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Guest saltwaterron
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Guest saltwaterron

riley turned 11 in august..she is beginning to show signs of aging..tires when we go for a walk..sometimes doesn't want to walk..occasionally falters on back legs..starting to have difficulty lying down and getting up because of arthritis..restless..eating is hit and miss..recently got tail caught in door and possibly needs amputation...i want her to have a quality life but am at the point of wondering if that will be possible with all her physical ailments..need advice and thoughts

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How about some senior supplements? Springtime Fresh Factors and other Springtime products. Something like Cosaquin? There are a lot of products out there. It will take a few weeks to kick in, but you should see some improvements.

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Guest Sportingfields

Have you done any fairly recent testing to find out exactly if the mobility issue is only, arthritis? A senior blood panel, ect ect does she have any heart issues and so forth? If you've not had her thoroughly checked out and done the more expensive tests, then anything else is guess work. 11 is still young for some and old for others, depends on the dog and any conditions it may or may not have. I'd certainly not think the worst yet. Hope the tail issue is easily resolved. If it needs to be amputated, that is not huge deal, well it wasn't for my girl anyhow.

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My Billie-Jo had some of the same issues when she got a little older (13) It would come and go. It broke my heart to see her struggle just to get up. When she could no longer get into a standing position, we both knew it was time to move on. But if there are some things that you would love to do wit your girl now, sounds like this would be a good time to enjoy some new special moments.

 

I am a human who has had arthritis since I was 16. One of the things that has always worked for us was to use mild heat while sleeping. It is also good to get some therapy if you can for your girl. Gentle movement is good for you to do for her limbs while you are resting in front of the TV or reading a book.

 

A softer bed worked better for Billie and me. The harder beds just did not give when they needed to. I also tried, but hated the Tempir-Pedic

mattresses myself, but my nine year old greyhound sleeps on one that is about eight inches thick (has been for three years) and likes it the best of all of his beds. My girl who is only two, likes them too. They got them because I did not like mine so I decided to let them try. Who knew they would love them. The greyhounds are doing great on them. Some people and dogs respond to the glucosamine pills, some don't. But I benefit from them and have taken them for ten years. It does take about six months for them to become effective. It puts a little bit of fluid in-between those bones and does give me comfort. I also take a Bayer 325 mg everyday. Soon I will be starting my boy on the doggy glucosamine. Just to avoid the stiffness that comes with age for them and us a little longer.

 

I truly hope that you and Riley get to spend more quality time together for a few more years. There are also some foods that may need to be avoided and perhaps a more holistic diet could also help to ease her pain. there are tons of web sites on the net that have good advice on how to go natural on the food. The dry food and some wet foods have way too much old restaurant grease in them that is recycled and old. It really bad that they allow this to happen with dog food. Scary. . I try to give my two as much natural food as I can. I try to avoid dry foods, except for bones. I actually cook for them every night. Sometimes my husband thinks they eat better than he does. :) I try to stick to the core vaccinations and only give them weeks apart and if they need something else, I only have the vet give them the shot if it suites where we live or what they may be doing. Also now learned that some shots contain heavy metals and will be asking the vet to use products that do not. :ghplaybow

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I am a human who has had arthritis since I was 16. One of the things that has always worked for us was to use mild heat while sleeping. It is also good to get some therapy if you can for your girl. Gentle movement is good for you to do for her limbs while you are resting in front of the TV or reading a book.

 

SanTanSnuggles mentions that mild heat while sleeping is helpful for human arthritis. We have been using a wonderful heating pad in our whippet's bed for 9 years – just started on our second pad about a year ago. We use a bed with a zippered cover, and slip the pad between the padding and the top cover, so it is just barely padded. The pad stays plugged-in 100% of the time, and is designed to be safe that way. It is pressure activated, so it only heats-up when Pi lies down on his bed. We have never had any problems with it, and it has saved our sanity with Pi. He spent the first several weeks crying most of the night, even with a bolster bed and comfy covers. As soon as we figured out he just needed more warmth, everything was okay. He quickly learned the suggestion "go to your hot bed," especially after going out on cold days. I should mention that I have found our older greyhounds squeezing into the whippet bed over the years occasionally, too!

 

I wonder if you might outfit one bed Riley normally uses with the heating pad, and see what she decides. It is not a big pad, so she would be able to reposition to find just the right spot on a greyhound-sized bed. Also, you really cannot beat the price. Over 8 years, our first pad ended up costing us only about $3.75 a year!

 

Here is the pad on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KCNUO2O/ref=twister_B0046XRFAK

 

Also, for their anti-inflammatory properties, our vet has had us put all our big dogs on an adult dose of fish oil daily. Since only Pi is "older" at the moment, I don't really know how much it helps, but he is certainly a spry 9-years.

 

Good luck, and I hope you are able to find a good combination of solutions for your Riley. So sorry about her tail.

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Think about things that you would do for an aging human - taller beds so she doesn't needs to go down so far, raised feeding, joint and mobility supplements, making sure you have a good handle on all her medical conditions.

 

Talk with her vet about meds you might be able to add to help make her more comfortable - pain meds like tramadol or codeine sulfate, gabapentin if there are nerve issues. Chiropractic and acupuncture, water/swim therapy and or underwater treadmill, and cold lazer could also be good things to explore. She needs gentle exercise everyday, even if it's just a short walk. If you have a canine rehab place near you PT might also help.

 

You might also explore feeding her a different food. Puppy food generally has higher calories and is very palatable. Home cooked could be good for her as you can adjust it to account for her changing taste. Several times my seniors have self-selected themselves out of eating one meal or another, usually breafast. Or they decide an all-canned food diet is for them (they don't *have* to eat kibble). Or adding some broth or warm water to soak the kibble first will do the trick.

 

Make sure her teeth are in good shape. Though age shouldn't rule out anesthesia for a dental or simple tail amp, her heart condition might, so get all those pesky little things out of the way when you know she's still doing well.

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Age is not a disease. And 11 isn't that old.

 

A dog with arthritic changes actually NEED regular, gentle exercise. Just as with people, while those of us who suffer with joint pain tend to WANT to do nothing, the more we do nothing, the worse the pain and stiffness gets. And you tend to gain weight when you do nothing, which makes the joint problems worse!

 

Get her on a regular schedule of leash walks. Consider changing NSAIDs (maybe Rimadyl isn't it for her). If her tail is painful, get the amp. taken care of. Older dogs are more work, yes, but it doesn't mean her life isn't worth living if she's slowing down a bit!


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