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Senior dogs are the sweetest! Our senior greyhound Misty is 14 years old now. She has been through discospondylitis, kidney and urinary tract infections, anaplasmosis, and now arthritis. We have been very lucky with her health after adopting her as a two year old, but after a while, old age catches up. Right now she is experiencing another health crisis and we're not sure she will pull through considering her age. I want to share some things that we believe have helped give her a long, happy life and things we are doing now to keep her comfortable. Good quality food is a must. I've always fed Misty good quality kibble, going through a lot of different brands over the years including Wysong, Natural Balance, California Naturals, Earthborn, EVO, and most recently, Blue Buffalo chicken and rice. She loses interest after a while and she relishes a change every so often. I supplement this with homemade food, carefully following the instructions in Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. At times I fed her only homemade food, but I found she liked the kibble and ate better with the mix. I also use good quality canned food. We have a very good vet who works with me to minimize invasive procedures while still keeping up with Misty's health. One thing that I believe helps is to do only one immunization at a time, not several at a time, despite the need for more vet visits. I believe this is easier on her system. I also ask my vet do titration tests to see if vaccines were necessary. I think the less you do the better, as long as you are keeping up with the necessary vaccines to protect them. Now that our sweet girl is in her golden years, it's hard to get her to eat. I've managed to tempt her with baby food (Beechnut stage 1 chicken and chicken broth is a favorite), Castor and Pollux canned food, and homemade chicken or beef stews. She will also usually eat ham or pork chopped up and mixed in her food or in the recipes from the Pitcairn book for a better nutritional balance. Hamburger and rice works great for diarrhea. She likes Stonyfield Farm yogurt, often right from the spoon. When she has been really sick and dehydrated I have fed her by smearing baby food into the side of her mouth, carefully dripping pedialyte or Gatorade (not artificially sweetened) into her mouth with a big syringe, and spoon feeding yogurt. We recently bought a Ruffwear harness, which I wish I had bought before. It's a little bit of a pain to put on but it can be done by holding the leg strap at floor level and lifting the foot just a little, then sliding the rest over her head. A soft coat fits over it, modified with a hole cut for the handle. The handle on the back is perfect for helping her outside and boosting her up from lying down. My husband built a ramp so she can get in and out of the house--heavy planks with wooden strapping for traction. Her Christmas presents included a supersoft blanket and a Crazy Warm pet from the Green Pet Shop. I don't understand how it works, but it contains tourmaline which reflects the dog's body heat back and keeps them warmer. She loves it and sleeps on it for hours. Her beds have grown in size as it seems more comfortable for her to stretch out now. Her bed in the living room is a combination of a bolster bed plus an orthopedic bed so the whole thing is the size of a child's mattress. Despite her current condition, she sleeps on it very comfortably. She loves to be covered by a soft blanket or pashmina shawl (yes, she has her own collection of pashmina shawls). Due to her current condition, she is now on gabapentin, mirtazipine to stimulate her appetite, and prednisone to help with inflammation in her spine and legs due to arthritis. X-rays show something going on with her left lung, possibly a tumor. At this point we are not going to put her through further testing or extreme treaments. We are trying to find the balance of comfort care, possible improvements, and non-stressful treatments. I'd love to hear how long other's greys have lasted and any other tips to help keep our Misty comfortable.
