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I hate it when they get old!!!

3241 Views 19 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Qyn
Vishnu just turned 11 yrs old on the 4th. HD and Elbow dysplasia. For the last few years he was on deramaxx, metacam, etc. As of last summer, switched to cortisone shots which apparently can only be done every 6 wks. Well the shots would last about 4 wks, then I'd have to do deramaxx until time for the next shot. We're now down to 2 wks, so we've decided not to do any more shots and just keep an eye on him. I have his list of 3 things, sadly only 1 thing is left on his list. Alot of the days he just lays around since it is hard for him to move.

Now onto the newest problem child. Duchess is now 11 1/2 yrs old. Diagnosed with spondylosis 3.5 yrs ago (excellent hips though, figures!)
Anyway, last wk she was favoring one of her legs. By Thurs. night it was worse, called vet Friday and got her in on Sat. This time she's hardly even putting weight on it. Before with the spondylosis, she'd twist wrong laying down and yelp, that sort of thing. She can no longer play in the sprinklers because she tries to jump and that causes pain. Anyway, redo the xray saturday. Obviously spondylosis has continued to get worse. Nothing is fused yet, but you can see the calcium fingers under her vertebrae as well as above it. I don't think it will be much longer before it does fuse. You can see the line between the discs where the spinal cord is, and you can see right before her tail that the bone spurs on top are compressing the disc (it's no longer a straight line for the spinal cord). Vet says pain will be gone when the spine fuses. Which of course could then fracture. She still is very lively, isn't yelping this go around, just favoring the leg. Gave her cortisone shot since metacam and deramaxx didn't work this wk at all (she reacted to rimadyl a few yrs ago). You can tell she felt better, but was still just as gimpy as when I took her in.

Don't know where I am going with this really as I'm not sure what to do and when to do it. How far do I let it progress? Carts are not an option for me. Like I said, no whimpering (like Vishnu has started doing) or yelping, but obviously in pain since she isn't really using the leg. I am helping her on the bed since she desperately WON'T listen when I try to get her to lay on the floor and I don't want her falling trying to get on the bed.
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(((Angela))) I can't imagine the place you are in now....I know at some time I will be in your exact shoes and am not looking forward to it. I don't have alot of advise but I wanted you to know I am here if you need a friend.
In friendship
I'm so sorry to hear about your beloved dogs aging. It's not something we look forward to, that's for sure. I wish I had some very wise words of advice to give you but I don't. I just wanted to let you know I read your post and my heart goes out to you. Cyberhugs to you and the girls.
Angela, I'm right there with you... Max will be 12 in June. Drags one back foot really bad. Supplements, Rimadyl and acupuncture will get him through the cold months here in Colorado. We actually did a cortesone shot about a month ago and it helped a lot. I usually enjoy winter, but this year I can't wait until it warms up because it's so much easier for him to get around. We walk every morning before I go to work, because the exercise, however slow it is, is what has kept him moving. It just breaks my heart because he still wants to be a puppy. He plays with his toys and throws them up in the air, then stumbles over his own back feet. Then he gives up trying because it's just too hard. He still wants to go up the stairs, but my heart just stops every time he starts up them and I'm not right there to help. I let him walk up them, but I brace his rear end to take the pressure off his back. Wish there was a miracle out there to help them all as they age... My little sheltie mix, Murphy, was 16 in October. She's doing amazingly well - runs so fast still. She's lost her hearing and she's getting just a tad bit senile at times. I know that she can't continue to do this well and I dread the day I see the rapid decline that I know is inevitable.

I try to enjoy each and every day with them, but always in the back of my mind and in the pit of my stomach is the dreaded reality that neither will be with me nearly as long as I pray that they will be.

My thoughts are with you and yours...
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Doesn't it seem like they do it in spurts, too? Where things seem fine and then all of a sudden they decline. Then let's hope they level out, Angela.

Would she be able to use those stairs they sell for your bed I wonder? And I have to say the harness I have for Nina is just incredible. bluetick posted about it and it really made a huge difference.

I didn't know this! "Vet says pain will be gone when the spine fuses." This explains Kramer. Thank you for that information (and the scary next sentence)

I am really sorry about Vishnu.

I read those posts in the puppy section and, to have those kind of problems-I am really so much less prepared for senior issues and not knowing what the heck I am doing. It's hard. I think you will do everything you can and the very best you can and that is huge for those babies. Please take care.
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Have you tried the Adequan shots for Vishnu? They worked wonders for Zoebel's arthritis/HD. He started herding the fosters again (when they chase the ball), luckily he is not fast enough to get them. Zoebel is 12.5yo. After the initial loading I give him the injections every two weeks (doing it myself).
Putting a platform or extra big pillows next to the bed might help.


I understand what you're going thru, it's never easy watching our guys age, especially once they start having a lot of physical problems. I have found so much help and support here in the Health area, especially in the Senior Dog forum.

Have you tried giving Tramadol along with the Metacam? It seems to help the elderly Hooligans. Also, I agree about trying the Adequan injections. I also have my old guys and Mac on Dasaquin for their joints (I may have it spelled incorrectly).

