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Found 8 results

  1. 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.
  2. Hello all, New poster here! Also I am about to be a new greyhound dad. So I am adopting a greyhound that I've been told is NOT an ex-racer...I was a bit perplexed as to his history because if he didn't come from the track who is breeding Greyhounds? Again, I don't know very much of him, they said he was a pet but then got to a kill shelter in Kentucky and now is in Indiana and I stumbled upon him... They want me to take him ASAP, and that is this Sunday. He is a senior and will be 9 in January - I don't mean to be weird...but is this too old? I mean will he die in my care within a year? I have a wiener dog that now lives with my parents but I've never gone through losing a pet. I want to give him a good home because he's old and I feel like getting adopted may be harder for him but I'm not sure what everyone experience is with an older Greyhound? His teeth look a little yellow, is there a brush that is best? He most likely not muzzle trained and I'm not sure i'll use one but I will have to if I take him to my parents which I will during the holidays. My parents were scared of Milo when I brought him home...he was about a 4LB dachshund then... so a 88lb Grey is a bit much. The muzzle will help, any tips? Any tips or comments would be welcome, I am very excited but just wish him to live a long life.
  3. Hello friends, I hope you are all well. Several years ago this community was wonderful in its support of our efforts to keep our space aggressive greyhound, Joe, while also having a young child in the house. (Old thread here.) Almost six years and one more kid later, Joe is happily still with our family. It has been a long and winding road, but (knock on wood) there have been no incidents and he will be ten years old in July! I am writing because we are about to visit the vet again to address his recently developed incontinence and I want to be as informed as possible. I have done quite a bit of research online (including this forum) about possible causes but wanted to reach out for any tips or recommendations about our specific situation. Generally, we have not noticed any changes in behavior other than the incontinence. No weight loss, lethargy (other than normal), and no excessive drinking. He has definitely aged over the last year and slowed down quite a bit; he has trouble going up and down stairs because of arthritis. All his test results/check ups came back normal in February. The vet said he was probably just getting older (he's nine); might have doggie arthritis which makes it difficult to get up in time; or he could have some kind of cognitive/Alzheimer's-type issue where he just doesn't care where he pees. Here is a breakdown of how this has progressed: -In late January/Early Feb. Joe started to consistently have accidents in the house - mostly urine - and at night. When he had to go, he would bark in the middle of the night, and we would get up and walk him. Not ideal, but workable. Knowing older dogs can't hold it like they used to, we figured we weren't walking him enough (4-5 times a day). -Over the next few weeks, he stopped barking and would just pee in the house - sometimes nightly. He occasionally pooped in the house as well. We kept thinking maybe it was our fault (we weren't walking him enough or late/early enough), but also knew he had never done this before. We continued to assume old age. He was getting about 7-8 (!!!) walks a day at this point. At this time, most of the accidents were in at night. Note: We do/did try letting him out in the yard but he just stands there and doesn't do much - he only goes to the bathroom on his walks and in the house. -In late February, he peed on his bed. He would never want to do that and we thought there might be a real problem. This is when we took him to the vet -In March, it continued to get worse. He started to pee in the house during the day - even after short periods of time and our dogwalker started to encounter messes. (He got a dental during this month and they did testing in preparation and everything came back okay .) --Currently (April), it has gotten progressively worse. He is peeing multiple times at night and during the day. We walk him during every free moment and have the dogwalker come as much as we can afford while we are gone during the day. Now, if we leave the house for even an hour, he pees in his room. Even after multiple walks. Even when we are home with him all day. We are meeting with the vet (again) this week. Please let me know if you can recommend any tests to ask for or questions to ask him/her. If you have any experience with this or inclination of what might be wrong, we would also appreciate your input. If it's hormonal he might need meds and while I have read plenty about hormone treatment for females, I've seen less about males. There is also the possibility he simply has decided he wants to go in the house (we don't get angry or upset with him) and it might be easier for him. I feel like this is less of a possibility because he is going to the bathroom where he eats and sleeps - which I think he would prefer not to do. Thank you again for any comments or suggestions.
  4. So my nearly 8 year old Polly got adopted by me in September. She started on IAMS and she didn't seem to mind it but then suddenly just did not want it. She would eat maybe once a day or every other day. After some bloodwork and other tests we found out she's fine. I asked around the local Grey club, and I switched to Taste of the Wild (the one with salmon). It was okay but she only ate one bag before the same thing happened. Next came Natural Balance. Petsupermarket had a sample of the salmon and potato, and she seemed to love it. The food reeks of sweet potato and we got through a few days and she did not want it anymore. Last week I bought a couple of cans of Wild Calling food. I've been able to get her to eat some of it by adding half a can of Wild Calling Hoppy's (96% Rabbit) with chicken broth and water. The "stew" seems like its okay with her enough to eat. She just licked the canned duck off of it when I tried that one. Is this normal? The rescue she is from did not give me a name of the food she was eating there.They get it from a distributor and he said they get duck and lamb. Any suggestions? She seriously will wait until she is so hungry she has to eat it. She eats her full serving (2cups) every two days or so.
