Author Topic: Aging dog  (Read 228 times)

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Offline Kirsten

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Aging dog
« on: October 30, 2017, 03:45:27 PM »
So my Ruby is getting old.  She's amazingly well preserved for her age (12 years, 3 months).  Average life expectancy for her breed is 10.3 years and up until the last few months she's been spry and active, physically very capable, like an 8 year old, all except some clouding of her corneas which didn't seem to affect her much (she still ran without running into things, still chased her ball with gusto).

Just lately, the last month or two, I've noticed some muscle atrophy and some decrease in coordination.  It's still possible it was due to decreased exercise (being rectified now).  But I suspect not.  A couple days ago she rear ended Tardis and knocked herself down.  He was unphased, just turned his head to see what colided with him.  I mean, it was funny, but also sad.  In the past a colision like that would not have knocked her down, not even on ice.

Just now, I was, erm, perched upon the porcelain throne and she came into the bathroom and her front feet just shot out from under her and she suddenly found herself in a down.  She tried to pretend she planned it that away but I could see the surprise in her face.

Her mother had DM and it was apparent by this age.  I see no signs of it in Ruby at this time.  Her hind end is not particularly weaker than the rest of her and her tail is strong and presses firmly against my hand as I help her balance when getting off my lap.

She's just starting to show her age.

She'd be well into her 80's if she were human.  So not showing her age until now is pretty amazing.  But she IS showing it and I've suddenly realized just how old she is.  She's the first puppy I ever delivered.  I remember her, tiny, in my hand, born in the middle of my bedroom.  It doesn't seem all that long ago.

Last night she was shivering in my lap and I realized it was cold, so I went and turned the furnace on.  I'm used to my dogs being much hardier than I am and not turning on the heat until I can't get my feet warm in shoes or under blanket.  I had to turn it on early during Cole's last winter too (five years ago) because he got cold before me.

She's sprawled across my lap, relaxed and panting a bit from our play session.  She ran and chased and had a grand ol' time just like usual.  No wipe outs.  And now she's enthroned on my lap for her afternoon nap.  Happy as can be.  A 75 pound lap dog.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline SandyStern

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Re: Aging dog
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 04:06:06 PM »
I never minded nursing my old dogs through the end of their lives.  It's an amazing thing, to think that you brought Ruby into this world; you're all she's ever known.  How many dogs have had the same steady, loving hand guiding them for their whole lives?  What a great thing.  I've used an electric mattress pad for elderly dogs before. If you find one that has very low settings and put it under a folded blanket, the older ones appreciate it. 

Offline Azariah

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Re: Aging dog
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 05:24:22 PM »
Rio and Ruby are about the same age. Rio turned 12 last April and is starting to slow down a bit. She still runs faster than even the puppy outdoors but is really tired when she's done.

I love the veteran stage. They seem to get ultra sweet. And a little sassy/disobedient.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: Aging dog
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 05:34:44 PM »
Rocko is approximately 11 and will be 12 as I'll call him this December on his Gotcha Day. He's started to slow down in the last year. He's still very healthy though. He's much smaller than Rio or Ruby though, only 27 lbs.
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Offline KaeBee

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Re: Aging dog
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 07:23:22 AM »
When Ruby's time comes how will Tardis handle being an only dog?

Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: Aging dog
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 12:30:25 PM »
Our senior dog Chewy is about 11. He hasn't slowed down yet and isn't showing signs of muscle weakness or old age quite yet but he is obviously arthritic and is quite snappy with the other dogs. He's not interested in being molested by them.

I expect him to slow down soon, he's a GSD/border collie mix but he's lighter at 45lbs, that might have something to so with his continued stamina.
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