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Senior Grey Care


Guest houndlover
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Guest houndlover

I have never had to deal with an aging pet before and I was just wondering if there was anything that was breed specific that I needed to watch for as Billy ages. I know that there are the normal things (ie, incontinence, hearing loss, weight loss, sleeping more, etc) but I wasn't sure if greys were more prone to other issues as they age. Billy is 10.5 yo and is starting to show some of the signs of aging and I want to be as prepared and informed as possible.

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I'm sure you will get lots of replies. :) My suggestion is to have a comprehensive senior (blood) panel and urinalysis every six months and at that time also a physical exam with manipulation by Billy's veterinarian. Another is to make sure Billy's dental care

is good. My three also get Fresh Factors and Joint Health from Springtime.

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Greyhound angels at the bridge- Casey, Charlie, Maggie, Molly, Renie, Lucy & Teddy. Beagle angels Peanut and Charlie. And to all the 4 legged Bridge souls who have touched my heart, thank you. When a greyhound looks into you eyes it seems they touch your very soul.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more then he loves himself". Josh Billings

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Greyhounds tend to lose weight as they age, more so than other breeds, so personally, I wouldn't put them on a senior formula food because those normally have reduced calories.

 

Apart from that, if your grey starts to slow up and perhaps pant more, and your vet says it's his heart, be aware that heart problems in greyhounds are often misdiagnosed because their heart sounds can be very different. This is because of their relatively large hearts and narrow chests. My policy is always to get a specialist opinion with greys and heart problems, just to be sure it's that and you're not missing something else and putting it down to a problem which might not exist.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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my biggest fear with seniors is accidents. falling down stairs or slipping on floors..so I take precautions in that respect. it's just much harder for a senior to bounce back from things, so I try to prevent things from happening in the first place :)

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

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Wag more, bark less :-)

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Guest caiteag

The other thing to watch for, especially in males is Lumbosacral Stenosis. The other possible condition to watch for is Laryngeal Paralysis. I don't know as much about it, but it can also be common in older greys. Both of these conditions are progressive, but can be effectively treated.

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arthritis. I don't know if they are more prone to it than other old dogs, but it seems quite common. They may not show symptoms at first, other than slowing down, hesitating when getting up and down, stuff like that. If you haven't already started him on a glucosamine supplement, it would probably be good for him, and wouldn't hurt :), even if he doesn't have arthritis.

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Laryngeal Paralysis - -you can google it for the technical stuff, but basically the vocal cords thicken and it becomes hard for the grey to breathe, especially when excited/stressed or in humid conditions. If you hear your grey wheezing a lot, ask your vet. There are steps that can be taken if it gets really bad.

 

Also, idiopathic vestibular disease/disorder/syndrome. Idiopathic means they don't know what causes it. Vestibular has to do with something related to the inner ear. Again, you can google it.

 

I've seen this kick in dogs as young as 11-12. Basically, the grey is VERY dizzy, with related nausea. My vet used the analogy of being extremely sea-sick. Dog loses all interest in food, is unable to stand. Makes you think maybe they had a stroke or are passing a blood clot or something. A friend of mine had a dog come down with this - she was able to keep the hound nourished (syringes of water, spoonfuls of milk & honey), and on the 4th day, when she was thinking she was going to have to give up, her hound got up and walked over to her food dish. That dog lived another year or so after that episode.

 

Other things - hearing loss, vision loss.

Mary Semper Fi, Dad - I miss you. Remembering Carla Benoist, a Greyhound/Pibble's bestest friend, Princess Zoe Brick-Butt, the little IG with the huge impact on hearts around the world - Miz Foxy - Greyhound Trish - Batman, the Roman-nosed Gentleman - Profile, the Handsome Man - Hunky the Hunkalicious - Jeany the Beautiful Lady- Zema, the most beautiful girl in the world - Jessie, the lovable nuisance - and my 3 Greys: my Angie-girl, my Casey-girl, and The Majestic Pippin, running forever in my heart. (I will always love you and miss you,my friends)

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Guest HeatherDemps

We haven't had to make a lot of accomodations for Dempsey. He has been on the same food for 6 years or longer- Pinnacle. It is not a "senior formula" and his weight has not changed by more than 1/2 to 1 pound in years. The only noticeble change in him (besides his graying muzzle!) has been that he can't go for as long or as fast of walks as we used to- but he still loves to go. After his amputation next week, we'll start him on a glucosamine supplement.

