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 FyrKrakn
Joined: 2/21/2010
Msg: 26
care for old dogs and preparing for the dayPage 2 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
No worries yet, it was just her paw licking that brought the subject to /mind and what I should do in the future. She had just been to the vet with a great check up. She is notorious for hiding her pain, and she will insist on walking for longer than she should, judging by her redcovery time. She is now 11, and healthy.

As further evidence that her back leg was shaking more from excitement than any pain or fatigue, she has shown this when afraid, or happy to see someone or excited about getting out, and several long walks haven't caused it. We were able to put her bed lower by taking some foam out of it and she has not done the paw licking since that time. The jumping down was hurting her paws on landing, she doesn't appear to be slowed down by getting up just yet. A cataract is growing in her good eye, so that's a big concern.
 viper1j
Joined: 11/30/2005
Msg: 27
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/27/2011 6:22:17 AM
Any body had old dogs, what did you do that helped them until they were gone? Any supplements?


There wasn't anything i could do, except hold her that last night. Princess was a fighter, she recovered from two strokes, but the third took everything that was her except her body. She was 20 1/2 and had a lot of "yelp" moments.

I just wish I had possessed the strength to do what I had to do sooner.
 pinkoleander
Joined: 5/17/2011
Msg: 28
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/27/2011 6:29:43 AM
^^^I agree. Supplements never helped me with anything and they didn't help my dog. The medical establishment would be making a fortune on the stuff if they worked. Plus people dose themselves and their pets without having any idea what if anything they're lacking. (As an aside I take iron because I'm borderline anemic and vit D because test showed I was so lacking I almost had rickets other than those I don't need anything and have actually made myself sick from taking stuff) Only the vet can recommend pain meds or anything else the animal needs.
I think many of us keep pets alive longer than necessary. I did so knowingly. I don't regret it because he was a fighter but I was honest with myself about it and did everything in the world to make sure he was comfortable.
 viper1j
Joined: 11/30/2005
Msg: 29
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/30/2011 9:06:14 AM
Gosh....I read about all the care people do for their dogs...trying to keep them going..


About a year before Princess died, I got a visit from two Humane Society investigators. They had received a complaint that there was a dog that "appeared to be ill, and not walking well."

I said "She's 19, don't expect her to be running any marathons anytime soon.."

Investigator: "Have you thought about "putting her down"?

Me: "How old is your mother"?

Investigator: "89, why?"

Me: "Does she ever have trouble walking, or get confused"?

Investigator: What's your point?" (now with a slightly angry look on her face..)

Me: "Have you thought about putting her down?"

She left my home EXTREMELY pissed!

I changed the diapers. I gave the meds. NOBODY tells me what to do with my dog.

When "the day" finally came, I had her cremated and placed in a blue granite and brass urn with her collar, and a piece of her favorite bedspread. She's still here, she just doesn't chase her frisbee much anymore.
 FyrKrakn
Joined: 2/21/2010
Msg: 30
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/30/2011 11:28:55 AM
20 YEARS? wow.

My grandmother had a cat that lived to 22. Ladybug. A calico kitten she had picked up off rail road tracks with its eyes still shut and birth goo still on it. It was runt sized for a kitten. She fed it baby formula and she never was any kind of extraordinary cat, there never was any kind of amazing story attached to her outside of her survival and the length of her life, she was simply my grandmother's longtime companion when her nest had become empty and her husband was always busy and her health was slowly failing.

My last dog was 14. Heart sill strong. but she broke her own back by jumping around like a crazy puppy. She had to be put down right away.

This one I have is still quite sturdy, and happy, and healthy. But 11. I think people rarely consider that there are tasks to prepare for. We don't exactly have cremation services here for pets. There are things to figure out, and I feel like I have enough time, but perhaps, one never knows.
 kari135
Joined: 9/1/2009
Msg: 31
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/30/2011 12:38:11 PM

This one I have is still quite sturdy, and happy, and healthy. But 11. I think people rarely consider that there are tasks to prepare for. We don't exactly have cremation services here for pets. There are things to figure out, and I feel like I have enough time, but perhaps, one never knows

There’s no easy way to prepare or say goodbye, when the time comes. The one thing to remember is that more often than not - according to several of my previous vets - if the dogs had a choice, they’d have gone on before the humans were able to let them go. It’s the last best thing anyone can do for a loved pet, letting them go before there’s too much suffering. A dog or cat (or bird, for that matter) will assume their loved human knows best and do their best to tolerate intolerable things because of that.

