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Thread: Worrying signs of old age

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Worrying signs of old age

    Back in the day Tara would leap into my car through a half open window....now she walks the long way around to avoid the front steps. She used to alert me to people walking past the house, yesterday a delivery man knocked on my door, and she didn't show any interest at all. This morning at 3.50am the neighbourhood dogs started their usual barking, and she joined in with a few grunts and snorts, pacing up and down....so I let her outside. When I called her to come inside again I'm not sure if she didn't hear me, or decided to ignore me (this is a dog with perfect recall). She's taken to sleeping on my chair, instead of her own, she doesn't care as much when the cats eat her food. Just in recent weeks she seems to have started a mental decline. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.....but.....I'm worried it's the start of the end. She is 12, and a large(ish) dog at about 30kgs, so I realise she's had a good innings...I would like to know what to expect in our future. My previous dog lived to a similar age, but she she just died suddenly.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    Western Sydney
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    I would take her to the vet for a check up...could be something else just to be on the safe side. We had an Old English Sheep dog who lived to nearly 13 yrs...her backlegs went due to old age. Had a Collie Rough...she lived to 14.5 yrs she was stone deaf... senile and her backlegs were so wobbly she couldn't stand.

    My GSD Rex is now 11.4 yrs old and his backlegs are wobbly and his eye sight is going and I think is a little senile too ( he can be stubborn at times so it's hard to tell)...but he's eating well and going to the toilet normally (no blood in poo) and still has that spark for life...so I'll just keep an eye on him. It's hard to say what to expect but you'll know when it's time...but for now as I said take her to the vet...at least then you'll know for sure.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  3. #3
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    Mar 2014
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    York, Western Australia
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    She has had a recent check up....perfect teeth, but has cataracts and arthritis. She appears lively, and happy.....for her age nobody else would pick anything wrong.....not even the vet I suspect. She had a load of blood tests last year.....all fine. She's just an old lady.....I will get her treatment if she appears to be in pain.....I'm just hoping it doesn't come to me having to make 'that' decision.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2011
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    Bundaberg QLD
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    Oh Tara ... i remember thinking like this. My Ridgeback made 14. I spent the last 5 years watching and wondering what our future was going to be like.

    From my limited experience ..(2 dogs that made 12 and 14)... i'd say just watch that tail. Well for me it worked as both of them tail wagged a lot when happy. My Lab , storm wouldnt let anyone near his food but then it was OK for the magpies to sneak a few bits right in front of him. I guess age brings wisdom .... is that piece of food worth the energy of me getting up when i'm so comfy ?

    In hindsight i spent 4 and a half years worrying about nothing... but hey , its in our nature to notice these things and care about our dear old pooches.

    But then i think about old age and dementia and things like that and , well maybe it ain't so bad. Maybe they dont stress when old because they don't realize whats really going on ?? Perhaps ??

    Maybe they are just happy with the simple things like a nice spot in the sun and a soft shoe at the front door to cushion their head ... unlike a hypo pup that needs ssooo much stimulation during the day. Maybe getting really old is actually pretty good ??

    I might not be making any sense .... i've had a few beers ... but maybe getting old isn't as bad as we who haven't done it think it is..... i hope so anyway.

    In the mean time i guess all you can do is give lotsa love and attention and make the last few years as special as possible. Lots of bellly rubs and ear rubs are a good place to start.

    No one can tell you what your in for in the future but i really hope for both of you it's one full of happiness. Godd luck to both of you.

    Oh and for what it's worth my Bullmastiff makes me lift his lazy but up on the car seat LOL ... and he's only 2 and a half. If my car had steps he'd use them everyday LOL. Your dogs learnt to work smarter ... not harder.


    Quote Originally Posted by reyzor View Post
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    DONT SIC YOUR DOGMA ON ME !

  5. #5

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    I asked a very similar question to yours Tara when Jack got sick. I got very much the same responses and they turned out to be absolutely correct. You know your dog, you will know when he's had enough. Trust yourself and your dog and don't second guess it. It's better to go a few days too early than a few days too late!

  6. #6

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    I had a jack Russell cross mini foxie (allegedly) growing up who lived to be about 15. He was like a young dog right up until about 3 weeks before he died. I even remember the vet warning us that some of his muscle would be converting to fat, then feeling him and being surprised because he still had all his definition at like 12-13. His fur didn't turn grey and he still jumped up onto the vet table rather be lifted. But then, he suddenly changed, and it really was sudden. It was so sudden that we didn't even register it as being old, we just thought he must be a bit unwell or something and maybe in hindsight that was what happened. Anyway, he lost a lot of interest in his ball, stopped trying to run away (he was a legendary escape artist) and just slept all the time. On Christmas day, he seemed to really enjoy seeing the whole family. Then after they left, he went and ate the cat's dinner like he always did and then went outside and lay down. He never got back up.

    Sammy is 4 now and I can't even let myself think about the prospect of anything happening to him. I know he has relatives who are in their teens which is very good given his breed and one of the reasons I chose his breeder was that she had great longevity in her lines. I never thought it before him but now I found myself wishing I could pick a dog and just have him for my life, because I know that Sammy is the best dog for me.

    I guess every dog is different and you will know your dog best. I just wish you support and I hope you take some comfort in the fact that if your large dog has already made it to 12, then she's a very lucky dog to have an amazing owner

  7. #7
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    Dec 2009
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    melbourne australia
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    Dog and owner ageing happening here too.
    Both me and bernie are slower to leave our beds, stiff in the mornings, and crippled by longer walking.
    Both of us now have impaired hearing, but only 1 of us will wear a hearing aid.
    Both of us are now sight impaired, but only 1 of us wears glasses.

    We kinda adapt to each others ageing. he stays strolling with me, whilst the other 2 are off rampaging through bracken in mornings searching for rabbits.

    I think that its a hard decision, when is 'the end', and one i have a history of making badly, keeping them going too long in hindsight. thinking more of my need of the dog, than the dogs quality of life. Ive sworn i wont do that again. I have implemented a bench mark, its when they can no longer get up on my deck. And each day i see him struggling and do nothing. So that's not working either.

    I feel for you. Its just so wrong, that we only get 10yrs or so. Especially when this dog is your heart dog. Makes me sad thinking of this. And today, ive stopped walking in mornings, its too cold for bernie's joints first thing. We start evening walks today

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    I think this blog post seems appropriate here today.

    My current fave agility dog training guru - Susan Garrett had her Buzzy dog PTS last tuesday - he was a 17 yo Border Collie and taught her much, but at some point you have to decide that "it's time". And for Susan - if spending money would have fixed him up and comfortable for a bit longer, she would have spent it.
    Five Lessons I Learned From One Great Dog | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog

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