Anybody else ever have a 100 yr. old dog?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Our dog turned 14 in Nov., so we figured if every human year is 7 dog years, then she recently turned 100. She's a black lab mix and definitely showing her age. She has big flakes of dandruff, has chewed off her fur on her tail and spots on her body. She had a stroke a few years ago and became deaf. She has bumps all over her. Sorry, don't mean to gross everyone out. Despite her problems she seems to be getting along fine and doesn't appear to suffer at all. We were just wondering if anyone else had a dog (med. to large size) get old and how you dealt with it.
-- Bob & Laura in WI (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2001
We had a standard poodle(no laughing!) named Banjo. He was the sweetest creature you'd ever want to meet. Due to his inferior breeding, he suffered all his life from ear infections to seizures. When he was only about 8 years old, we found out there were masses in his lungs. We fed him anything he would eat, from frozen waffles to milk, anything to keep him fed. Finally, enough was enough and we had him euthanized. My mom still cries when she talks about him. Us kids grew up with that dog, and I still have memories of playing tag with him. Not to get too sappy, but I feel blessed to have known a dog like that!
-- Elizabeth (Lividia66@aol.com), April 23, 2001.
I have a full size collie (100#) that is the same age as your dog. He occasionally has siezures and has arthritis in his ankles. He is definately getting cranky in his old age. We absolutley do not touch his feet! He only has about 4 teeth left and can no longer chew up food really good. He kind of tosses his food up in the air and gulps it. We didn't think he would make it through the winter but he is still around. I don't take him to the vet any more since most medication makes him have seizures. I'm not sure what I'll do if he starts having a lot of pain. I'm hoping nature will take it's course before I am faced with that.
-- Amanda in Mo (email@example.com), April 23, 2001.
I have a Bichon (med poodle type) that is 16 years old. She's blind, deaf and walks in circles. Nose still works though. Will find a treat on the floor. She no longer goes outside so she is fenced in with newspapers down. She gets scared if you try to pet her and doesn't like it if you do anyway. She tries to bite if you pick her up. She has trouble getting up and will sometimes fall into her mess as she is going. It's a dog that needs to be groomed too.
She fought being put to sleep so much during the summer that I said it's up to her to go. She's still going strong...
-- Dee (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2001.
My basset hound, flopsy is 14 and still getting around although she mostly sleeps and occasionally will play. Her idea of playing getting up and trying to keep up with the rat terrier (whose name is Banjo, by the way!). Flopsy doesn't see or hear as well, but has most of her teeth and her skin and coat is great. As long as she can get around and is not in pain, we will not put her down. I believe she will let me know when enough is enough. For now though, I do tiptoe over to her to see if she's still breathing as she sleeps so deeply that she doesn't wake when called and gets startled if I touch her when she's asleep. She loves winter though and I am afraid this Ga. heat is going to be too hard on her. I tried to bring her in once before, but she hates the house, so hopefully we can persuade her to stay in the cool barn this summer. Old dogs and children and watermelon wine..
-- Cindy (email@example.com), April 23, 2001.
When I was growing up in Virginia, we had a collie born the same year as my baby brother. She lived to be 16. We all cried when she died quietly one night. She saved the lives of both my brother (dragged him by his diaper back from the road) and sister (killed a copperhead coiled in the sandbox). Best dog in the world. If I'm ever lucky enough to get a dog, it'll definitely be another collie.
-- Dianne in Mass (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2001.
Well, my dog tends more toward small (15 lbs). She made it about a month past her 16th birthday, or what? 112? My cousin's terrier (hers was a Cairn, mine a Westie) made it to 17, as did a neighbor's terrier-cross that they had found abandoned in a snowbank as a puppy.
How do you deal with it? The same as all of life: one day at a time, doing what it looks like you should be doing as it happens. You can plan for the future, but take care of the immediate. Elf had numerous papilloma's (skin bumps), probably from vaccines over the years. They were unsightly (but she was long-haired, not a problem) and sometimes bled if knocked (treat with a bit of hydrogen peroxide, and a dab of calendula ointment). In the end, she had very limited vision due to old age thickening of the eye fluids and free-floating crystals in the eye, was mostly deaf (except for the words 'treat', 'car', and 'walk'. I think it's called 'selective deafness'), had bladder leakage (spayed female -- gave her pills to help stop it), and ultimately was euthanized due to kidney failure.
Her diet was tailored for her old teeth (soft diet with chunks of raw meat instead of chewing it off the bone), we built steps up to the bed so she could sleep on it like always, we put down washable cotton throw rugs on the hard floors so she wouldn't slip and fall, bought her a nice all weather coat for going out in since she felt the cold in her old age, turned on extra lights so she could see her way down the hall, bought her a more comfy fleecy bed for her old joints, took shorter walks (and sometimes carried her home when she got tired), and loved her a lot.