I’ve had somewhere over 60 dogs alone in my adult life, so I’m not just parroting what I’ve read elsewhere. One of my more recent dogs was a mini poodle who lived to the ripe old age of 23 - she was both deaf and blind, but woke every morning looking forward to another day. She loved her walks - as long as she felt safe on the end of her leash - and she managed to find her way around the house with no problem. Eventually she had a series of strokes within a few days and simply didn’t wake up from the last one. If she’d shown any signs of discomfort or distress, I’d have had her pts in a heartbeat, but she didn’t. She had a long and happy life. Another of my dogs, an Irish wolfhound, never lost his great attitude and sweet temper, but he did begin to lose control of his body, and he was extremely distressed at ‘losing’ his housebreaking. I finally had him pts because of his distress over it. But he also had a long and happy life, he was 16, which is close to double their usual life expectancy. And when the time came, I sat on the floor and held him while he went peacefully to sleep.

As for preparing for it - no way I know of is adequate. It’s always a heartbreaker.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 32
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/30/2011 7:10:25 PM
You can ask your vet if there's something you can do. And when the time comes, I know how emotional it is. I think you're right, though, that the dog will trust its master to do right by it. The only thing that made me feel any better about having to put a dog or cat to sleep was knowing it wasn't in pain any longer. It gets pretty obvious, at some point, that life has become nothing but torment for them.
 viper1j
Joined: 11/30/2005
Msg: 33
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/31/2011 5:41:56 AM

We don't exactly have cremation services here for pets. There are things to figure out, and I feel like I have enough time, but perhaps, one never knows.


The Humane Society contracts with at least one funeral home in your area for cremation services. They also have a catalog of urns you can order. The whole thing will run you about 450.00-600.00.
 FyrKrakn
Joined: 2/21/2010
Msg: 34
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/31/2011 1:15:15 PM
In Ajo? We only have one funeral home, and they don't take critters. We have a pet cemetery that everyone uses. The standard here is to go to the county animal control and they will very humanely put her down. They actually know her very well, it was where I adopted her 11 years ago and she visits and the volunteers love her a lot, so that is the only place I would consider going.

Gila Bend, where I work, 45 miles north, has nothing.

It's all rural farming community of mostly old homes, and the rest is a rustic desert. There must be a dog, cat, lizard and rodent minimum buried in every yard.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 35
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 5/31/2011 5:33:20 PM
While I share the need for closure and control over loss, in reality, most pets I have known much prefer to spare us these expenses and rituals. Most have crawled off to die with dignity, return their vessels to the earth as only humans cannot conceive of, and do it on their own terms when given the opportunity. Dust to dust is what works for all species on the planet but for a singular supersitious one like ours. Nature works quickly and efficiently at recycling our short stay. It may not be pretty at first, but it has worked for millions of years without incinerators and pretty boxes with land taken up with monuments. I lost my dog bud and a neighbor dog in the last two years as they wandered off to do what was natural to them. Despite untold hours of searching, it was as if the mother ship took them off to the dog star. It is all good in whatever way you wish to find closure, but there is the wishes of the creatures and their nature to consider as well.
 FyrKrakn
Joined: 2/21/2010
Msg: 36
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 6/25/2011 6:58:36 AM
Put the doggy on a low dose ibuprophren, no real indication of arthritis for her, just occasional fussing over her paws. Stopped the jumping off the bed onto hard surface floor, she finally figured out that she can ask for help or she can go down more slowly. She doesn't have to act like a puppy.

She is back to running and jumping, but seems to pace it out and seems to know her own limits.

She can't wander off when her time comes, she doesn't have the access. But I have known dogs, and cats, to do that. I've known others to come to me and choose to be held into their last days.
 yin4yang43
Joined: 9/1/2009
Msg: 37
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 7/6/2011 9:25:02 PM
Caring for my senior dog was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
So much, that I hope to get to a point where I can foster senior dogs!
It took a little while to digest the hard times, but looking back ... I am grateful for the chance to help her through.
Just keep in mind that you are assisting her through her journey and don't be afraid to encourage her to learn new tricks, you don't have to wait for her to figure it out.
It sounds like you really just have to focus on pain-management with sensitivity to her kidneys. There was a lot of great advice in some of the previous posts!!!
Keep touching her all over and keep track of her reaction so you can notice any changes. Maybe in a journal? Using a 1 - 10 scale helps to build a history to look back on. You could even rate days in general on the calendar, that way you can see if her good days are getting less and less.....
Another great source for info is the forum on Dogster.com!!! Any question you might possibly have answered by soooooo many people!!! It was great help when I adopted my reactive Border Collie and led us on the right track....
Sending you and your Shepherd ~~~ waves of good vibes~~~
 viper1j
Joined: 11/30/2005
Msg: 38
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 7/6/2011 9:37:16 PM

