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I have been stalking the forum lately, racking my brain as to what to do with my 11.5 year old big boy. Ralph is my beautiful boy in which age is starting to creep up on him, a little faster than not lately. He still tries to jump, do figure 8's, all the stuff he could do when he was younger but walks are starting to go from 1-2 miles to 1/4 and 1/8 of a mile. His hind is getting shaky and seems to have a harder time getting comfortable. But this is all beside the point.

 

He has become quite the problem pup as of late when it comes to meals. He eats his treats just fine, but goes on hunger strikes for breakfast and dinner. After some experimentation, we have come across a few meals that he seems to tolerate...for now. My two concerns are that he has pills that must be taken within 12 hours of each other and must be with food. I have been able to slip a few pills into some whipped cream cheese and sprinkle some meat shavings around it (whatever meat I have on hand basically). As for his meals, I have been able to concoct a few scrambles so to speak of egg, mixed veggies, meats, cauliflower and sweet potatoes (riced from Green Giant).

 

I tried many different slops before. He hates pasta, doesn't care for rice (and neither does my lawn...thought he had worms one time-rice looked like maggots-gross I know). He did okay with gizzards, hearts, livers and whatnot, but he got bored of it and will knock his bowl over in protest. It's hard to be mad a dog when that happens :hehe

 

He has also mastered the art of fake swallowing his pills. The smart little boy he is forced me to pry his mouth open. Stood with him while he was trying not to take it. He swallowed several times, showed me an empty mouth and not even 5 seconds after I left his side, he coughed them up and grinned...little punk.

 

As for cooking his food, he is 83lbs and is just starting to lose his muscle mass due to not being able to walk farther and without the playtime with his brother Lou (he misses him greatly). How much should he get when I cook him food? I don't want to do too much protein as that is not good, but I also don't want to short him either. I am able to throw in 1/4 cup of dry and he won't flip it, but too much and I am out of luck with a hungry hound. Stubborn might as well be his middle name...Ralph Stubborn Breeden :ghplaybow

 

Any suggestions?

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Fill a Crock-Pot with chicken quarters and water. Cook on low for 24 hours until the bones turn to mush. Let that cool and try to feed him that with his kibble. 😀 Should go over like a party

 

 

Oh and for pills, try tiny pieces of cheap Walmart ice cream sandwiches. I split the sandwich in half long wise and then 4-5 cuts to cube it. That amount of chocolate (let's be serious, is it really even chocolate?) Should be okay. At his age, feed him what he wants.

 

Give a placebo piece then one with a couple pills in it.

Edited by JAJ2010

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Jessica

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Greyaholic, it just so happens that I had some nutritional yeast at home! I went to the store and grabbed a few cans of various meats and some oatmeal. Made a scramble (feeling ambitious) of roast beef, kippers, egg, oatmeal, nutritional yeast, even tried some ice cream and his normal veggies. Did NOT like that. Threw it out because he flat out ran from it. Made fresh with one egg, tiny bit of oatmeal, ham, small amount of veggies, and some leftover steak (guess he wants to eat high on the hog now). He seemed to eat that but I couldn't put it all down at once in one dish. He had to eat small portions-brought it to him wherever he was laying/sitting. Took him three little plates full to eat it all, but he did. I still have some Lite Spam and sardines to try at some point. I'm just afraid he's not getting enough to eat.

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Greyaholic, it just so happens that I had some nutritional yeast at home! I went to the store and grabbed a few cans of various meats and some oatmeal. Made a scramble (feeling ambitious) of roast beef, kippers, egg, oatmeal, nutritional yeast, even tried some ice cream and his normal veggies. Did NOT like that. Threw it out because he flat out ran from it. Made fresh with one egg, tiny bit of oatmeal, ham, small amount of veggies, and some leftover steak (guess he wants to eat high on the hog now). He seemed to eat that but I couldn't put it all down at once in one dish. He had to eat small portions-brought it to him wherever he was laying/sitting. Took him three little plates full to eat it all, but he did. I still have some Lite Spam and sardines to try at some point. I'm just afraid he's not getting enough to eat.

Is all of that going into one mixture, aka scramble? That, to me, sounds like too many different scents/flavors. I might try putting them on a plate as a buffet, in separate piles, to see which might tempt him and then work from there.

 

To dispense pills, mini-mooshies (marshmallows) work well here. Give a teaser mooshie, then one-two with the pill sandwiched between, then another teaser. Good luck!

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees: Aiden. Punkin. Annie. Miss M.

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, Knot Like The Others.

 

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Oh holy moly dog-a-luiah! He ate two meals without problems today, no stopping, except to breathe and got his pills without troubles!

 

I must have the only dog I've ever known to NOT like marshmallows. But, he DOES like Chex Mix, blueberry to be exact. We are able to hide his levox in a piece and he takes it no problem! Finally...

 

As for his two successful meals (I hope I don't jinx it), I put frozen mixed veggies, riced cauliflower/sweet potato and canned spinach in my blender. Almost fully pureed it, added a cup of quick cooking oatmeal to it (dry), scrambled an egg plus a white in the microwave. I mixed 2/3 cup of the veggies and the scrambled egg together and added the secret ingredient....SPAM at the end. Lite spam-half the fat and sodium-and he SCARFED EVERY BITE! :chow He ate pretty quick this morning but tonight, he ate so quick I could barely blink!

