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2 Questions About 10 Year Old Grey


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Ok, so first Pop has lost muscle mass in his hind end. I took him in to the vets and his reflexes are fine...they think it's a matter of 'if you don't use it, you lose it.' So, any suggestions on how to tone up his hind end? I started taking him on short walks and I have added a cup of food to his normal amount (he had lost about 4 lbs).

 

Second...rather than walk through the dog door, Pop has always kinda swung his hind end through it. He has banged his legs a couple of times, but refuses to walk through it like Zelda does. Well, this week he has decided to start playing games in the door and I'm not thrilled...especially at 2 am when I want to put in the dog door insert. He can go in/out just fine, but whenever I'm home, he sticks his nose through and starts whining. At first, I'd go outside and push him through the dog door...I've tried coaxing him with threats, I've tried ignoring him. Last night when I ignored him, he was out there for 20 min in the cold playing with the dog door. This morning I was inside, put his martingale/leash on and just gave a steady pull and he jumped right through the door after 20 min of playing in it. So...any suggestions? I think from now on I'll just completely ignore him. I know he goes out when I go to work as he can't hold it for 10 hours (he's on steroids)....so he comes in all by himself when I'm gone. Any ideas on this one? He is literally driving me up a wall and stress isn't good for me (I have a genetic condition that is flared up by stress).

 

Thanks!

 

ETA, I don't know if he's going senile or if he figures he can do this as he's getting older...but he's really been pushing my buttons lately. He refuses to listen to the first command (and the next 3 times I tell him)...or else it's a matter of a male not listening to a female! :rofl

Edited by kolarik1

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Marble, Noah, Eden, Raya (red heeler), Cooper & Trooper (naughty kittens)

Missing my bridge angels: Pop, Zelda, Mousey & Carmel

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We don't have a dog door, so no advice about that issue other than to ignore the behavior (it sounds like he wants attnetion or wants to play with you??)

 

On the other issue, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss other factors. My Toni had muscle wasting of one hind leg, and fairly severe limping, still with good reflex response. She was ultimately diagnosed with a neuroma in her thigh. I know she was in pain from it because she was crabby and short-tempered (not to mention the limping). Now, with an nsaid and gabapentin, she is back to her old self - sweet and with no limping, even after hard exercise.

 

At your boy's age, he may be starting to have some arthritis or spinal issues that have caused the wasting but yet don't cause any other clinical signs. Also, if he's having some pain or stiffness, this could be contributing to his dog door issues.

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We don't have a dog door, so no advice about that issue other than to ignore the behavior (it sounds like he wants attnetion or wants to play with you??)

 

On the other issue, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss other factors. My Toni had muscle wasting of one hind leg, and fairly severe limping, still with good reflex response. She was ultimately diagnosed with a neuroma in her thigh. I know she was in pain from it because she was crabby and short-tempered (not to mention the limping). Now, with an nsaid and gabapentin, she is back to her old self - sweet and with no limping, even after hard exercise.

 

At your boy's age, he may be starting to have some arthritis or spinal issues that have caused the wasting but yet don't cause any other clinical signs. Also, if he's having some pain or stiffness, this could be contributing to his dog door issues.

 

That's what I was wondering. Although, he does have Discoid Lupus which is why he's already on Prednisolone along with Hydroxychloroquinone (sp?). That's why I'm hoping that maybe walking him will help improve some muscle tone since he basically lays around 24/7 except when he plays with toys. He doesn't run in the yard, unless Zelda takes off after something. When Zelda runs I try to get him to go chase her but he trots around in a little 5 foot circle wagging his tail with his tongue hanging out (I can see why he wasn't a good racer :rofl). I have noticed that he is getting more iffy about doing the stairs coming up the deck...and I was honestly ready for eventually having to put some type of ramp up as the pups got older...but I'm really thinking it's the muscle wasting in his hind end that is causing him to be unsure on the steps.

 

I'm going to try ignoring him with the dog door, even if he makes himself sit outside forever! He's not one for playing outside, he just wants my attention...Zelda is the one who plays outside.

 

Sorry I don't have any thoughts or advice, but I do want to say I just LOVE the name Pop!! I would love to keep that in mind if I ever adopt a sweet boy.

 

He came with the name 'Popcorn aka Pop'...he had a littermate named Nacho...