Good luck and special hugs to Vishnu and Dutchess!!!
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Well, my eldest (nearly 13) really perks up after a chiro treatment. Her problems? - elbow, hip, spine, heart, no spleen. But she's really perky after the chiro treatment. You might give it a try.
I'll have to look into chiro I think. I have done tramadol. I get it filled each year for me since i'm allergic to NSAIDS so when I have sinus headaches I take it. Vishnu has taken more of it this past year than I have!! As for the adequan shots, I asked her about that before we started the cortisone injections. She basically told me that at this stage of the game it wouldn't help a whole lot since it's used to basically lubricate existing ligaments, cartilage, etc. It doesn't really help with the arthritis. So we decided to forgo that. I do the liquid glucosamine (cherry flavored, they like it best

Any ideas on where to find a chiro vet or accupuncture?

Jean, I don't think I can use the steps as I have laminate and tile throughout my house due to my allergies. I don't mind picking her up and luckily she doesn't mind being picked up. Vishnu? Forget it, you won't pick him up but he does allow me to aid his backend up if and when he wants on the bed which isn't that often. He prefers the sofa's since they're more level with his body to get up and down from.

My fear is if I allow her to continue this way get thru all the pain (which goes against everything I've told myself) then I would be terrified of her fracturing her spine. My vet and I agree no carts. I have to let them go with dignity not being reduced to a minuscule replica of their former selves if that makes sense to anyone. I have to do what's best for them and not me and I can't be selfish about it, but I don't want to make any decisions too soon either. UGH!!!!!!
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So if Lisa's links don't work...

American Veterinary Chiropractic Association Doctors
Not sure if this is different or the same as the one above
I.V.A.S - The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture - IVAS affiliate

This is the harness I have used with Nina-love it-

I wish I knew how to help.
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i know exactly where your coming from. toby my oldest male 12 years also has spondylosis. thankfully it doesn't seem to be progressing at a fast rate. we had x-rays done when he was almost 10 years since he looked a bit lame in one of his rear legs. he also has good hips, but as you know the spondylosis does effect the lower spine and therefore the hips. he never showed any signs of it up until we had the first x-ray. but, i also realize x-rays don't show inpinged nerves and other issues. toby's gate has gotten a bit worse. what is really hard for me to watch is the fact that he doesn't realize his limitations, he is still ready, willing and able. he has always had such a drive, and will until the day he dies. i think its harder to see them fail when they have that drive, etc. unlike my other male who in his last year was more than happy to lounge on the couch unless of course food was involved, lol!
as i walk toby daily, i look at him and think how much i hate this part of their lives! it stinks!

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I am really sorry to hear about Duchess it is so tough when they are in pain
Heidi was diagnosed with spondylosis when she was only two years old, she will be thirteen next month. We are doing the metacam, tramadol and adequan (for her hips). I had no idea that they can fracture their vet has ever told me about that...something else to worry about.

I am also getting to the point where I'm not sure how much more I should put her through. I hate giving her the adequan shot because it hurts a little and she hates taking the tramadol and will spit it out every time. We are dealing with some other issues also and I know that the time is fast approaching where I am going to have to make a tough decision.

Good luck and I hope Duchess feels better real soon!

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I am so sorry Angela ((hugs)). It isn't fun watching them age, and what comes with aging.

Good luck and wishing you the best.
I'm so sorry Angela..... my Emma is starting with similar issues and the thought of facing what you are facing right now....:::sigh::: I'm scared...

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yep, scared about sums it up. alot of us seem to be facing the same thing in the near future. its something you try not to think about, but when you wake up every day its the first thought that comes around when you see their faces and realize they won't be there to greet you at some point.
we all have to try and be strong and enjoy every minute with our seniors. i find myself giving toby Alot of extra hugs and kisses, just because.

Oooh, I just found this thread! Hugs to you all, we go through the same now w/ Yoda. Some days are good, and his eyes just sparkle from joy, others are pretty bad, and he can't even walk anymore. Sadly, not even any pain now, just loss of hindleg coordination; better said, he has no idea what is going on from the waist down. So my guess is, its not just his arthritis anymore, must be some type of neurological issue.
The saddest part is that his personality didn't change one bit, he still thinks he's the perky two year old he was; if only his body wouldn't let him down.
Yes, getting old sucks!
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I totally understand what everyone is going through. They do seem to go downhill so quickly. Chama really wants to do everything Rafi does but her body is not cooperating! Today she even tried to jump up on the fence to give kisses when my next door neighbor's kids came home because Rafi did it. And she gets so excited when he is racing around and runs and plays with him for about 2 minutes before she's out of breath and has usually fallen down a few times too! She still tries to mount him every morning and is successful most of the time too!

I keep taking her out for walks though, 2 or 3 times every day, because that's what makes her happy. We go for outings (little hikes in the park and on trails, etc.) several times a week. She is slow and has trouble with some of the terrain but she just enjoys it so much I figure it's worth it even if she is a little sore later.

I keep trying to remind myself that the aging process is a natural one and the best that I can do is to give her lots of love and appreciate every day we have together!
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Angela, I totally agree with you on the issue of carts. I did have one for a DM GS. The vet donated it to me. It may be fine for other dogs, but GSs need a different level of dignity and independence.

My thoughts and good wishes are with you.
Getting old is a part of life. It is sad to see the aging process but there are also benefits in acknowledging that while aging often involves degeneration and pain - it also allows reflection, peace and comfort .

Spoil your older dogs - they are always grateful and they deserve all and any attention.
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