  5. My senior hound is having some trouble on hardwood and tile floors now. She is starting to develop very mild arthritis in her hips. She takes joint supplements which has helped a lot! But she has had a couple falls on the tile floors which causes her to have a little anxiety about walking on the non carpeted floors and I am worried that she will possibly hurt herself if she falls again. She also has a lot of trouble standing up if she lays down on non carpeted floors; her feet slide out from under her and she really struggles. I would love any suggestions on things I can do to help her with this. I have tried toe grips with a little success but they definitely aren't helping as much as I hoped. She is in excellent health other than this which makes it even harder since she still runs and plays like a hound half her age so having this issue is very difficult for her to deal with. Please if anyone can give me any suggestions that would be amazing!!
  6. I haven't been on GT in SOOOOO long. After my Indigo died in 2011 (osteo), I was too shell-shocked to be involved in anything grey. Then, I had some human health problems. Then, I lost one of the Fab Feline Boys after a 3 month battle with liver disease. It hasn't been a fun ride. The household is still 4 humans but down to Maximilian (my 12 year old grey) and 2 Fab Feline Boys (ages 13 and 11). Max had a puffy snout last December. Vet seemed to think tooth abcess. We did antibiotics and it went away. This past Sunday, his snoot looked like an American Bull Terrier on one side. He yiped when I tried to probe around in there. Of course, he is prone to the grey drama gene. Went to see Doc on Monday. Seems to think tooth, again. He is on antibiotics and we are doubling his Wobenzyme for 5 days. His appetite is fine. This morning, he was rubbing at his face and yiped. When I looked there was some blood on his gums. Mind you...his teeth are AWFUL!! My docs and I are not crazy about the idea of putting an almost 13-year-old grey under for a dental. The bleeding has stopped and he seems fine. I am supposed to call doc tomorrow...just to let him know how Max is doing. Any thoughts? PS...I really missed you guys.
  7. I've got a dog who's bored with his kibble, so I need a recommendation of something he'll think is "exciting"--that won't break the bank. Sam is nearly 13. He had an ulcer from meds, and since the ulcer he's had less interest in his regular kibble. He was/is on Iams in the red bag (73D on the dog food rating scale). He's had much more expensive kibble over the years, but money is tight--and he and his sister liked the Iams red bag ($35/30# bag) and did as well on it as they did on the $55/30# stuff (Nature's Recipe venison, 116A on the grading scale). And the girl still loves the Iams. The boy will eat it, but for the first time in the ten-plus years I've owned him, Sam has walked away from a food bowl before it's empty and licked clean. (He also walked off from the bland food I was feeding him while he his ulcer first appeared--he'd eat the chicken, but leave the rice, potatoes, or oatmeal behind.) It's not that his appetite has vanished. He still wants to eat everything I'm eating. (Peanut butter crackers are a favorite.) And he'll eat Purina Beneful. Yeah, rated 17F on the dog food rating scale, but he adores it. At present, he's getting 1 cup of kibble each morning and night. That's down from 2 cups at each meal. He used to eat it dry. When he started leaving food, I started adding water. These days, I'm adding half a bottle of Ensure to each meal. He drinks all the Ensure and eats about half of the kibble. (He's on antibiotics for a UTI, and that might be screwing with his appetite, but he started leaving food before that.) He takes pills four times a day. To get a bit of food into him for pills at lunch and bedtime, I give him (and Silver) a quarter-cup of the Beneful. I know it's the nutritional equivalent of potato chips for dogs, but-- Hey, I like potato chips and could eat them for an entire meal if I didn't know better. Both dogs would eat more of the Beneful if I offered it. If Sam starts ignoring all his regular kibble, I may fall back on the Beneful for all his meals just to get calories into him. But can someone recommend a tasty kibble that's more nutritious than the Beneful, and not super-expensive? Something a finicky eater would like? If I go back to the expensive kibble he had in the past, I'm afraid he'll just walk away from it.
  8. Our sweet old boy Tex is well past his 13th birthday now and recently he hasn't been doing too great. He has several issues and two weeks ago he gave us quite a scare. But he's still here and recently I've felt the need for some nice pictures of him. Today I let him roam around next to the house, we have a little stream there and high grass. Since he is really going no where anymore, I let him go off leash. And boy, did he love that. Sniffing around, eating grass... But after 10 minutes it was enough, he went back home... I love this boy so much Untitled by Peet64, on Flickr
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