 

My heart swelled with joy to see him eat it all without hesitation! :beatheart And he took his pain pills like normal without fighting too much too! We will continue tomorrow and hope he keeps it up.

 

As for going to the vet, he is going in the next few weeks. He has to get his annual bloodwork/checkup for his comboguard prescription. I am going to make sure that if this food works, the vet will also get their opinion on it too! :ghplaybow

 

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

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Glad it's going better. I could tell you all the things I've done, but what I want to tell you, most importantly, is that at a certain point quality of life becomes more important than anything else. It's a huge mind-shift that's hard to get your head around. You've probably spent many, many years making sure his diet, his exercise, his vet visits, everything is his life was "right", and the best you could provide. You might be getting to the point when he's a "senior" and, the rules change. A Senior gets what a Senior wants. Even if it's NOT the perfect food. NOT the perfect schedule. He's a young senior, definitely. But do start wrapping your mind around the idea, that the "rules" are changing. "Quality next few years" is the goal now. Not "raising a dog". Tides have shifted.

 

Quality of life of an older dog is the best gift we can ever give them. They're fine shifting into the next faze, it's we that struggle to see it. And the "next faze" can last for MANY years. And that's a beautiful thing. Wrap your head around it. Throw the rules out the window. Do research, and then do what is BEST for your dog.

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Glad it's going better. I could tell you all the things I've done, but what I want to tell you, most importantly, is that at a certain point quality of life becomes more important than anything else. It's a huge mind-shift that's hard to get your head around. You've probably spent many, many years making sure his diet, his exercise, his vet visits, everything is his life was "right", and the best you could provide. You might be getting to the point when he's a "senior" and, the rules change. A Senior gets what a Senior wants. Even if it's NOT the perfect food. NOT the perfect schedule. He's a young senior, definitely. But do start wrapping your mind around the idea, that the "rules" are changing. "Quality next few years" is the goal now. Not "raising a dog". Tides have shifted.

 

Quality of life of an older dog is the best gift we can ever give them. They're fine shifting into the next faze, it's we that struggle to see it. And the "next faze" can last for MANY years. And that's a beautiful thing. Wrap your head around it. Throw the rules out the window. Do research, and then do what is BEST for your dog.

You are amazing. I think deep down we know that its possible this was his last Christmas (hard not to think about) and that quality is most important. But it helps when people like you and groups like this have had much more experience and can lend reassuring thoughts and suggestions for us.

 

And we are taking him next week to the vet. I may look at one vet who does house calls as our VCA in Upland can take up to 2 hours for an appointment, sometimes longer. Our wait time tends to be no shorter than 1 hour and that's with no cars in the parking lot. His poor shaky legs can't take that much time standing.

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Good wishes for continued enjoyment eating. With the shaky back legs, you and your vet may want to discuss the possibility of lumbosacral stenosis (I'm probably not spelling this right; it's usually abbreviated LS and is a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal). It is fairly common in older greyhounds. Whatever the cause of the shaky rear end, continued gentle exercise is almost always recommended, including gentle uphill walking. And one thing I wish I had gotten sooner when I had a dog with LS was an assistance harness that she could wear 24-7 so I could help her stand up if needed.

 

On the long wait for the vet appt -- if you end up in that situation, will Mr Stubborn lie down on a bed if you bring it into the waiting room? Or we've stayed out in the car if the weather and dog were comfortable -- I phoned the vet receptionist on my cell and asked them to call me when they're ready.

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Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Have you tried offering bone broth? It's available commercially for pets and humans and even better, there are many recipes online. Bone broth kept my girl, Wendy, going when she lost her appetite. I've even made it for elderly and ill human family members when they could not tolerate solid foods.

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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Feeding pills: what has worked well for me in the past -- open his mouth wide, and shove your fingers way down his throat (with pill attached). As far as you can. So your whole hand is in his mouth. Then he has little chance off coughing it up.

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I'm glad you're also exploring alternate vets. I have a firm belief that any service provider (doctors, vets, auto mechanics ... ANY) that regularly cause their clients to have a significant wait for service (20 minutes or longer) have a poorly run front desk, and that is an indicator on how they run other parts of their business. I totally understand the possibility of emergencies (and am occasionally the beneficiary of that care) but there is no reason that the office can't call scheduled patients to let them know that there will be a delay (and allow some to reschedule, if desired). And offices that experience a growing delay throughout the day need to recognize that they haven't allocated enough time for each patient ... they can fix that by allocating more time or planning an open slot in the appointment book once an hour/90 minutes (which can be used for all sorts of 'catch-up', including calling back a patient, taking a health break, or keeping their office on schedule). I see no benefit in unnecessary waiting in a vet office, surrounded by potential illnesses that I especially don't want my senior dogs to be exposed to.

 

Normally, I approach the front desk to understand the situation when I haven't been seen after 20 minutes, and at 30 minutes I graciously inform the office that I will help them catch up on their backlog by rescheduling my appointment to a more convenient day. And for my seniors, I always bring a non-slip bed/blanket just in case they would feel comfortable (or tired) enough to lie down & rest.

 

I'm so glad you found some interesting food that Ralph enjoys! I hope that he continues to like your mixture (but don't be disappointed when he decides he prefers meatloaf with bacon or chicken mcnuggets next week).

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