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And don't forget there are seniors who enjoy excellent health. Chico was in great health until almost 14, except for losing all his teeth at 12 and his spleen 2 weeks later because it was spontaneously producing red blood cells (it weighed 5 lbs). He came home from the vet and crawled up on the couch - scared me to death. Just before his 14th birthday his back failed him.

Ann

 

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Apart from that, if your grey starts to slow up and perhaps pant more, and your vet says it's his heart, be aware that heart problems in greyhounds are often misdiagnosed because their heart sounds can be very different. This is because of their relatively large hearts and narrow chests. My policy is always to get a specialist opinion with greys and heart problems, just to be sure it's that and you're not missing something else and putting it down to a problem which might not exist.

What's different about the greyhound heart? Jazz is in kidney failure and has started coughing in the last few weeks. She's getting a chest x-ray tomorrow. I was worried about congestive heart failure, so a few weeks ago the vet listened to her heart and he said he didn't hear anything abnormal.

 

Could it be laryngeal paralysis? I'm doubting that because her breathing doesn't seem off. Sometimes she coughs and gags. I'm worried it's something really bad.

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What's different about the greyhound heart?

 

Their hearts are big, and capable of pumping more blood through, faster, and they'll sometimes have what is known as an 'athletic heart' which appears to be enlarged, but is merely more muscular than a non-athlete. At the same time, their chests are narrower than most breeds, so the heart is close to the ribcage and there can be echoes which sound like murmurs if the vet isn't used to listening to greyhounds. Cardiologists won't make the mistake, but the local vet might.

 

Here's an interesting article about their hearts -

 

Greyhounds and Heart Disease

 

Jazz is in kidney failure and has started coughing in the last few weeks. She's getting a chest x-ray tomorrow. I was worried about congestive heart failure, so a few weeks ago the vet listened to her heart and he said he didn't hear anything abnormal.

 

Could it be laryngeal paralysis? I'm doubting that because her breathing doesn't seem off. Sometimes she coughs and gags. I'm worried it's something really bad.

 

I don't have personal experience of layngeal paralysis but it doesn't sound like it to me. It does however, sound much like my old Susan, though I hope it isn't. Susan was dxd with kidney failure, but when other odd symptoms began appearing which didn't fit with that diagnosis .. .my vet didn't know what it was, but after a trip to a specialist, it turned out she had kidney cancer and it had spread to her lungs. :(

 

Try not to panic, but I'd definitely get that checked out ASAP.

 

There are many other things which cause coughing in dogs. Is she on any drugs for the kidneys or anything else? Some have coughing as a side effect. And kidney disease can cause an acid stomach .. I guess if she's gagging because of that, she might have an irritated larynx. I know it works like that for me. Or she could simply have a bug.

 

Fingers crossed on the results of the x-ray! :goodluck

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Darius went to see the vet last night. I just thought he should take a look at him. He did ask if he was coughing, no he is not. He has lost 10 % of body weight in a year. Darius is now eating due to the menu and heating in the microwave. I hope it lasts.

 

Being 15 my vet says that "something" is going on, dogs just don't lose weight. I kind of want to disagree and am leaning toward the nose why he was picky when eating. We could do a chest xray and ultra sound, do I want to find some kind of cancer? NO not really. He is 15 and in my opinion he does not look bad and if he continues to eat I will be happy. I will have another urinalysis done.

 

He has very little if any arthritis, he has DM, had LP and it is fixed.

 

For an older dog I would recommend Senior welness profiles more often. Since Darius is 15 I get one every 6 months. Things can change pretty quick in an older dog, once a year isn't good enough.

Edited by Madeara
"To err is human, to forgive, canine" Audrey, Nova, Cosmo and Holden in NY - Darius and Asia you are both irreplaceable and will be forever in my heart beatinghearts.gif
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The Greyhound Gang has a pamplet called "When I am old". Claudia has had a lot of first hand experience with the golden oldies. I think it's 2 bucks or something. They also sell glucosimine and other suppliments.

