things early will give you that much more time with them.
     
  6. RottenFlower

    RottenFlower rotties are my kryptonite

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    Nat is almost 14; she can't hear a thing anymore, and I wonder how well she sees. She sleeps a lot anymore, but she still finds great joy in "patrolling the yard" with my SO. She "tap dances" when she's excited about something, and eats and drinks normally. We found oral melanoma on her last month, so she pretty much gets whatever she wants. She's on Rimadyl once daily.

    Zellie just turned 10, and I can definitely see her getting older. She's slow to rise in general and she cracks & pops a lot. She'll still chase a ball and I believe she still sees & hears just fine. She gets Rimadyl as needed.

    The other dogs are 2 and ~8 years old, so I'm not seeing a ton of aging in them yet. It is definitely no fun to watch them get older though. When I first realized that Natty was deaf, I cried & cried. :(
     
  7. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I take a daily denial supplement and it seems to help.
     
  8. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    Bamm has definitely slowed down some as far as energy level is concerned. He is doing better around other dogs for the most part as long as they are easy going dogs since he doesn't have a lot of patience for bouncy crazy. Not sure how he manages to tolerate Joey so well.

    He now takes a joint supplement which seems to be helping him somewhat and he is pretty darn interested in doing disc. Wish I had thought to try that out with him when he was younger. We are starting to do it for fun though.

    His anxiety levels do seem worse and he is little harder to predict than he used to be I think but maybe that's just me since I'm around him all the time and probably don't notice things an outsider with a trained eye might.

    I have mixed feelings about him getting older. Sometimes I feel at peace with it and sometimes I worry about losing him. I go back and forth.


    My other two are still young and Cricket is going to live forever so.....
     
  9. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    My key has been trusting myself to know when something isn't working/has stopped being as effective, and try something else.

    Buzz isn't taking any of the supplements he started taking years ago, but is certainly taking a variety of them!

    His biggest issue is making sure I keep this kidney crap under control. I've learned that I have a pretty good idea what the bloodwork will show based on how he's feeling and acting.

    Trust yourself!
     
  10. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Seriously, I think it's just a matter of being really aware of what is normal and being alert for changes, and being a good problem solver. A lot of logistical things that get harder for dogs as they get older, especially with regard to mobility, just need some minor adjustments to the environment to really, really help them a lot... but what those are will vary with your home, layout, flooring, steps, etc. Have to be creative sometimes.

    And patience. Lots of patience. When I'm 100 years old, I sincerely hope whoever is my caregiver understands that my body doesn't work as well as it once did and I might need a little slack.
     
  11. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    My oldies are just that, old. I don't have many tips except that not every lump is the end of the world, not every trip means they'll never walk again, and not every time they ignore you means they're deaf. Patience and taking things in stride seem most important. I am prone to panic but it helps no one with an oldie. They're going to die, it's a fact and you can't stop it, but you can make their time the most comfortable and pleasurable time they've ever had.

    Shamoo is fifteen, on rimadyl, has arthritis in every joint of her body, gets confused, and is probably slightly blind and deaf but she's still my crazy trooper no matter what. It's going to be too hard to lose her.

    Arnold acts like a senior but he's only eight for one more week so we'll wait on his official senior label. :)
     
  12. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Sawyer is ten and acts like he's 4 most days. He still goes hiking up mountains with me, though he's a bit more stiff the next day. Essiac tea twice a day makes the most improvement and he's also on fish oil and a daily dose of glucosamine. The one noticeable adjustment I've made recently is I raised his food bowl up. He seems more comfortable eating now.

    He has a few bumps here and there, his eyes aren't 100% clear and I'm starting to wonder about how sharp his hearing is these days.
     
  13. ThoseWordsAtBest

    ThoseWordsAtBest Wu-Tang Steph

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    I don't have any idea how old Magpie actually is. Our vet estimated her at 10 a while ago, and in the last few months it has been really evident. She's on pain medication for her hips and she doesn't burst into craziness like she used to. Maybe once in a while with the dogs. She likes to sleep and lay in the sun.

    She's had moments of obvious senility, but not for very long. Mostly I just stare at her and frown. She's the best dog. Jack, on the other hand, has to be at least 9 or 10 and while he greyed out dramatically he's still in good shape, physically and mentally. Jonas will only be 8 this year and he's a little, and you'd think he was 2 at best if you saw him.
     
  14. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    So far Summer is far from old acting at 9. In fact I think the last couple years she's gotten wilder and wilder. She does sleep more but when we go, she goes with all her heart. But hiking and agility she's not slowing down. I really hope she doesn't slow down for a long while.

    We did do a baseline bloodwork on her for her wellness exam. And she has white eyelashes. Really if it weren't for a few grey hairs I would not ever think of her as a senior. No lumps or bumps yet, no hearing or eyesight issues.

    I do think blood work is good to do on the older dogs just to check up everything. And my goal with Summer is to keep her active and having fun as long as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  15. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    The nice thing about Happy is that her geriatric-ness is all "normal" to me. I'm sad that she's deaf but not super sad. When she trips on a crack in the road or slips on the stairs or can't see the treat in front of her face... it's just "Happy being Happy." When these things start happening to the other 2... oh Lord it'll be sad.