She was able to do the steps out to her yard (only 3, but we built them originally deep and broad and shallow knowing that it would be hard on a short-legged old dog. As well as short-legged puppies.), which is fenced in to keep other aggressive dogs from attacking her, as well as to keep her from wandering off. (also good for keeping down disease and worm contamination)
If you go for walks with your dog and it gets overly tired and is having a hard time making it back and is too big and heavy to carry, you could think about dragging along a kid's little red wagon and giving the old dog a ride home in that. (those wagons are also really useful around the yard for hauling plants and things around when you're not playing taxi for the dog)
This last year I told the vet that I was not going to have my dog get any more immunizations except the strictly neccessary one - rabies, by state law -- in future. There is evidence that by this time in their life, they often have enough immunity for a dozen dogs, and it just adds insult to a worn out and tired system (especially skip immunizations if your dog had cancer -- that is like throwing gasoline on a fire), and they don't need it anyway. The vet didn't give me any argument about it. I elected for heartworm medication, but declined a test since she fought them so hard over it every time (her heart was going as well as the kidneys, and we didn't want to kill her with stress), and since it took a few years to have them become a problem and she'd never tested positive for them in all those years anyway. I was also religious about her meds, so I was not worried.
I guess the whole thing is to give them as happy, comfortable and as high quality a life as possible, and deal with the inevitable when it comes as a final loving act to prevent them from suffering when the need is there.
-- julie f. (email@example.com), April 23, 2001.
My australian blue heeler will be 11, which isn't that old, but she has cataracks now and can barely see. She's has arthritis in her hips and legs the past few years and was put on Rimadyl and what a difference. I only give her a few pills a week and only when I see her limping. There was a scare about a year ago using Rimadyl saying that it caused your dog to have a stroke, so you might want to check the info. on it, but it does work great. I was told by my DVM that it runs about 1,200 per eye to have catarack surgery. Has anyone had this done? She is such a active dog it hurts me so to see her bumping in to everything and not being able to run like she used to. I've thought of looking around on the internet to find a vetinary school that might do the surgery for a lesser price. I'm in Western Wash. so any info. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
-- Kent in WA (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2001.
We have a wonderful mutt named Bandit who is about to turn 16. He isn't quite as perky as he once was but has none of the problems I'm reading here so I guess we are doubly blessed. He has always been the sweetest dog but extremely protective of the kids. Always makes sure he's between them and any strange dog or human. We love him dearly!
-- Deena in GA (email@example.com), April 23, 2001.
Our dog, ole Jake is 14 also. We got him when his owner died suddenly 6 years ago and ole Jake had nowhere to go. He's a farm collie mix and still gets around well. I did put him on glucosimine sulfate, same as me, for his arthritis and he even runs on occasion. We put in a new back door and wider , shorter steps for Jake and my husband who had hip replacement surgery a few years back. Hes got a forever home here and as he gets older, its hard to tell who snores louder, Jake or hubby.
-- Kate henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 24, 2001.
I have a Border Collie that wandered onto the ranch 9 years ago. The vet said she was about 2 years old at that time. Her teeth are still white, she runs miles everyday, has never been ill, and shows no signs of slowing down. This has been typical of the health of the dogs I've had. They don't seem to slow down until their mid-teens.
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), April 24, 2001.
I have an acquaintence that has a 22 year old miniature poodle. She has no teeth (the poodle, that is!), tumors all over her body, cataracts, and arthritis. Other than that she is quite healthy and considering her age, these are relatively minor health problems. She is queen of the house, sleeps a lot and is treated very specially. I commend those of you with older dogs because when an animal reaches old age it shows how well you cared for your pets.
-- amy (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 24, 2001.
Our dog Josh is 15. His hearing is not so good, I noticed it a couple of years ago when he quit barking when someone knocked at the door. He was diagnosed with heart worms when he was seven and we opted not to get the treatment. The vet said the heart worms die after five years, so he has outlived his heartworms. When he coughs now I jokingly tell him to cut it out since he doesn't have heart worms anymore. He has sprained his back legs a couple of times in recent months because we are in a new place and the steps are kind of steep. I had to carry him (40 lbs) in and out for weeks (and he wants to go out alot). But now he can go up and down the steps and I don't rush him. Last time he sprained his back legs the vet took x- rays and had to give him anesthesia so he would stay still. I waited to spend the $30+ on flea stuff to make sure he was going to make it because he was not in good shape for a couple of weeks after the anesthesia. He has good days and not so good days and we treat him with loving kindness (even when he pees on my new carpet, I should not have gotten carpet). I also have a cat that is 15 and three cats that are seven. I'll take care of them til they are gone, but I don't want so many animals to take care of again, maybe a couple of cats, and a big maybe on a dog.
-- Judy Murray (email@example.com), April 24, 2001.