 

Just mentioning that steroids (prednesone) causes muscle wasting. No advice but best wishes on the other stuff!

 

Unfortunately I have to keep him on prednisolone due to his Discoid Lupus. I've tried going down to just a very small dose every other day but then he flares up, so he tends to need a small dose daily to keep his Lupus in check, along with Purina Dog Chow and his anti-malarial human med.

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Marble, Noah, Eden, Raya (red heeler), Cooper & Trooper (naughty kittens)

Missing my bridge angels: Pop, Zelda, Mousey & Carmel

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I should add, he's only lost the weight and muscle tone in the last couple of months. He wasn't too bad at Thanksgiving, but at Christmas I wouldn't take him out on the slippery roads for a walk at my parents house as I was scared he'd fall on the ice. I've also noticed that if he's not paying attention while standing, his hind end will start to sink towards the ground, then he'll remember he's standing and upright his hind end. Sometimes I wonder if his mind isn't going...case in point, he had food in his dish (he has started free feeding the last few months, but still eats a good 6 - 7 cups/day) and I looked outside and he was LICKING A POOPSICLE!!!!

Edited by kolarik1

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Marble, Noah, Eden, Raya (red heeler), Cooper & Trooper (naughty kittens)

Missing my bridge angels: Pop, Zelda, Mousey & Carmel

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Fletcher has lost some weight/muscle mass over the last couple of years, he is down to a mere 85 lbs :) He will be 11 in a couple of months, and in his case it is definitely related to his arthritis which has gotten progressively worse in the last 2-3 yrs. We go for short walks, but I don't know that there is much you can do about it. Fletcher still races around the yard and plays like 2 yr old, which causes me heart failure on a regular basis, but that hasn't stopped the loss of muscle. I guess I don't have any advice for you, just know you aren't alone :)

 

edited to add, you know eating poopsicles is like eating ice cream, has nothing to do with hunger :lol

 

edited to add, cause I forgot, Fletcher has "played" with the dog door for as long as I have had him, I just ignore it.

Edited by Remolacha
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Fletcher has lost some weight/muscle mass over the last couple of years, he is down to a mere 85 lbs :) He will be 11 in a couple of months, and in his case it is definitely related to his arthritis which has gotten progressively worse in the last 2-3 yrs. We go for short walks, but I don't know that there is much you can do about it. Fletcher still races around the yard and plays like 2 yr old, which causes me heart failure on a regular basis, but that hasn't stopped the loss of muscle. I guess I don't have any advice for you, just know you aren't alone :)

 

edited to add, you know eating poopsicles is like eating ice cream, has nothing to do with hunger :lol

 

edited to add, cause I forgot, Fletcher has "played" with the dog door for as long as I have had him, I just ignore it.

 

Thanks :) I feel bad because I can't stop the old age symptoms that Pop is having, although my friends keep telling me I'm a good pet mom. While he pushes my buttons constantly, I'm still not looking forward to when he goes to Rainbow Bridge in the future.

 

I guess I'll just have to ignore his dog door antics...

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Marble, Noah, Eden, Raya (red heeler), Cooper & Trooper (naughty kittens)

Missing my bridge angels: Pop, Zelda, Mousey & Carmel

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Bubba,13, will stick his head out the dog door and whine for me to open it. He will also go outside and stand at the bottom of the steps and whine for me to come out. If I ignore him, he will come in the dog door on his own. When I go out to feed the horses, he comes running out on his own to see what I'm doing, so I know he can get in and out on his own. Sometimes he goes out in the middle of the night. He always whines first, but if I don't let him know I'm awake he gets himself out and back in just fine. You should probably just ignore the dog door games.

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I don't think the dog door problem is a game or attention seeking. Especially since this just started recently, and he also seems to be having more problems with his back end in general, I think it's related. If it was attention seeking, I doubt he'd be standing there for 20 min when ignored. How high off the floor is the dog door? I suspect he's having trouble lifting his back legs high enough to get them through the door easily, and while he can do it, it's an effort and probably painful or at least uncomfortable. This may be why he's always swung his hind end through it rather than stepping through normally. Is there any way to lower or extend the dog door so that he doesn't have to step/jump as high to get through?

