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Over the past year Lucky eyes have become much more cloudy. Our vet states he has cataracts in both eyes. he also is displaying an increased weakness in his back legs. We've known that he has bad hips and a lot of arthritis. He is on Previcox. Im writing this thread b/c we now have a two story house w/ a step down from our downstairs main floor to the outside. we are looking at building a ramp for the dogs and I have purchased a sling to help him get up and down our main steps. All our bedrooms are upstairs and he has always slept in our bedroom. I always go to bed first and my husband is more of snooze on the couch. Lucky always followed me to bed and left for awhile after I went to sleep. Now he will stand at the bottom of the steps and cry. I always turn on both the foyer and upstairs hall light on but some times he needs physical assistance to get up and down the steps ,other days he makes it up and down multiple times w/ out assistance.
The reason for my thread I'm trying to figure out whether its the weakness in his back legs or the poor eyesight from the cataracts or the combination of the two. My second question is what can I do to aid him. Our vet or vets tell me they don't want to do anything that requires they have to put him under at his age we will have had him 12 years and he was about a year old when we got him. I am also hoping to hear what others think might be some ideas of how to help Lucky deal w/ his age related problems.
 

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I had have had this problem in the past with a couple of dogs as they got up there in age..With that, the sling is a good idea..Mine all insist on sleeping upstairs in my bedroom, with that, I have a good husband who would either carry them or I put a sling/harness on them and well, lug them upstairs at nite, and baby gate the upstairs off so, they don't roam around, possibly fall down the stairs, or don't try to go down without assistance. In the morning, I would harness/sling them and go down the stairs with them, mine seemed to do better going "down" vs "up".. Baby gates help, when I wasn't around, I would baby gate off the upstairs so they couldn't possibly injure themselves while I wasn't around

It's so hard to watch them age, but there is something special about those old dogs:)
 

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This is one of my fears because my bedroom is also upstairs and the dogs go with me. I would say it's probably a combination of both things. If it was just sight you could just guide him up slowly and the same if it was just his legs. Since he seems to want to go with you I wouldn't stress him out and I would just help him along. You can use just a towel and guide him up. For arthritis my vet recommended fish oil, she said that everything else is hit or miss but fish oil works. Sending positive thought to all of you and a hug for Lucky.
 

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Thanks Diane and llombardo. Lucky hates the sling but tolerates it if that's the only way he can get up the stairs. As for the baby gates I'm going to have to do those to block him from the upstairs or block him upstairs.
 

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I don't know what to recommend, but I am sorry to hear Lucky is having problems :(
 

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Loneforce thank you. Typing this is kind of hard cause I know my boy is fading but he still has days where he is more mobile and it takes 20 minutes before he's ready to quit playing ball. He doesn't catch the ball like he used too and you can tell he can't see where it lands. I wish we could do cataract surgery . He acts so frightened and his response to noise is pretty intense. He barks at every little thing but I have to keep telling myself he barking cause he cant see and he is alerting and he's not feeling very secure.
 

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I am so glad Lucky has you to help him "weave" his way through the trials of old age. He may be barking more as he cannot see well, and thus, insecure, but having YOU in his life provides the most precious security.

Best wishes on figuring out a workable set-up for your boy.
 

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Thanks Moriah.I want to make this as easy as possible or him. I worry about him falling on the steps if I don't block him either up or downstairs. He goes away from the girls who spend their days on the family room couch or in our sun room. Lucky does not seem to like being w/ them when Im not home but honestly Lucky always was in our bedroom or on the couch in our basement family room in our other house. I could baby gate him upstairs which allows him his space but I worry about fire.
 

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Senior dogs are so special!!! You just know each other so well after all those years. You can just depend on and read each other so well! It's a hard part of the journey together, but draws you even closer. The adequin shots really helped Clipper and we were using the springtime products as well. My daughter has said the J-flex concentrate has seemed to help their senior. I used the fresh factors, joint health and omega 3-6-9. Cody and Clipper slept in my room and after Moo Moo (Hooch!) came to live with us I just shut the bedroom door ever nite to prevent wandering. If you can assist him up and down stairs,like said you would be safe with door shut. I think the ramp would be a good idea because I know my boys would sometimes trip on the small step up into the kitchen. I also covered all tile with a stress mat material to prevent slips!! I don't have stairs but I imagine over time sleeping and daytime areas would have to be adjusted, and may find his own new "cave" to hang out! They just are such sweet old guys!!! Good thoughts and wishes for you and Lucky!
 

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Senior dogs are so special!!! You just know each other so well after all those years. You can just depend on and read each other so well! It's a hard part of the journey together, but draws you even closer. The adequin shots really helped Clipper and we were using the springtime products as well. My daughter has said the J-flex concentrate has seemed to help their senior. I used the fresh factors, joint health and omega 3-6-9. Cody and Clipper slept in my room and after Moo Moo (Hooch!) came to live with us I just shut the bedroom door ever nite to prevent wandering. If you can assist him up and down stairs,like said you would be safe with door shut. I think the ramp would be a good idea because I know my boys would sometimes trip on the small step up into the kitchen. I also covered all tile with a stress mat material to prevent slips!! I don't have stairs but I imagine over time sleeping and daytime areas would have to be adjusted, and may find his own new "cave" to hang out! They just are such sweet old guys!!! Good thoughts and wishes for you and Lucky!
Thank you I just checked out the Springtime website and I'm going to give our vet a call to make sure nothing I order would be bad w/ what he is all ready on. I liked the customer reviews on their web site. Lucky has always been my shadow and traveling companion and 12 years together has made me incredibly happy and right now scared . He is my boy.

Is there anything I can do to help him w/ the eyesight?
 

