Aging pets

@beeeckie (803)
United States
June 23, 2008 11:09am CST
We've got 5 pets - 3 cats and 2 dogs. The dogs are both over 7, two of the cats are almost 7, and one will be seven in a couple of years. Pretty soon, it'll be a house full of senior pets. Last year we took care of a cat with kidney failure, and I truly hope that doesn't happen to any of the others. However, one of the dogs has arthritis, so she gets anti-inflammatory vitamins every day. Still, on overcast/rainy/chilly days, you can see the movement in her slow down, she's aching. She also had heartworms, previously, and the medication to save her life then ironically shortens her lifespan now. The other dog has cauliflower ear from previous (a**hole) owners hurting her. She has frequent ear infections and may lose her hearing. However, we love these dogs very much. (And the cats, too! None of them are showing aging signs yet, as they're still "middle aged") How do you take care of your aging animal companions, and what sorts of steps do you take to help them ease into later life?
3 people like this
5 responses
@laglen (19783)
• United States
23 Jun 08
We don't have any special needs yet but it is coming. We have three dogs, a lab/chow who is ten, a lab retriever who is 8 and a bull mastiff that is 5 (life exp 10). So we are getting close. I do not look forward to seeing them sick or hurting. We will just do the best we can to keep them comfortable!
@beeeckie (803)
• United States
23 Jun 08
good luck and be patient with them :)
1 person likes this
@aswinbio (174)
• India
23 Jun 08
i dont have pets and its god to have pets. i like it too. but my dad dont allow me to have it
1 person likes this
@Valenas (1510)
• United States
23 Jun 08
Since my mother works for a vet clinic, and has worked in that area for quite a while, she kind of knows how to respond to that. We have one dog that is 11, another that is 10, and a third that is 8. I am not sure how old our cat is, because Mother brought the one-eyed pirate home from work when the owners abandoned him after deciding that they could not pay for the procedure. Our oldest, a Dachshund, just lost a lot of weight. We put him on a diet, and his stomach no longer drags the floor. He is more energetic when he does decide to hop off of the couch. Our Rottweiler has a similar problem as your dog, with the aching. We try not to overstress her, and we asked my Uncle, who works at a Pet Smart, to buy us a bed that would help with that. I am sure that, for your dog, you could ask your vet what you might be able to do to make her more comfortable when she is aching as she is doing. My baby of the bunch, a Labrador-mix is the eight-year-old, and she has not really shown many problems. Her biggest problem is that her fear of thunderstorms is increasing all of the time. We have had a storm every day lately, so it is not helping much. She is also barking a lot more at other people these days, to the point that, when people come in the house or down the hallway, she is barking her head off until I can get to her to calm her down, and this has just started within the past month. She even almost bit someone who was running down the hallway. Old age in the life of your pet is really hard to manage, and I wish you the best as you are going through this.
@Valenas (1510)
• United States
23 Jun 08
Thank you so much for best response! Yeah, that is one of the downfalls for Rottweilers. I think they are meant for a working-type as a young dog, and then a family friend in their older age. I am glad to hear that your neighbor's dog bounced back. =) A love-seat, that is cute! Yeah, for some dogs, their fears are instilled in them by their owners. I think it might be my fault that my dog is so scared of thunder, because I used to be. When I was younger, I used to find her and hold her whenever there was a thunderstorm, and I am quite sure that her fear is a learned behavior that has evolved into a personal phobia for her. "Pooper"? I understand what it does when it is scared, but who in their right minds (unless they were left-handed, haha Psychology joke), would name their dog Pooper? I am glad she re-named. Yeah, I love that cat. I would include a picture of him, but I do not have that privilege yet.
@beeeckie (803)
• United States
23 Jun 08
One-eyed pirate makes me think of that orange cat with the eyepatch who always was in the background of the Muppet Show set. :)
1 person likes this
@banadux (630)
• United States
24 Jun 08
I haven't really done anything special with my dog except take care of her when she is hurt. She is 17 years old and a mutt. I dread the day when she'll be gone, but aside from going up and down the stairs slower and not having the stamina she used to have she is pretty much in good shape. As long as she doesn't seem to be in any pain I don't see any reason to change her food or lifestyle since she's lived to be very old as far as dogs go.
@TCampbell (180)
• United States
23 Jun 08
I have four dogs with the oldest of the pack creeping up on 13 years old. She(Scuba is her name) is starting to have some problems with her hips and simply can't move around as good as she use to. I've had to redo the steps leading to the doggie deck (yes, my dogs have their own personal deck which leads to the doggie door) I made the steps only four inches high instead of eight and it makes it easier for her to get into the house. She has problems with bladder infections now so my vet suggested I try one of the raw meat diets which worked, I guess, because she hasn't had a bladder infection in a while. I put out a small kiddie swimming pool in the back yard and after the water sits out in the sun all day, Scuba(she's a water dog) loves to lay in the warm water. I think it's good for her joints. I just try and make her happy and give her lots of loving.