A 15 year old girl with weakening back legs and bowel incontinence...
My girl, Maggie, is 15 years and 10 months old (I feel that, at this age, every day should be counted!), and has been in overall great shape all her life. But, it seems like her age is finally catching up to her. A little over two years ago she started to lose a good amount of her hearing. She can still hear if you yell to (at) her or whistle loudly, but won't hear a thing if you speak at a regular volume. That was not too big a deal and was easy for both of us to adjust too. But, over the last year and a half she started to have bowel accidents in the house and there were clear signs her rear end was getting weaker. What started as an accident every few days has progressed to at least one accident almost every day. Occasionally we'll get a couple days without one, but that's now the exception, not the norm. Many times, she'll have an accident while lying down, without even realizing it. She has been to the vet, but there was nothing specific diagnosed. It seems she is simply getting old and losing muscle mass in her back and hind end and just losing control of her bowels. There has also been a noticeable loss of strength in her back legs over the last 6 months. It's been a slow decline overt he last couple years, but it's seemed to speed up considerably lately. We have mostly hard wood floors, so I've done what I can to help with a few throw rugs and some grippy booties, which look pretty silly, but do help.
So, I guess my question for all of you is - given what I've described, do you have any thoughts / suggestions on ways I can help her with these issues? The accidents in the house are really starting to wear on my wife and me. It's heartbreaking to see her going through this. I think the hardest part is that she is all there mentally and does not appear to be in any pain. So, I can't and won't even entertain the idea of putting her down at this point - although I know that decision will be coming sooner rather than later. She has given us a great 13 1/2 years (since we adopted her), and I'll do everything I can to take care of her until the end.
We have tried a few different supplements, without any real success. Right now, all she is taking is glucosamine pills that he has taken since she was 4 years old. No other medications at all.
I do realize I am just trying to fight father time, but you seem like a very knowledgeable group, and I'm hoping you have some advice for someone dealing with their first senior dog. Thank you all in advance.
Ps. Everyone loves pictures, so here is one of Maggie and me.