My mom had a terier mix who lived to 21 when he got sick and she had him put down, my sheltie mix lived to 18 all but the last year in good health until her kidneys went out and I staid with her when they put her to sleep.Our pitbull is 14 which is old for a 100lb dog, and she is going strong, the back end dosnt work as good and she has trouble getting up but once she gets going she is fine,loves her walks and bounds off like a puppy, and still gets into the catfood when she can[ and garbage to].We now have a border collie mix who is as we speak draging my yarn across every inch of the family room, which is helping to keep our pitbull young, and me to.
-- kathy h (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 24, 2001.
When my oldest golden retriever, Shiloh, was 13 I got a new puppy, thinking that Shiloh would train him and he'd be good company for the 9 year old golden, Ispa. Of course the new puppy was untrainable and drove Shiloh & Ispa crazy. Shiloh was nearly 15 when I finally had to put him down. He could no longer get up from a lying down position.He had hip surgery at 5 and back surgery at 12. Reading the other postings, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only fool who has spent enough on her dog to support several children.
-- cathy moore (email@example.com), April 24, 2001.
We have Fred. He is 11 1/2 years (80). He is hanging in there. He is on meds for arthritis(?), and DH built him a ramp 4 years ago to get in and out of the house. He was hit by a dump truck at age one (hasn't chased a moving vehicle since). About a year ago we got Fred a puppy (Rosie). Since then we have been able to take down the ramp and he has beed doing much better. When the time comes, we will have him put to sleep if he is suffering. We refuse to watch him suffer. He has beed such a good friend and companion. Fred and Rosie are both "fixed", and were throw-a-ways. Fred was dumped at a local dumpster with his sisters, and Rosie was rescued from children that were dragging her down the street by a rope around her neck. The willing surrendered her to our daughter, they said their father was going to kill her if they didn't find a home for her. They are the best dogs we could ever hope to find. Both were easy to house train and mind very well (except for the dump truck incident). We love our dogs.
-- Kitty in FL (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 24, 2001.
We have a toy poodle who is 13. He has no teeth, and is getting lots of little lumps, like moles. He is still happy and plays with the kids. He jumps in wagons and any riding toy that the kids push around. Occasionally he scares us and we think he is on his last leg, but he always bounces back.
-- Maylene (email@example.com), April 24, 2001.
my oldest dog (i have 4 dogs) is 18 this year. she is a samoyed collie cross. she has no teeth and can't hear a thing but boy does she love to eat!!! she has no strength in her rear legs so we spend a lot of time helping her to get up. at night if she needs to get up or go outside she yips. drives me crazy sometimes because i'm the only one who seems to hear her. but i love her to death and so i pull myself out of bed come downstairs and help her up or let her out. if she is doing really bad i give her an asprin and some herbal stuff. she made it through another winter. i check her breathing 1st thing every morning. she has been with me for 18 years. my daughter is only 23 and i have been married for 25 years. so she has been with me for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time. here's to old dogs.
-- Mary R. (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 24, 2001.
Bob & Laura,
Yes. We have Twinkie King who is about 13 years old now. She is doing really well. Still runs and plays like a young dog. I found her when she was a puppy with no hair and the mange at a garbage dumpster. Took her on to the vet and they determined she was not a rat or something else and dipped her for mange until it cleared up. (You couldn't really tell what she was. She was little at the time and only had four hairs on her whole body.) She has lived out here in the country all this time, off the main roads, near the river for frequent self administered baths and swims. We feed her Purina Dog Chow and pretty much the same stuff we eat. If we have hamburgers, she has one and all the rest of the animals also get a share of hamburgers. Right now, I'm giving her some of that glucosamine dog pill stuff for arthritis. Sometimes I give her an aspirin tablet hidden in cheese for arthritis, but not too often. Just fresh water, fresh air, good quality food as commercial food goes, rabies shots, a pat on the head and frequent lectures (she's a stubborn old girl) and she's doing good for a 91 year old lady. Bones and a good variety of things like salmon, dog biscuits, ham and all sorts of things they tell you don't feed them, but she loves.
-- Wanda King (email@example.com), April 25, 2001.
All this talk of old dogs and what not and I got to looking at the dog adoption sites on line and my sister found the Senior Dog Adoption site for me. On it was a discussion about Rimadyl, both pro and con. For those of you with older canine citizens who may be considering the use of Rimadyl, this is worth reading;
-- julie f. (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 25, 2001.
We have a 14 1/2 year old Lab/Samoyed Mix. He had 3 knee surgeries, was a very fast speed, nutty dog in early years. About a year and a half ago he had a cancerous spleen (10X the normal size), we opted to have it removed as the ultrasound should all other organs normal. All the vets gave him 6 months to live. Needless to say, he was not listening again and soon lost most of his hearing after that so he really didn't have to listen. He sleeps alot, teeth are worn down in front (which they have been for years as he liked to chew bones), still lives to eat and lick out the goat milk bucket. He is on no medication. Each day is another blessing to have with him.
-- Leslie Walton (email@example.com), April 28, 2001.