Jump to content
BC Boards

The senior dog


ejano
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ladybug is 11 years old this spring and she's starting to show her age though she was the first one in the frog pond yesterday when the gang noticed the ice went off -- DH quickly bundled her up and brought her in the house by the fire (along with the other two lemmings, who followed her lead), for which she was quite grateful, I think. There are these little lapses in judgment -- she's started to pursue the cat as well, something she has never done. Her hearing is fading a bit. I hear DH pull into the driveway before she does now.

 

What things can we do to keep her fit and happy? She's eating well - Diamond Naturals - and is up to weight. Should we change her diet to a "senior food"?

 

She's slower, of course but moves well, but she is stiff at times. Would supplements to help her joints? - I have concerns about glucosomine because of the blood pressure/ blood sugar side effects. What about fish oil capsules? What is an appropriate dose? Should we use a pain reliever - i.e. a bit of aspirin?

 

She does sleep more and tends to shake a bit while she's sleeping but when I pet her, she wakes right up with no confusion. No other physical or mental problems - she's alert, interested, happy - and still runs "the boys."

 

Ladybug, Summer 2010

July5027A.jpg

 

Liz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO the main thing is to monitor her - maybe the 1st of each month, just think back over the last month as to how she's eating, if she's showing stiffness, is she looking for a warmer/cooler/softer place to lay, has her activity levels slowed down, does she need a "boost" to get in the car/truck. Some dogs gray and look older; others don't. There's a lot you can do to make Ladybug's senior years comfortable and happy with just a little extra care and attention, and of course, working with your vet for appropriate med care for arthritis, incontinence, etc. if those types of things become issues. Little things like a soft bed near the couch when she can't jump up any more, a ramp when going up and down stairs into the house becomes difficult, keeping her at a good weight and not letting her get obese, adding good fats to her food if her coat gets dry, adding yogurt etc. to her dry kibble to make it more enticing if she's not eating well (and she's not sick), just common sense type things. I don't personally feed senior food or add supplements until I see a need for them. Enjoy the years she has left - old dogs are a very special treasure!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would give a good joint supplement and fish oil. Missy has been on a joint supplement for 3.5 years now and because of it is still able to be a fairly active dog. Without it she's really stiff and sore. As far as fish oil, you can get the grizzly salmon oil and just put a couple of pumps on her food. Fish oil has anit-inflamatory properties so it should also help a bit with stiffness.

 

As far as glucosamine risks go, they are very, very minimal. It is probably the safest thing you can give a dog for pain relief, safer that asprin. And with it comes a better quality of life for your senior dog. I have no qualms about putting my dogs on a glucosamine supplement.

 

I would not put a dog on a senior food. I really don't see much difference in a senior food except for lower fat and meat content. Meat based protiens and fats are what dogs need! If your dog isn't as active just cut back on the amount of food just a bit instead of switching foods. If Ladybug is doing well on the her current food, just keep her on it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, all -- I'll look into the joint supplements and definitely add the fish oil - and a great idea to do a "check up" once a month. We hope that Ladybug's senior years will be as enjoyable for her and us as her "junior" years. She's our very best girl. :).

 

Liz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I give my old, arthritic dog fish oil, Dausequan, and Ester C to help with mobility. I used to use a the fish oil, another glucosamine pill and a devils claw/MSM powder, but the Dausequan has MSM in it and when I stopped giving it (instead of the other glucosamine pill) I didn't see a change. Later, I added Ester C as I am giving it to pano puppy, and I saw a HUGE change in his activity level. The C is supposed to reduce inflammation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What dose of Ester C do you give?

 

The old dog in question is a Papillon, 9 lbs, and he gets 200 mg which is what we found after doing a "gut tolerance test," meaning, we upped the dose every couple of days until he got diarrhea, then we dropped it back to the last dose he took where his stools were firm.

 

The pano puppy is a Border Collie, hes 10 months old, about 35 lbs and takes 500 mg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...