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That is what I miss, my shadows!!! On his eyesight I don't know. Your vet may have a suggestion of supplement that might help. My boys developed a "film" or "cloudiness" that I saw when the light hit it or they turned their head a certain way as they aged. They would bark at the trash cans in the dark or something like that but never seemed to make them miss step or run into anything. They would still catch toys, bite at flys going by!! I still use the springtime for moo, I'm pretty satisfied with them!! And the adequin really helped Clippers strength in his back. I wish you many happy days with your boy Lucky!
 

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I don't have any new suggestions...the ramp sounds like a good idea. What a sweet boy,hope some ideas help..
 

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Oh and I bought one of those orthopedic bed toppers for them to sleep on!! They never would sleep on a dog bed!!! I got a mattress cover to put on it and then put their blankets over that, they loved it, they both slept on it at the same time!!! Took up a little room, but hey, I don't spend too much time in the bedroom anyway, awake!!!
 

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An orthopedic crib mattress covered in a quilt works to. That is what I'm using g for Brennan. I forgot to suggest laser treatment for the legs. Lots of vets offer that now, my friend took his 12 year old and it has helped tremendously.
 

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I am sorry to hear about Lucky! He is so fortunate to have you in his life, and you in his! I wish you many more years of enjoyment with Lucky, take lots of photo's .. LOTS!!
 

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Well, we know Lucky is lucky to be with you, first of all!

I am thinking of vision impairment in people, and how you can kind of do an assessment of things that make it easier or worse.

Home Modification - VisionAware

Creating a Comfortable Environment for People with Low Vision - American Foundation for the Blind

You know those press on lights - those at dog level may be helpful in a few places.

The other thing I can't say enough good things about - when it works - and it doesn't always work, is Adequan injections. Starting out with the loading of 2x/week for 4 weeks, and then going to monthly, or whatever works for your dog.

My vet office did an estimate for me, with me buying it from Dr. F/S, and them injecting, and then them doing it all, and it was cheaper for me to buy it, and they were cool with that. I pay for a tech to inject or ($11 which for an IM injection - which is important - I am okay with, because I don't feel confident injecting into the thigh), or if she is going in anyway for something else, a vet does it for free as part of the appointment.

She gets Springtime supplements, because they seem to work well for her, and they are less expensive than Dasuquin, which is another great supplement.

The harness I like to use, and do use for car rides now to help her in and out of the car, is the Ruffwear one. You can usually find the older versions cheaper. I got mine quite a while back at Arcata pet I think it is. Ruffwear Performance Dog Gear | Dog Packs | Dog Boots

There is also the Help em up I think it's called harness which has more hind end support from the looks of it.

XOXO to Lucky!
 

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Thank everybody. I will start exploring . The orthopedic crib mat sounds like a great idea and Jean I will be checking out the sites yopu posted links too. Lucky doesnt cry other then when he's faced with the stairs. he has a ortho bed downstairs ,each dog does but my puchase for the dogs upstairs bed ls just a little too short for my big rectangular boy who is actually really oblong.Being able to come here really helps.Thank you again.
 

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Eye Health

NAC eye drops

The effect of a topical antioxidant f... [Vet Ophthalmol. 2006 Sep-Oct] - PubMed - NCBI

You could also consider NAC supplement (amino acid) which is a precursor to Glutathione.


The best thing you can do to prevent eye disorders is to make sure that your diet contains a variety of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Both the lens of the eye and the aqueous humor contain protective enzymes that breakdown the damaged proteins that clump together and cause cataracts. Antioxidants keep these enzymes from being destroyed. Vitamin C, vitamin E (mainly tocopherols), glutathione, and a variety of carotenoids are present in lens tissue and in the fluid that surrounds it.
Lutein is one such carotenoid. It is a major component of the yellow and orange pigment found in many fruits and vegetables including mangoes, corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, tomatoes and dark, leafy greens such as kale, collards and bok choy. There is very good evidence that the lutein in food helps protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, two common, age-related eye disorders. Lutein and another carotenoid, zeaxanthin, form the yellow pigment of the retina and help absorb ultraviolet blue light, a harmful component of sunlight.


"RED" PALM OIL is an excellent source

Palm kernel oil does not convey the same health benefits that red palm fruit oil does. The health benefits are only achieved due to the red color of the palm fruit oil that is attributed to its high content of carotenes, which include beta-carotene and lycopene. These powerhouse antioxidant nutrients are the same ones that give tomatoes and carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colors. What may shock you is that red palm fruit oil contains more that tomatoes or carrots. Red palm fruit oil is also densely packed with numerous tocotrienols – a powerful form of vitamin E.

^^^
Why You Should Give Red Palm Oil a Try | The Dr. Oz Show
 

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GatorBytes Thank you the links were very helpful especially the article about the study of the antioxident given to dogs w/ varying degrees of cloudiness in their eys. Im going to find some way to see if I can get or create that same topical treatment.
 

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I've had some of the same issues as you with Shasta except a little more advanced, she's 14 and 9months old. I have been giving her Springtime's longevity formula in home made food for close to a year now, before that I was giving her their joint supplements. I think it does help and their prices are very reasonable. She is very weak in her rear legs and obviously can't see very well any more but she gets around on her own and is a very happy, pain free dog. I've noticed that her eyesight is much worse when you take her outside when it's sunny and she comes back inside, she runs right into things! After a minute or so it seems like her eyes adjust to the darker light and work better. I just try to guide her inside for a few seconds and she is okay after that. She doesn't like stairs either, lucky for us there are only 3 steps at our house and they can be avoided if needed. For her I think it's more of a pain for her legs than a sight thing but it may be a combination of the two like you said. I like the idea of allowing an older dog to try and go up a few stairs for exercise but down seems a little too risky.
 
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