While I share the need for closure and control over loss, in reality, most pets I have known much prefer to spare us these expenses and rituals. Most have crawled off to die with dignity, return their vessels to the earth as only humans cannot conceive of, and do it on their own terms when given the opportunity.


Sorry, maybe it's just me, but I fail to see the dignity in having my dog be dinner for some raccoon or stray animal in the woods.
 yin4yang43
Joined: 9/1/2009
Msg: 39
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 7/6/2011 10:22:29 PM
I agree with viper! "Euthanasia" is a selfless act of kindness we owe to our friends, when suffering has taken away their quality of life. It's not about us and how we feel and how much it costs..... it's about not taking the easy way out!
( Some animals, like people, get to drift away without pain and peacefully...... those are the lucky ones.)
 yin4yang43
Joined: 9/1/2009
Msg: 40
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 7/6/2011 10:22:50 PM
I agree with viper! "Euthanasia" is a selfless act of kindness we owe to our friends, when suffering has taken away their quality of life. It's not about us and how we feel and how much it costs..... it's about not taking the easy way out!
( Some animals, like people, get to drift away without pain and peacefully...... those are the lucky ones.)
 Peppermint_Petunias
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 41
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/17/2015 3:19:27 AM
Bumped for advise. Hope Mo and others are around that are always helpful.


My old foster dog is still hanging in there fairly well with MSM, salmon oil for her pain and still walking and getting up/down steps,just slower. Has control of bladder and other functions .Also a corn/ wheat/meat free diet. As far as mobility, doing great for 14 but has had a few skin issues, itching and then loosing hair in patches since (prescribed by a vet) weekly shampoo-ing. Shampoo sold by the vet with their brand. Not normal IMO.Thats to many baths.
The bather actually noticed the hair falling out before i did and at every bath it got worse.

So basically
Her hair started falling out in patches soon after the frequent bathing ( never has done this before, never bathed her more than 3 times a year in a soapy medicated shampoo)so could be the shampoo, could be the washing it self or those heated dryers, maybe all 3.Also could be not enough air to her back wearing a new fleece coat she received for Christmas . I switched to light cotton t shirts yesterday
The vet always gives her a steroid and antibiotics even though no formal indication of an infection is present.A broad spectrum antibiotic and an anti fungal which they did not test for fungus or bacteria.

Im very wary of a 21 day dose of 2 antibiotics, esp the anti fungal which you need to diagnose using a microscope/skin scraping.The list of side effects and indications for use when reading about it are extremely dangerous for the kidneys and liver.

This morning I decided to try something I had heard of but hadn't tried. Rub her down on those areas on her back with diluted organic apple cider vinegar. The scratching ceased after the rub down and all the dead skin came off that had accumulated in the areas.

Im giving the vinegar 4 days of treating, not using the anti fungal right pill now and will decide after 2 weeks if to continue the broad spectrum antibiotic.21 days seems excessive when they are just throwing * sh1t* out there hoping one will work .They admitted they are not dermatologist or allergist.She does have a bit of crackle noise in her lungs so if she has some infection there the antibiotic could help that.

If I had to describe how it looks, cradle cap would come to mind first.Not a hot spot, possibly yeast but I think coconut oil in the diet or topically would help that.It has in the past.

If anyone has had skin issues treated with natural products I would like to hear about them. I really think the major factor in getting worse/losing hair has been the over bathing/related to over bathing/ hot air drying and the fleece coat making winter skin worse, but cant possibly know for sure.

Other than wanting to scratch/hair loss she still seems happy most of the time and isn't acting like in pain.

IF the vinegar helps Ill update the progress, if not I'm going to try organic aloe to keep the areas clean before bathing again..I think I need to see hair come back first, but am open to listening to others who have been through it and had good results.Please feel free to share what you know thats non toxic to organs.
Thanks guys
 8inscrew
Joined: 11/17/2014
Msg: 42
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/17/2015 3:20:23 PM
I have a white bully, and she scratched herself raw when I first got her.
Not sure where, but I heard using yogurt helps.
And it did...

