Adopted a very old girl, no muscle, all fat, badly overgrown nails - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 04-25-2014, 12:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Adopted a very old girl, no muscle, all fat, badly overgrown nails

Just took in an old girl a family was giving away. Her name is Bora, I'm told she is a Czech GSD, bought for breeding for police work but could not carry to term so she was fixed and sent away. Supposed to have a long family tree of police dogs. She must be from a healthy line to have made it this far and be in this condition, still being as vibrant as she is.

The family I got her from only had her a few years, fed her Ol Roy and never trimmed her feet. She is something around 11 or 12 years old. Very hard time walking. I trimmed her nails some but it's going to take a while to get them down to healthy lengths. She is now eating sportmix wholesomes, no wheat, corn or soy. My old aussie is doing great on this. I'm hoping Bora will shed some pounds as Hana did. She's fat, as stated and she is easily twice the size of my aussie but her arms are about the same size, there's no muscle there, her hind legs are so weak and she knuckles sometimes, which I'm sure it doesn't help that her nails are so long. She wants to play, wrestle and get the ball. It's so sad.

I just wanted to share our story here, this is day 2 of having her in the family. I wonder if at this age I can reverse any of this and at least have her walk more and more comfortably. Can I build muscle in a dog this old? I know it will help for her to lose some of that tubby tub. She is taking 3 cosequin a day too. Makes of world of difference for my aussie who has arthritis in her spine.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What a beautiful old girl, I love her! Bravo to you for
taking her.

I'm no expert but with a bit of time I think she can come back
and be MUCH healthier. Just don't try to do it too fast. Is
there any place you could take her to swim when the weather
is nice?

Hopefully others will get on here with better advice for you.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's not so sad, its great that you took her in and will provide her with proper care. Good food in the right amount combined with exercise and she'll probably feel much better. Besides being overweight, she looks good, thanks for welcoming her into your home.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Losing weight will be a huge help to her joints. It will also help her stamina. I would just encourage her to move more at this point and gradually build up .. if she likes playing ball ... play a little fetch .. going just a bit longer each day, that sort of thing. She's a really beautiful dog.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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OMG! Thank you so much for taking in this beautiful girl! I'm thinking that you are on the right track. What ever you do should probably be on a gradual basis. I like the swimming idea (low impact).
I'm sure you have made her very happy - you should be proud!!
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with the swimming. Our older girl has had CCL surgery, has HD and leans to towards "fluffy." She loves her food

Swimming has done alot for her mobility and weight loss, without the impact on her joints.

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Old 04-25-2014, 11:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for adopting this pretty girl! I love to see a senior get adopted, just warms my heart!! Cant wait to see how she progresses
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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First off let me say I really appreciate your support. There's not a whole lot of people that want to listen to me talk about canine health all day. Not a lot of people who care at all around here.

I know it's early to look for improvement but I did notice something today when I got home and took her out to potty that just blew my mind. This is only day 3 of her being with me, tonight.... wait for it.... she actually squatted to do her business! A full on squat! Three times! When previously she barely squatted at all, you could see it a little but it was mostly the position of her tail that told me if she was getting ready to potty. I think she is getting stronger.

We walked around for a little bit, she's very fast but unsteady, I hear her feet scrape and she knuckles occasionally. We came back in and she stood at the food bowl to eat, I supported her rear a little bit for that because she was exhausted. I could see her start to tire as we walked, she started 'pushing' her steps more, hard to explain but I could see her working harder to stay up. Once we got to the steps, 3 small steps, she dropped to her rear on the first one. I held her in a sit and cuddled and spoke to her for a minute then got her back up and up she went. Anyway, back to the food bowl, as I was holding her I felt her legs. I noticed it yesterday but today I really got a feel for how little muscle is actually there, even standing there is flab on the backs of her legs, no firm muscle to speak of. It feels a lot like the flab of a belly paunch in old tubby dogs. It feels dangly.

If I didn't know better I would think she was shut in a room all day. She spends most of her time laying down and I know she hates it, she wants up and loves being outside. When I'm home I take her out for short walks around the yard, let her rest, rinse and repeat. When she wants up again she whines and gets restless. I won't push her. If I can say anything at all about myself it's that I know doggy language pretty well. She gave me the happy face yesterday as we were all, (Me and my 7 other pooches) just chilling in the yard, the goofballs run and play while I'm walking Bora around. We were sitting in the grass just spending time and she looked at me with that special look they get when they are just happy to be with you. I even got some sunburn because this is what we do all day when I'm off work.

I thought about the swimming thing too, I just have this big problem that I'm almost 27 and phobic of driving.. I know, I'm ashamed. I'm trying though, I have a car, tagged and insured. I have a permit. But I hate hate hate driving. It makes me panic. Silly I know, I keep snakes and even breed them occasionally, spiders don't bother me, driving does. I can only think of one place around here I could take her to swim and it costs to get in the gates. We just bought a place and should be moving this coming week, money is tight. I do have a pond dug out on the property, really good size, I'll have to fix it up and fill it. If I can do that soon it would be great.

One more thing, she whined the first night, started to whine last night at bed time, I looked and she was on her bed staring at me. I told her good night and it's okay, we're right here. She slept soundly all night. It makes me happy to think that she is happy here.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What a lovely old girl

With the knuckling, weakness, and muscle loss, have you considered whether she might have something like degenerative myelopathy?
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