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Slowing Down


Guest kar
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When did you notice your hound start to slow down? Snow is now eight and I have noticed that she is starting to slow down. Not as eager to go for walks and she does not really run anymore. My cousin feels I should keep her active but don't know whether to push her or not. AT what age did you notice your dogs start to slow down?

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I noticed it in the past 6 months or so and Annie is only 7-1/2. The first thing I noticed was when she shook herself from tip of nose to tip of tail, her back paws/legs no longer came off the floor; just her front paws/legs would fly. She just wasn't shaking with as much energy.

 

Also, she tires quicker on our walks compared to last year. Depending on weather, we usually walk 1.25 miles twice a day, give or take a tenth. If it's extremely cold or hot, we take shorter walks at more appropriate times for the temp. This spring she starts off the walks with enthusiasm and a good trot, but at about half a mile, she's slowed down a lot and her enthusiasm has waned.

 

Annie doesn't really run. She'll get into a slow run in the backyard to get her first-of-the-morning poo ready to come out, but even with other Greyhounds and a big area, she won't run. This started over a year ago. It could be because she's not a dog's dog and doesn't play with other dogs. She gets along with other dogs nicely but prefers humans.

 

She does have arthritis in her spine and the vet has her on Vetprofen, but I think her back legs are starting to age a lot.

 

As far as keeping Snow active, I'd do what you think she is capable of doing. Unless there is a serious medical reason, walking is good for dogs just as it is for humans. If you walk slower maybe you can put in an extra tenth or two of distance to make up for the speed. I don't know how you would "push" her to be more active. They can't be forced to run so I guess walking is the way to go. Perhaps the pushing is doing it even if she seems reluctant.

Edited by Feisty49
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Doodles didn't really slow down until her FCE last Dec, but she was always pretty mellow. She turned 12 in Feb. She's doing really well, though. She still likes the idea of going for a walk, she's never been a huge fan of walls once we got outside of the gate, though!

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Guest Lillypad

Such a sad post, poor babies getting old. I personally know how that feels... LOL Mine seems to be a little less active with each passing year. It really is a sad fact of life. I am of the school of thought, that we need to keep them active both physically and mentally..somehow? Maybe shorter walks more often. I do find that a change of location and change of activity seems to pique my girl more and encourage her to exert herself. So keeping it interesting seems to be the trick. Remember it is said "A tired dog is a happy dog". Do what you can to encourage exercise. I know I will be doing that as the years come foward for us. Check the web, it seems there is more information and suggestions on how to live with geriatric dogs than ever before. On the other hand it is a blessing to have an aged dog and I am sure everyone will agree with that!

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Guest Lillypad

Is eight considered old for a grey?

Good question, I really don't know for sure (maybe others will answer) I guess like everything age is relative. Genetics, nutrition, exercise and pre-existing illness all have to be considered. I do know large dogs age quicker than small dog breeds. So the old 7 years to 1 may not apply to greyhounds. They seem to have a short life expectancy average. :sad1

Edited by Lillypad
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Benny is slowing down now. He's 10. He still manages longer walks, but I now alternate them. So day 1, it's a long walk, day 2 shorter one, day 3 long etc. the others are adapting to it as I manage their food intake appropriately. We also vary our route to keep things interesting. I firmly believe that the more active, the better.

And FWIW, 8 isn't old for a greyhound to me, though it depends how much racing they did and what care they got. Many dogs are living to 12+ so 8 is really just middle age.

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Guest normaandburrell

My last hound began to slow down about 7 or 8. I am getting older and slowing down myself, and I don't believe in pushing my dogs once they get older. If you are not overfeeding and their weight is good, they seem happy, and you are offering enough opportunities to get excercise, I think they will pick the activity level they need. Pushing an older hound who may have the beginnings of arthritis could hurt him. And yes at age 7-8 most vets consider a dog "senior" or geriatric. My last hound passed at 9 1/2 from a spontaneous fracture due to bone cancer, so let that sweet hound do what she wants and you just love her.

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felix never raced, hand raised(off the farm at 5 days!), never had a stressful day in his life- he started acting like an old man at 7.5- it must be genetics and physicals structure. at the time he was on Proin for urinary incontenence, we took him off and he spunked up a tad. but last summer(age 7) i noticed his beach runs were not the same. annie too- she's a tad younger than felix.

 

after listening to dr. couto's talk and answer and question session at GIG last month one of the statements stuck in my mind. a person asked about rear weakness in greyhounds. not saying that all of our dogs are showing it, but this does make sense. a greyhound w/ disk problems can be x-rayed and show perfectly aligned, perfect disks in the still pics. it's the movement which can not be captured in an x-ray and that's when the problem arrives. it's the compression of the spine alignment when disks are out of alignment/compressed causing pain and problems. felix was diagnosed w/ lower back and neck issues when i asked my vet to go over him and a reason for his slow down. his gait has changed, not limping but not the same. his playtime is down to 3-4 minutes if he plays soccer or retrieves tennis balls for that long(that dog could go on for 1/2 hr). it's the physical structure of our hounds- like a car who needs new shocks or tie-rods....but we can't replace them!!! BUT A CHIROPRACTOR DOES WONDERS!!!!