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I'm getting hungry! LOL

 

Yeah, well you can't say 'I'm going to have some popcorn' as he assumes you're talking to him...so I haven't been able to say that word for 7 years now...

 

Bubba,13, will stick his head out the dog door and whine for me to open it. He will also go outside and stand at the bottom of the steps and whine for me to come out. If I ignore him, he will come in the dog door on his own. When I go out to feed the horses, he comes running out on his own to see what I'm doing, so I know he can get in and out on his own. Sometimes he goes out in the middle of the night. He always whines first, but if I don't let him know I'm awake he gets himself out and back in just fine. You should probably just ignore the dog door games.

 

Thanks, that is what I'm going to do...it's that or I'll go insane LOL

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Marble, Noah, Eden, Raya (red heeler), Cooper & Trooper (naughty kittens)

Missing my bridge angels: Pop, Zelda, Mousey & Carmel

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Yeah, well you can't say 'I'm going to have some popcorn' as he assumes you're talking to him...so I haven't been able to say that word for 7 years now...

 

:lol:lol I just noticed at the bottom of your page your siggie has him there - "Popcorn". That is so funny.

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I think he did injure his leg recently because of his penchant for 'swinging' his hind end through the dog door when he goes through (he has never walked through it normally). I tried actually getting him to go through slowly the other night one leg at a time and almost got whopped right in the head by his hind end. I'll just have to watch him to see what is going on. Tonight he was extremely vocal...although this seemed to start, now that I think about it, not too long after we got back from my parents house and I opened the door (being nice) to let him in.

 

Unfortunately there is no way to lower the dog door and I don't think a small ramp would be all that safe for them, but it may be worth a try...a small ramp outside the dog door leading down onto the deck that is.

Edited by kolarik1

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Marble, Noah, Eden, Raya (red heeler), Cooper & Trooper (naughty kittens)

Missing my bridge angels: Pop, Zelda, Mousey & Carmel

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Do you think any of his weird behaviors could be due to memory loss or a vision problem? Like, maybe he's forgetting how to use the dog dog or he can't see it too well when it's dark?

I was going to mention the possible vision and confusion as well. My 13.5 year old gets "stuck" at times. It could be from her hind end weakness or vision issues, or confusion. Whatever the cause, she IS stuck in place and we usually just help her through whatever barrier it is. We have a dog door she still uses, but sometimes she needs a little verbal encouragement or at times physically assisting her. Her coordination is not consistent. We always assume she is needing some sort of assistance.

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<p>Finn, Wink, Birdie, Snap and SmokeyJG Quicknfast 7/25/99-5/16/08, JG Quickwink 7/25/99-9/22/13, Iruska SweetDuv 7/19/03-11/9/16, Delbar 6/11/11 and Catahoula Smokey
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I was going to mention the possible vision and confusion as well. My 13.5 year old gets "stuck" at times. It could be from her hind end weakness or vision issues, or confusion. Whatever the cause, she IS stuck in place and we usually just help her through whatever barrier it is. We have a dog door she still uses, but sometimes she needs a little verbal encouragement or at times physically assisting her. Her coordination is not consistent. We always assume she is needing some sort of assistance.

 

 

Vision problems, no...but I do think he is starting to go senile :rofl When he was playing around at 1:30 this morning I verbally encouraged him and he came in and ran past me with this look of 'I hate you mom, you're supposed to open the door.' He only whined a couple minutes this morning before coming back in to work on his breakfast.

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Marble, Noah, Eden, Raya (red heeler), Cooper & Trooper (naughty kittens)

Missing my bridge angels: Pop, Zelda, Mousey & Carmel

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Vision problems, no...but I do think he is starting to go senile :rofl When he was playing around at 1:30 this morning I verbally encouraged him and he came in and ran past me with this look of 'I hate you mom, you're supposed to open the door.' He only whined a couple minutes this morning before coming back in to work on his breakfast.

Well maybe crazy runs in the family. I just noticed Pop's dad is Oswald Cobblepot, so is Wink's! lol

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<p>Finn, Wink, Birdie, Snap and SmokeyJG Quicknfast 7/25/99-5/16/08, JG Quickwink 7/25/99-9/22/13, Iruska SweetDuv 7/19/03-11/9/16, Delbar 6/11/11 and Catahoula Smokey
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