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Slowing Down, Getting Old...


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So, Morgan is 12 1/2. Seems like just yesterday she was 2. Anyway, she's doing pretty well over all, but she's definitely slowing down.

 

She's gotten a little wobbly at times. She's been shaky when eating, so I improvised a raised feeder out of a bathroom waste basket and it's worked perfectly for her.

 

She's also a little shaky when she pees and sometimes when she poops. Squatting is getting harder for her.

 

And getting up out of a dog bed seems to pose more of a challenge. She sometimes has trouble getting her back feet under her.

 

Anyway, she's our first senior Greyhound and first super senior. I was just wondering what anyone else does to make things a little easier for the oldies? Does Glucosamine or any other supplements make a difference? Would a raised bed of some sort help with leverage?

 

There's no stairs to the outside in either of our places and in our new house there's no stairs at all other than a one-step-down in a couple of places (bedroom and living room), so I'm not to concerned there. Mostly looking for suggestions to make her a little steadier on her feet and make it a little easier for her to get on her feet in the first place. She's not to the point of needing a sling or anything like that. Just any ideas that might help her a bit would be appreciated.

...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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The raised feeder and water dish will help if she's having back or neck issues. You might want a harness for when you walk her: it will put less pressure on her neck, and it will give you something you can grab to help her balance when necessary.

 

For helping with her footing when she tries to get up, a firmer surface is easier than a softer surface. So a bed with a foam insert seems to work better than a bed with shifting fiber fill. I have one raised bed here, and the dogs aren't interested in it.

 

I give fish oil and glucosamine, also Missing Link Hip and Joint formula. I'm not seeing any improvements from these, but I keep giving them. If nothing else, the dogs both love the taste of the Missing Link.

 

And talk to your vet. Odds are she's having some arthritis pain at her age, and meds like gabapentin and tramadol (both for pain) or methocarbamol (muscle relaxer) may be helpful. (When there's arthritis pain, a dog may clench muscles and thereby make the pain worse.) My 13-year-old is on these meds and they definitely help without turning him into a zombie.

 

Stay near her enough to steady her if she starts to lose her balance when she's squatting. (When Sam squats to poop, he "wanders"--moves around more-or-less in the same place as he keeps his balance.) And I sometimes reach out a hand to steady my boy when he's getting up--partly a problem of not being able to get his legs under him properly, and partly a problem of not being able to straighten his legs easily when he does get them under him.

 

If you have bare floor areas at home, you might want to put down rubber-backed mats at any place where she normally changes direction--rounding a corner, or needing to stop quickly. I just use inexpensive bath mats I can wash when I need to or rearrange. (There's one in the kitchen doorway since Sam frequently tries to turn that corner at speed.) The scary fall is the Bambi fall--back legs go in opposite direction and it hurts, but the dog can't shift his/her weight to one leg or another to get back up. I've had to get my arm under Sam's chest and belly to lift his weight so he can get his legs back together. If there's a risky area of the house, see if you can block the area to keep her out of there when you aren't home. Keep Morgan's toenails nice and short. If her pads get too leathery, use a non-greasy hand cream to moisten and soften the pads to get her better traction. Make her walk a little slower when the grass is wet.

 

Morgan might start needing more food to keep weight on. She also might have a harder time staying on her feet long enough to eat. My guys get meals (and meds) four times a day--smaller meals that mean Sam doesn't have to stand up as long, but more often so he gets enough to eat and he gets pills often enough to be comfortable. (Right now, he's sleeping in front of "his" box fan.) She also might start showing less interest in her food. Don't hesitate to dress up her food to keep her interested. (Ensure vanilla flavor is popular here, as is flavored yogurt--both added to the regular kibble.) You don't want her to put on weight, but you really don't want her to lose any; when seniors start losing weight, it can be hard to turn things around.

 

9230584589_7e3ae203b2_n.jpg

This photo is about a month old,
but it's a common look at my house.

 

 

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Fresh factors and/ or joint health chewables from Springtimeinc.com.

 

Has really helped my soon to be 13 yr old little girl with improved back end strength, getting up and going up stairs. More zip in her step in general.

 

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Tracy I use one of the snoods from Kris'koats ( I cut it to about 7 inches wide) and just slip it up over Wink's thighs and she wears it like a band. I keep it on her when she is really having difficulty getting up. I just hoist her back end up with it. It is very comfortable for her to wear all the time since it is lightweight polar fleece.

She has been taking the Fresh Factors 4 tablets a day and I have been giving her HylaRx Horse Joint Supplement (1.5oz ) since the beginning of June and have seen some minimal improvement, but for me more importantly has maintained the level of weakness and not gotten worse. Good wishes for your old girl.

Winkband008.jpg

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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 think the glucosamine tablets really helped Coltrane out whe he was 11. He also stared getting longer hairs growing between his toes. Or maybe they were always there and I never noticed until he had problems slipping on our wood floors. Keeping them trimmed and also putting down rugs made a difference.

Rebecca
with Atlas the borzoi, Luna the pyr, and Madison the cat, always missing Sahara(Flyin Tara Lyn) and Coltrane(Blue on By) the greyhounds

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Guest freightsmom

Freight is 10 but always had some shaking in his rear legs. After starting Springtime Advanced Hip & Joint supplements a couple of years ago, I saw a big improvement. With his recent scare with a severe sub q bleed, I stopped all supplements and can see how much difference they really did make for him. The only bad thing is now he does not want to take the pills any more, tried crushing them and hiding them in food, as well as all the other tricks of the trade. The advanced joint pills do have a very strong smell and that may be a challenge for some dogs.

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You could try Joint Aid 4 Dogs:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-Pet-Products-Joint-2-Pound/dp/B001UUIQMI/

 

It consists of granules that you mix into their food, so it's easier to give than pills.

 

There's also a version just for greyhounds ("Joint Aid for Greyhounds"), but unfortunately it's only sold in the U.K.:

 

http://www.gwfnutrition.com/prod_canine_jointaidgreyhounds/

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Guest Carsons_mom

My 12 year old gets Glucosamine with Chondroitin from Costo. we all take it and I think it's made a difference, as I can tell he had more difficulty when I ran out.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one whose dog(s) enjoy their own fans...

 

A homeopathic remedy, Rhus Tox(icodendron) is also helpful. Two tablets in their water daily helps with the stiffness after being in one position too long.

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I had a girl that made it to 15.5. She had regular chiropractic appts every 2 months. I believe it helped keep her back end going as long as it did.

 

I currently have my 4,5 and 9 yr old getting adjusted everything 3 months. When they get a smidge older (the 9 yr old acts like a 5 yr old) I'll switch to every 2 months, the eventually every month for my Bwat when she's starting to show any issues.

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Wow, thanks for a lot of great suggestions. I'm going to do some research on all the products mentioned and figure out what to try. Morgan's our first Greyhound, and the first dog we've had actually get OLD, so this is new territory for us. The boys are 8,8 and 6 and I'm hoping they'll all make it as far as she has and if so I'm going to need to be prepared. I'm curious about the chiropractic too. I'll have to see if I can find one in Vegas as we start spending more time there.

...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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