    I ran bloodwork on her just to see how things were working. I try to keep her active and at a healthy weight. I think there are just some things where you just know they "aren't right" vs being normal aging.
     
  16. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    This.

    Zander turned 8 this year, and he's gotten a bit grumpier through the last few years but otherwise you wouldn't ever know his age. Most people put him at 4ish. Since he has no color on his face, you couldn't see any gray if there were any. He's a little stiff getting up and down on some days, but it could be passed off as being picky on how he wants to lay down. He keeps weight well. His hearing and eyesight are still perfect. His teeth are a little brittle, had a fracture a few months ago. Little dull, but not obvious. Interestingly enough his anxiety has calmed down tons, he's more level and sane now then he's ever been. Not every stranger is going to possibly kill him, just one out of maybe 30 or so.

    The problem with an aging dog is that every little thing can be passed off as another. You just keep your eyes open, make them happy and comfortable and deal with things as they come.

    And take that daily denial supplement. It really does help keep your outlook more positive and make you enjoy the time while you have it.
     
  17. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I'm LOVING middle-aged Lucy. At 8? 9? however old she is, she is a complete joy. This is the dog I worked so hard to get over the past 5 years, and through a combination of training, tons of exercise, and natural aging/slowing down, she is a wonderful, wonderful house dog.

    I have a dog who I can get away with just walking some days, we no longer have to go to the dog park for hours every day. She will chase other dogs at the park, but selectively and for short sprints, not for laps and laps and laps. Yet when it's time to go for agility, she still has plenty of energy to dart around the course.

    I've dropped her jump height 4", and we've gotten a couple massages over the past year to help her older athlete body, but otherwise this past year has been my favorite Lucy year yet.

    (don't get me wrong, I still sob when I find new grey hairs...but I take that denial pill too!)
     
  18. Tankstar

    Tankstar ~Lisa~

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    Blaze is 10. and other then a few grey hairs and some warts and bumps. he is in great shape. acts like a 2 year old.

    sure he sleeps alot. but if I get up and as him if he is ready, he springs to his feet, a little slower then he did 6 years ago. but he hears me and is excited to go.

    No one can ever believe me when I say he is 10.

    I honeslty believe I got another good 5 years atleast in him.

    he still eats both meals with out hesitating every day. they day he snubs his nose at food, ill know something is seriously wrong. he has never ever snubbed a meal. ever lol.

    Some days i think he plays the deaf card on me. as I call him and it takes 3-5 calls to get him to me some days. unless I use my stern tone voice lol.

    i need the old age denial pill.
     
  19. Katem

    Katem New Member

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    Bear is on rimadyl, tramadol and dasuquin for his hips. His walks are pretty much limited to jaunts around the neighborhood, usually only a few blocks. I sometimes need to help him on stairs, but those times are pretty rare. Mainly I make sure he doesn't have to deal with roughhousing from the other dogs if he doesn't want to.

    He's also not allowed to play in the kitchen (only slick floor in the house) although really, no dogs are supposed to be running/playing in there so that's not really an age-specific thing.

    He does get bloodwork every 3-6 months as well, mostly because of the meds he's on.
     
  20. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    this is Maddie, totally!

    Maddie is 11 now... and other than all of the white on her face :eek: lol, she doesn't look OR act her age :eek: She's still got a ton of energy. Actually, she's had a burst of it lately and has been reverting to some of her puppy naughtiness :nono: But her joints are good and the vet says she's in great shape, no signs at all of arthritis yet. She's still game for hikes or swimming, and she still needs that daily walk or intense game of fetch or training to keep her chill for the night. She's a demanding little brat if I skip it.

    I am super aware of ever wart, lump and bump, but not panicky about it. Just observant. What I am panicky about, at times, is her eye. Since her accident and she's 100% blind in the one eye, I am always worried about the other one getting cloudy or her losing vision in it. But I'm not as bad as I was :) Thanks too Tara the blind and deaf cocker I fostered a couple years back.

    I also do bloodwork twice a year, with a full senior panel, but we've been doing that because of the meds she's on.
    What has been a harder adjustment for us is her hearing loss (she's almost totally deaf now), it felt somewhat sudden to me, but I think that's because I missed a lot of the early signs because she's a big faker. When the vet confirment that she is almost 100% deaf I felt my stomach hit the floor...
    The adjustment was hard because here's a dog who's had a reliable recall, and was rarely ever on a leash in safe places, and now she has to be leashed 100% of the time, she's even taken a fancy to being a door darter and taking off :rolleyes: the brat. So we had to work on that, and reinforce the hand signal for "wait" But other than that, we're fine. I always did hand signals with the command so there's no change there. Other than the initail getting her attention... when I tap her on the shoulder she'll look at me. But sometimes she will deliberately look away from me when she doesn't want to do something... LOL...I'm trying to teach her to look at me when I flick the lights, like I did with Izzy... but training for that has been slow going so far. If I stomp on the ground she'll look up, if she's not sleeping.

    Speaking when she sleeps, she sleeps deep and hard. Like, dead ferret sleep (when she's not snoring). And thank goodness the ferrets taught me about that, to avoid the heart attacks on my end! My mom was not so lucky :rofl1:


    Just the other day when we were cuddling I said "I had to wait 11 years for you to be this cuddly! It was totally worth the wait!" ;) I really really do love it!!!!
     

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