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That 'time' might be coming soon...

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

  
Maya - In Loving- Memory

BSL: Educate,- don't- discriminate.
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 23, '11 8:14pm PST 
Maya is getting older. I've already come to terms with this.

When I got her, I knew I could give her a better life - or a better last few years. But those 'few years' may only turn out to be 'year'.

When I got her, her hips were horrible, she was underweight by about twenty pounds, she was grumpy, in pain, kenneled all the time, neglected and fear aggressive - mostly of men.

I got the weight back on her, got her on a HEALTHY diet, added the required supplements, added some cinnamon and reduced the amount her arthritis would flare up by 50%. I reduced that amount by another 25% when I stopped kenneling her - at all. I showed her that strangers = positive things and she became less aggressive and a little more aloof - she warmed up to them a lot quicker. She got the exercise her body craved and all in all, turned into a puppy again. She wasn't lagging twenty feet behind on walks anymore, she was running up ahead twenty feet! She was running instead of lagging, bouncing and bounding instead of just sitting or standing there and even started jumping up on people when she got really excited.

But now... It's like her age hit her over night. I knew that sometime in the next two years, maybe another year, she would have to be euthanized. I knew that the time would come and things would get worse - arthritis and on-coming hip dysplasia DO NOT get better. They're degenerative. She always continued to have a hard time laying down or sitting down, although she was fine getting up..

Recently, on walks, she began tearing open her claws on the cement - not something that ever used to happen. Her paws would end up bloody and it was only on specific claws. I figured, because she kept them chewed down to the quick, maybe it was just something to let heal and keep an eye on. But it continued. Daily and she would end up with painful, bloody paws.

Her hips and knees are stiff and her walk is stiff. She's also started growling at Charlie for simply walking by her or sniffing her, which she NEVER used to do. Her and Charlie are very attached.

And it's like she became deaf overnight.... She doesn't hear a word I say - or rather, doesn't listen to a word I say unless I shout it. In which case, she'll turn and look at me as if to say "Yeah? You called?" For the last four days, her hearing has become steadily worse - or maybe it's that I'm JUST noticing it. I've always had to repeat myself, but her recall was always 100%. Now... nadda... I have to raise my voice for her to even hear me, but I don't want her to think I'm yelling at her.

I don't know what to think... But I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that she may have to go sooner than I had hoped, because I refuse to let her suffer... But it's YEARS sooner than I had thought. I only got her at the beginning of the year, even if I've known her for three...

Yesterday, she had three accidents in my house and one today. The schedule hasn't changed at all and she has always asked to go out if she needed out off schedule. I think it's time for a vet visit and to see what the vet says... if it's something underlying that can be fixed, great... But if not... That time is coming and that 'time' is scary... I had to do it for a puppy I had only known for three days and even that was hard. I can't imagine how hard it will be with a dog I've loved for three years...

Should I just accept it, get the vets opinion, go from there and accept the fact that, if I do have to put her to sleep this year, that at least I gave her that much longer and made it that much better for it? I'm crying just thinking about it...

Charlie and Maya's Mom
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Kenij

1171577
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 23, '11 8:44pm PST 
It is never easy knowing that time may be cut short. Lets wait and see what the vet says. Just know that whatever happens you mad a difference to her. She got to know love, patetice, understanding, she got to know what it was like to be cuddled on, petted, fed a GOOD meal, played with, and most of all companionship. I normally don't go all religious I don't mean to offend. But we are all god creatures, big and small, and we go on his time. What I'm trying to say is trust. She will love you no matter what. Old age is something that claims us all, You will have one more companion at the bridge. She will still love you and she will always remember you. You showed her a family and that is something that cannot be replaced.
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Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 24, '11 5:15am PST 
Well, with a sudden change over 4 days, it might be worth a vet trip.

With the accidents she might have developed a UTI or something.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 24, '11 7:08am PST 
Have a tick panel done as well. And blood work. This is more than an unfit dog declining further!
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Yo-Yo

~
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 27, '11 9:06pm PST 
I'd take her to a vet to get blood work done. Like someone said before she might have a UTI which are painful. I hope everything is alright. I almost started tearing up. Rottweilers are my favourite type of breed as well they're strong I'm sure she can get through it again. I'm praying for her. Keep us updated?
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Maya - In Loving- Memory

BSL: Educate,- don't- discriminate.
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 27, '11 10:07pm PST 
Taking her in later this week. She has an appointment with her regular vet. The accidents are what's throwing me off and seem to be sporadic. Days when they don't happen and days when they do. The deafness seems to be something that has been coming on gradually before though, but I never paid attention to the signs. She looks like she might be going blind in one eye but we'll see what the vet says. Mentally, she seems to be deteriorating and her hips are gradually getting worse. Her 'good days' are seeming to happen less and less, although today, thank goodness, was one of those days. She's getting snappy with Charlie now too and any other person except me, which is off for her behavior. She's sleeping and laying around A LOT more.

I'll leave it up to my vet to decide what we should do or try with her. I trust him and he's not the type to needlessly up your vet bill with needless tests, etc. He'll do only what's necessary and give me the options from there...

Thanks for the support guys. I hope it's nothing more serious than old age. At least if it's a UTI or something similar, I can help her clear that up.
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Chloe

OG- Original- Goberian
 
 
Barked: Thu Apr 28, '11 7:50am PST 
hughughug

Good luck at the vet visit.

Have you tried booties or shoes for her paws/nails?
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Maya - In Loving- Memory

BSL: Educate,- don't- discriminate.
 
 
Barked: Mon May 2, '11 12:58am PST 
So, the vet and I both believe that she has Canine Cognitive Dysfunction and add that to osteoarthritis and her going deaf and it makes things a bit worse.

We're going to do some tests on her during another visit and see for sure, but so far, it's been decided that it is most likely what is happening. She has a lot of the symptoms. She's not having anymore accidents and the vet is doing a urinalysis? to find out if she has a UTI or anything and said he'd get back to me, cause I asked him to do it, but she's not having accidents as of the last several days... Which seems weird to me.

Today, she seemed a little disoriented. I was sitting on my bed with my laptop and she was laying next to the bed. She suddenly sat up, scooted several feet towards the opposite wall and sat next to my space-heater. She made this weird rasping-cough noise, before banging her nose off the space-heater. And when I watched, she seemed to stare off into space for a bit. When I called to her, she glanced at me, stared again for a minute, before finally coming over but she seems to be okay.

As far as I know, CD is deteriorating as well and even with medications, can get worse or have new symptoms arise. If we come to the conclusion that it is in fact what she has, he'll give me the option of different medications. I'm wondering though... Is medication really going to do much for her anyway with that?
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Mon May 2, '11 9:13am PST 
This is the hard stuff. When Sassy was having bad days I used this QOL list and she always came up at 50-70, I think the bad stuff affected me more than it did her.
http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-practice-news-column s/bond-beyond/quality-of-life-scale.aspx

Research the syndrome to see how much and how long treatment needs to be before there is improvement and how much improvement can be and how long it lasts. Some of these things are super quick. I gave Sassy appetite stimulants and she was a happy eater the next meal. Joint supplements can take a month to build up. And check side effects, they can be worse than the original problem.
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