Good Morning All - While I know this has been a topic multiple times, I have read through and am seeking advice on some of the common side-effects people have seen with de-worming meds. My grey is 4 years old, and has had hooks off and on since we adopted him approximately 7 months ago. He has had two fecal tests that were clear; however, last week he tested positive again. We took in a sample as he had a decreased appetite and typically that indicates that his tummy isn't feeling 100%. He is not a huge "food driven" grey but does usually have a decent appetite overall. On a typical day, he gets a mix of Nutro Ultra Dry and Canned Food. Okay, fast-forward to today (Monday 05/21/18), Keeper went to the vet on Saturday (two days ago) and was administered and oral de-wormer in-house (unsure what the name of it is). Then, the vet I am working with has opted to replace his monthly preventative to Advantage Multi (he was taking Sentinel) for three months. He was given his first dose of the Advantage Multi yesterday. My question for everyone on here is: 1. Have your greys experienced a decreased appetite with hooks? (Mine has been eating, but not consistently and not enthusiastically. He has not wanted to eat his kibble, but will eat biscuits and baby food)2. If yes, once treated - how long did it appear to take for them to have their appetite's back? I am wondering if maybe the suppressed appetite is simply because he doesn't feel well and that the meds are upsetting his tummy while they do their "magic" with the hooks. Please know I have been in consistent contact with my vet, I am just reaching out to see what other's experience has been. My grey has been drinking, passing bowel movements and urinating normally. I did check his temp and have been watching that his gums stay healthy pink as well. Thanks to all for any insight!!
Our 14 year old Molly has recently been diagnosed with moderate kidney failure, plus she is very prone to pancreatitis, which she is currently recovering from another serious episode due to the accumulation of toxins in her blood stream related to her kidney failure. It has been a hellish couple weeks for all of us--especially her. Anyway, she has always been a very picky eater & now with her kidneys failing, her appetite is even more depressed. Molly also has osteoarthritis in multiple joints so she is also taking those usual meds: Gabapentin, Tramadol, Rimadyl, etc. The vet prescribed Mirtazapine (a human drug, I believe) which caused Molly to experience body tremors, severe neurological twitching & severe mental deficiency (she would stare off into space--completely unaware--horrible!). My husband's research revealed that Mirtazapine should NOT be given with Tramadol, as it can also cause seizures when used together!!!!! So, does anyone have any good experience with an effective appetite stimulant, either an Rx or a homeopathic one? The vet said she does not know of any other ones, other than an injection of vit B12. I will be checking GT on Facebook soon for the chronic kidney disease thread mentioned on a different topic thread here. Any suggestions would be Greytly appreciated. Still don't know for sure that Molly will recover from this, although she improved some today. But the vet said once we get her kidney values down some (with all the fluids I've been giving at home), I/we will have to give Molly subQ fluids 3 times a week (500-1000 cc per) for maintenance of her kidneys... Molly already hates to see me & my husband coming to her together--sucks so much!! Thank you!
Hey everyone. Nemo has always been a pro eater. Then, about a month ago we purchased a 40lb bag of his normal food (Annamaet for adult dogs). He ate it for a few days, but started to get less and less enthusiastic about it. Eventually, he patently refused to eat it. But the weird thing was, if my fiancee offered him a treat, he would still eat it with a ton of gusto. So, we tried a sample of a different type of food, Merrick chicken and sweet potatoes. He chowed down like he always had before. Problem solved, so we thought. We finished up the small bag, and ordered a larger one. About 3 days in - same thing. He won't eat it. At this point, we think something may be weird, so we try adding a little browned hamburger. Boom, appetite restored. He eats through that, and we run out of burger. We try beef broth at this point along with the food - eats it up, no problem. But now a week later, he won't eat the food with the beef broth. So, I am realizing that the dog is ok, no weird behavior change, nothing seems wrong. He simply doesn't want to eat the dry food we are putting in front of him. If we put anything else down, he eats it. We picked up another bag of his original food, ate it for 2 days, and he stopped. At this point, I am putting out the bowl of food and letting him decide whether to eat or not. All treats have been cut off. We have a vet visit scheduled for friday (emergency visit would have cost a ton, and since he seems to be just fine outside of the occasional resistance to eating his dry food), and are hoping to get him checked out on the offhand something is weird. It's not bloat, or he'd be a goner by now. He is due for a tooth cleaning, but I don't think that's the issue or else he'd be more continuously fussy. Anyone experienced this before? Any advice?