Everyone I have told about this thought you rub it on... lol.
Just a cup a few times a week works wonders. (in the feed dish)
 lifeisgrand5
Joined: 12/29/2014
Msg: 43
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/18/2015 2:24:34 AM
My older dog is 11. It breaks my heart to watch her age. She has slow thyroid, arthritis, large fatty tumors, her eyes are glazed over. I giver her grain free kibble. I also give her 1000 milligrams of gluclosome, and a pinch of turmeric ,and a tsp. of coconut oil, so far so good. I take her for long walks and she does really well. Miss Mimi lives for her volunteer work, her tail wags and she smiles the entire time we are working. She is my entire life and don't know what I will do when her time comes. I did rescue a puppy mill standard poodle 3 months ago so I have another dog as well as Miss Mimi.

Good luck to you with your aging dog. I understand your worry and concern I am right there with you. Each and every day at this point is a gift. I feel that my fur babies are 4 legged angels. My dogs are my reason to keep moving forward.
 Ouija2025
Joined: 6/11/2014
Msg: 44
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/18/2015 6:36:21 AM
Sorry to read that Pank :(
Pet - is she licking her paws? Often a sign of an allergy and you should check her ears
Also stop giving her food in metal, use glass bowls
Add a teaspoon of white vinegar to her drinking water
For our old Chow we ended up giving him a daily dose of childrens benadryl.

My Zoe ( boxer) had health issues, I called her my 6 million dollar dog :/
 Peppermint_Petunias
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 45
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/19/2015 2:13:29 AM
Enzymes work with me and inflammation so Ill check that out pank. So sorry to hear about your loss and I know quality of life is the most important thing, but she still is moving and doing so well regarding pain. We both know next week it could be a different story
ouji I am doing the benadryl too, got some good ideas that make sense.

Yes licking paws, and we have had horribly wet grass/ground to the point of a mold look in areas in the grass for weeks that wont dry.
Im drying her paws after walks now and putting tea tea oil and or coconut oil in between the toes

I was wondering about the vinegar in her water as it really makes her skin (topically) feel good.
She doesnt have metal bowls but licks her crate door.( metal).so I need to cover it I guess.

I got her in the sun yesterday( no fleece coat)Its been a long time since her back has had good sun.
Im hoping that will help too

Thanks to everyone that posted and those that e mailed me with ideas to try.
I'm encouraged with the progress I have seen so .
Pepps
 bamagrl68
Joined: 11/14/2010
Msg: 46
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/27/2015 8:02:13 PM
FyrKrakn- When a pet is suffering like you are describing, it's time to let them go.
It's never easy, I have loved all of my dogs, but I would put it to sleep.
It's not the cruel choice, it's the humane one.
 Dee4166
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 47
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/28/2015 4:12:56 AM
Here's a topical mixture that might give her/him some relief...
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup. green tea (liquid)
1 cup distilled water

A few folks I know have used this from hot spots, allergies, etc, to mosquito bites....works like a charm if she's having a particularly bad day....

As far as letting a beloved pet go...well, when I worked as a vet assistant many years ago, I would often see people bringing in animals that really should have been put down LONG before they brought them in....it was awful and the vet explained to me that it was people who became used to the animal's condition gradually and didn't realize how bad they had become....

I don't know, for myself, it's always been obvious, cat with kidney failure who was 18, dog with bloat, etc. so I never had that problem....

I think that if you truly love your pet and are attentive to them, then you know when it's the right time....
 Peppermint_Petunias
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 48
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/30/2015 3:16:40 AM
^^^^^^Thank you DEE

She has loads of puppy energy and fun still if she is on the right foods and supplements.

Her skin is much better and vinegar does help.
Ill add the tea next time I mix a bottle.
 Dee4166
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 49
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care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 1/30/2015 1:01:04 PM
You're welcome PP...
Enjoy her for as long as you can and as long as her quality of Life has the good outweighing the bad...
I hope that you make some wonderful memories together..... :-)
 Viper1j
Joined: 2/6/2015
Msg: 50
care for old dogs and preparing for the day
Posted: 2/28/2015 7:17:44 AM
I lost Princess at 20 1/2. I feel your pain.

All you can do , is be there when the time comes.
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