 

i do remember when i was first introduced and knew my first greyhounds back in the early 70s they never lived past 10 or 11. yes, like great danes, an older dog at 8. modern science has extended our good friend's longevity.....

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Its hard to realize she is getting older. Lost my other hounds at 5 and 9. Don't even want to think about that. Harder yet cause the dog we walk with is only two. She lost her dog and got another. Snow wants to keep up but tires a lot faster especially as it gets warmer. Wish they could live forever.

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We walk twice a day. Today my walking partner wanted to go on a long walk, but I told her it was too humid for my dog, and I would have to do a shorter one. I feel bad for her because I know she wants to go, but just cant walk that long in humidity.

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All my dogs are/have been on supplements (except for Fletcher, they were all 6 or older when I got them) I like the Springtime Fresh Factors and Joint Health, although I did put Fletcher on something stronger as he got older because he had pretty bad arthritis. I have arthritis myownself and I do know that supplements help.

 

I don't consider my dogs seniors until they reach 10, although 8 is generally considered senior in large dogs. I think it is an individual thing.

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I've had Chase on Springtime Longevity, Fresh Factors, and Joint Health since about 9 years old. He has also been taking (5) 1,000mg high EPA and DHA capsules daily. I also give him 50mg of ubiqinol for heart health, 200mg of vitamin e for antioxidant benefit, and 540mg of ginger root powder for digestive health twice daily. With the exception of the problems that were brought on by the episode of rhabdomyolysis he has been the picture of health. He will be 11 in August and just last week he was tearing around the yard like a 4 year old. I think the supplements make a big difference.

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http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/longevity

 

This is a powdered supplement that you add with wet food. I would probably start with the Fresh Factors and Joint Health combo and try the Longevity as a free add-on to see if Snow would eat it prior to ordering a large amount.

 

http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/combo_ff_jhchewables

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I think it's an individual hound thing. My Lance whom I adopted when he was 9 months old was still very active at 13. We went for long walks, he loved to run and chase a ball and hike/run on the beach. Henry really started to slow down and was an "old man" by 10. He suffered from corns and had allot of mobility issues. He also lived to age 15 and Lance passed away at 14. My first greyhound Corky died of hemangeosarcoma at age 10. Up until he got ill he was pretty much as active as he was at age 4. Long walks, off leash runs in the ball field, etc. Primetime died at 8 & 1/2 of osteo. He was very active and very playful up until the diagnosis at which point I stopped most of his activities as I was afraid of a fracture happening. My current boys are 6 (soon to be 7) and 4 (will be 5 next months). Both are full of energy! We go for very long walks and my older boy runs off leash more then my younger boy. So in my opinion it's an individual hound thing. Just like some people remain active into their older years.

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Ruby will be 8 in July and she is just now starting to show signs of aging. We just had the vet test her for arthritis and she has it in her spine and her back legs. He said she only has 40% movement in both back legs. We just started her on Rimadyl to see if it will help her get up and down on her bed. She also doesn't enjoy long walks anymore and starts looking for home after a few blocks. It is so sad to watch and to think about losing her. Doing what we can to make her life a bit easier. She has a orthopedic bed in the living and her crate now.

Karen

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Carsons_mom

My 14 year old Carson is now on Rimadyl and Tramadol for his arthritis. It's just in the last 6 months or so that he's slowed down significantly and has weaker hips. He's been on glucosamine/chondroiton and fish oil for years. We've added Missing Link Joint Health supplement recently.

 

I'm not sure at this point what helps vs what doesn't, but at this age, it's optimistic to think he'll act anything but his age.

 

The vet says he's otherwise very healthy so it's probably going to be a mobility issue that is the deciding factor.

 

He's been the best companion I could ask for and my heart will be broken too soon. :sad1

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Guest mmmberry

Wow what a timely topic for me.

 

I took Speed to the vet in January (regular annual exam) and he seemed fine. He's changed since then so I'm taking him in this weekend. He is 8 1/2 and is not wanting to get out of bed for the morning walk. Once we put his leash on him he will stand up, but it's slow going. My boyfriend isn't happy about the appointment because he says Speed is just melodramatic around me and acts differently when I'm at home. I don't know. I mean, I am a sucker for him, and I run over every time he makes a noise. I'd rather waste the money than live in regret. He has a chunk of muscle missing from his front leg/chest area too. I have read that dogs will hide pain so of course I'm completely freaked out.

 

cleptogrey, what does a doggie chiropractor do? How often do you go and what's the cost like?

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I have taken my three year old hound to a local chiropractor for three visits so far. What a huge difference it has made. He found stiffness in his back, left shoulder, neck and jaw. He manipulated them and did massage kind of things. A couple of times my boy yelped but I could see in his eyes he understood they were trying to help him. When he got home he would run around like a wild boy. He felt so much better. The visits are $59. The vet's office is like 5 minutes from my house.

It was an animal communicator who told me to take him. He would do the greyhound scream of death if I went to touch him. That was why, he was anticipating pain.

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