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Is this normal for a senior?

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

  
Ava, NTD

Miss Ava Roo
 
 
Barked: Sun May 15, '11 9:31pm PST 
Let me start off by saying that Snickers is my first dog, so, naturally he's my first old dog. He'll be 10 this December and his behavior seems to have changed some and I'm not sure what to make of it.

He's always been a bit of a pig when it comes to food, but its gotten much worse lately. In February I got sick and was in the hospital and just recently got to come home and I don't know if some of the stress from that could be causing this or what thinking He constantly acts like he's starving. He roots around all over the house for food all the time and inhales his food then runs to try and steal Ava's. We've gotten to the point where we feed him in one room and Ava in the other, but when you put food in his bowl, he's eaten all of it and is next to you begging for more before you can walk the 10 feet to Ava's bowl. There's so many other examples too...its really frustrating.

I'm not sure if its a training issue or something where he's just getting older and changing. He's been checked at the vet for it several times as its been progressively getting worse and, aside from being overweight (go figure naughty ) he's in great shape. I'm doing all that I can to curb him from being so obsessive - Ava's bowl is in her crate now, he gets dinner from a Kong that he has to work at, and I spend a lot of time just supervising so he doesn't get into stuff. I've even resorted to using a squirt bottle (just like with a cat) because he seems to have realized that I can't walk too well anymore and won't listen to any of my commands to "leave it" if I'm more than a few feet away from him.

Are behavior changes like this normal-ish? I'm really worried about his health, especially with us already having issues with his weight and the fact that I have no way to exercise him now to work some of it off.
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Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
 
 
Barked: Sun May 15, '11 10:47pm PST 
Has he had his thyroid checked? This is a blood test that is not part of routine blood testing. It can cause dogs to gain weight.

Is he drinking more than normal along with his eating? Has he been checked for diabetes?
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Ava, NTD

Miss Ava Roo
 
 
Barked: Sun May 15, '11 11:05pm PST 
Yup, he's been checked for both a thyroid problem and diabetes and both are clear. I thought for sure he had hypothyroidism because he has so many of the symptoms but his thyroid levels were perfect. He's also not drinking any more than normal, just eating. In fact, he's standing next to my bed right now begging for something to eat silenced
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Mon May 16, '11 7:06am PST 
Perhaps he is bored. See if he wants to play with you.

How about getting some food puzzles and feeding that way? He will be on his feet and getting to eat at the same time! Max was getting annoyed at one of his going under the furniture so he will lay down in his bed and work it there now though.

Or if he isn't settling down perhaps he is uncomfortable. Max's mom gets upset tummies and thinks she is hungry when it is really a very low grade upset due to food intolerance/allergies.
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Shannon

I\'m so pretty!
 
 
Barked: Mon May 16, '11 7:08pm PST 
This behavior is completely normal. All my old dogs began "trolling" around 10 and becoming more possivie of food. You might want to start a good walking regime if you don't already and maybe give your old friend some lower-calorie food.

Other behaviors that change include being cranky, barking at nothing, caving, and lots of sleeping! dancing
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Ava, NTD

Miss Ava Roo
 
 
Barked: Tue May 17, '11 7:59pm PST 
I'm sure that its not boredom or him being uncomfy. Even since he was a puppy, he wasn't very big on playing and wanted to just lay around. He's still pretty much the same, only he lays around more. And we're using several different types of puzzle toys - he seems to actually be tasting his food some now. But he's still obsessive silenced I guess he's just getting older. Sigh. I'm gonna have to pop him on a treadmill or something laugh out loud
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 9:31am PST 
What type of thyroid test did they do? You may want to consider a full thyroid panel with T4, free T4, T3 and TSH - some dogs have T4 levels in the low normal range but have out of range free T4's meaning they are hypothyroid....
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Ava, NTD

Miss Ava Roo
 
 
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 9:45am PST 
I'm pretty sure it was the full panel because I wanted to be sure about it. Totally normal ranges thinking
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Jackson

Christmas Eve- Baby
 
 
Barked: Sat May 28, '11 3:42am PST 
Increased hunger/excessive hunger can be a sign of Cushings. A dog may exhibit some or none of the physical signs. A full blood panel may indicate an excellent/normal range for all components, but still be a bit elevated. My oldest dog was not overweight, didn't exhibit increased water intake & urination, but he did become a "little piggy" at age 12. My vet suspected Cushings and the test came back borderline. By age 13, there was a definite diagnosis of Cushings -- and the only outward signs he showed could also be attributed to old age. Might be something to bring up to your vet.
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