 

Here is the URL www.greyhoundgang.org

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Their hearts are big, and capable of pumping more blood through, faster, and they'll sometimes have what is known as an 'athletic heart' which appears to be enlarged, but is merely more muscular than a non-athlete. At the same time, their chests are narrower than most breeds, so the heart is close to the ribcage and there can be echoes which sound like murmurs if the vet isn't used to listening to greyhounds. Cardiologists won't make the mistake, but the local vet might.

Thank you Silverfish. I sent you a PM so I don't hijack this thread too much. The heart info is good to have before I get the x-ray results, so we won't mistake anything, I hope. I appreciate the other info as well.

 

FYI don't know if it was mentioned but it seems tougher to keep weight on these guys. I made the mistake of putting Jazz on senior food. I won't do that again as it has fewer caloreis and I think greys have more trouble keeping their weight. Jazz basically lost a pound each year the last 4 years or so, until CRF sent her weight down more quickly.

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Spiff has generally been pretty healthy in his elder years. (He turned 13 in November.) We have noticed that he sleeps a lot more and doesn't like to go for such long walks anymore. He gets tired more quickly, so we just go for shorter, less strenuous walks. He still gets 3 walks a day though and can go into the garden when he wants.

 

We have noticed that he doesn't hear as well anymore, but this hasn't become a problem.

 

His main problem is LS (lumbosacral stenosis), which causes his rear legs to be weak and causes fecal incontinence. We have treated this for the past year with Rimadyl (because he also seemed to be in some pain, either from LS or from arthritis). We also treated the LS with a depo-medrol shot that helped with some of the other symptoms. (We may switch back to this from the Rimadyl, because it seemed like DM was better for knuckling over and fecal incontinence.)

 

His problems are not severe. He still enjoys attention, petting and going for short walks and sniffing around in the garden... AND EATING!! Everything just happens more slowly! :)

 

Edited to add: We do give him a glucosamine supplement and another homeopathic preparation called Traumeel that helps soothe and protect joints and bones.

 

I guess I should also say that we have made sure that Spiff has plenty of soft bedding, blankets and pillows because it is more difficult for him to get comfortable easily. He also has coats to wear outside and some sweatshirts to wear inside, because I think he gets colder more easily that when he was younger.

 

He also loves to help in the garden... :rolleyes:

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Guest houndlover

Thanks for all of the great info. I don't know much about Laryngeal Paralysis but will definitely start doing my research on that. Billy goes to the vet once a month to have his nails trimmed and to get weighed. He has had problems in the past with his weight fluctuating so I like to keep an eye on it. I am already doing a lot of the things that people had suggested so I guess that I am on the right track. Thanks again!

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Guest TBSFlame
Thanks for all of the great info. I don't know much about Laryngeal Paralysis but will definitely start doing my research on that. Billy goes to the vet once a month to have his nails trimmed and to get weighed. He has had problems in the past with his weight fluctuating so I like to keep an eye on it. I am already doing a lot of the things that people had suggested so I guess that I am on the right track. Thanks again!

 

 

My Tessie, age 12, has Laryngeal Paralysis. She was just in to the vet for her well check-up. I always do a senior blood panel. Last year I had her heart/lungs x-rayed b/c I felt something was wrong or different. The x-ray turned out fine but during the course of this year she was getting worse, coughing (mostly when looking up), breathing loud, making a snoring noise while sleeping, breathing heavy after running and she was dx with Laryngeal paralysis. Tessie gets very upset when she goes to the vet or rides in a car. She had a bad spell at the vet's office due to her stress. I assured the vet that she is a calm dog at home and I had already started using a harness, and not allowing her to run in the yard with the others. As I thought this might we what she had. She is not afraid of storms or fireworks, so that does not stress her. She is doing okay as long as she stays at home. I do not want to put her through the surgery.

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  • 3 months later...

What can be done about minor urinary incontinence? Bebe just turned 12 and is on methacarbamol and prednisone for unidentified pain (hips twisting when she gets up). Prednisone makes her drink more water and I am aware of that. I was wondering if the herb remedies actually help.

 

She started excessive panting about 3 months ago in a house that is 72 degrees. This started before she was put on meds. Her breathing is becoming labored and I have to wonder about this LP some are talking about. Her temp is usually at 101.5 and doesn't seem to fluctuate when she is panting vs. not panting. She is going through pain, I believe, and am working on finding out the cause of it from a specialist.

 

I've read about Cushings disease and was wondering how common this is. Also, what is a senior Wellness profile?

 

So many questions.......

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