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Thread: Elderly dog question

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Elderly dog question

    My dog is about 15 and 1/2 years. We live by a small town and for years used their vet, which we became very unhappy with. So we switched to one in a larger city about 20 miles away. It's a big office and the vets are extremely good. It's always been a hassle taking our dog there, because she freaks out so badly on the way. Another sort-of problem is that this place goes too far in the other direction than our older vet did. The vet there that we have always seen is almost OCD about things. Our dog is on about 5 meds/supplements. The thyroid and Gall bladder med seems to be the most important. But the vet has her on several very expensive supplements......like glucosamine/chondroitin with MSM, an omega oil, an NSAID, and he put her on a supplement paste to help with her cognition. It was almost $60 and made her worse, so I stopped it.

    Our dog has hypothyroidism, GB disorder, arthritis, and now her mind is having problems. She is almost blind and very hard of hearing. Something she's done for a couple years, but it's worse, is her mouth tremors. She gets stuck under tables, in corners, etc. She drinks tons of water and pees a lot (the Vet knows about this). Another weird thing is her fur coat is huge, more than ever before. We had her tested for diabetes and she didn't have it.

    The dilemma I'm having is that she's old! And I don't want to pile more meds on her if they are causing some of her problems. The vet says they aren't........but every animal is different. Just like people, dogs can't live forever and we have to decide what's help-able and what's not.

    If I take her to the vet for her most recent deterioration, he will suggest another expensive med.

    I'm thinking of stopping her expensive NSAID and trying some of the CBD oil for pets. Anyone use that? Do you have a reputable source for it?

    Let me also say, that I will never have her euthanized. I don't even want a conversation about that being an option, or it's rightness or wrongness. I don't have a job and want to be here for her constantly, if she gets a lot worse.

    Any tips for dogs that are almost blind and hard of hearing? Would a dog whistle get her attention?
    And let me know about if you use a CBD oil on your dog.

    Thanks for any good input you can give me.

    DH always waits 'til the last minute to deal with things. I've been on him to dig a grave for awhile.......then the ground froze. Fortunately, we've had milder weather and he realized it was a good suggestion. So that's ready if we need it in the dead of winter. I will miss her so much.

  2. #2
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    I just wonder if she has Cushings, because of the coat?

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    No advice, but just ((((hugs)))))
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Old dog problems are so sad. My first cocker spaniel lived to be 17 years and 8 months old. When both her eyesight and hearing were diminished, she could "feel" sounds on the floor. I made a point of walking heavier, and if I tapped with floor twice she would come to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Glucos/condeoiten is for joint pain. I would keep all meds that keep her out of pain.

    I have no opinion about the internal organ meds because I dont know about them or your pet.

    It is too bad that you cant have an honest discussion with your vet about your goal of elder dog care which is probably (I am guessing here) similar to hospice care.

    My Father in law went into hospice care last week and it is is difficult for some humans to understand and accept the dying process.He and his five children are all ok with it, and are mutually supportive. His girlfriend is acting like an idiot and is disobeying hospice rules by force feeding him, waking him from sleeping for innecessary grooming, etc. She is not respecting the dying process and she has since been banned from his room unless a family member is there to control her actions.

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    CBD biscuits helped our old dogs for awhile but then quit working. We had a 20yo Maltese with multiple problems including dementia. She was on Xanax so we all could sleep at night. Eventually we had to put her to sleep because by 5pm at night she was frantic and would run into the walls, knock over all the dog bowls, etc. Nothing would calm her down. She was on a variety of medications for various issues. Personally I think it’s kinder to put them to sleep then suffer like we do with people.

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    Maybe you could go back to the first vet, since it sounds like the farther away vet believes in a lot of medication, and maybe the first one is more appropriate for a hospice type situation?

  8. #8
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I do clap hard and she seems to hear that. I can whistle high sometimes and she hears that.

    Tybee.....I just told DH a little while ago that I wondered about Cushings too. When you say because of the coat, what did you mean? I couldn't find anything online about them having a heavier than usual coat. All I could find was about shedding too much........which she is doing, but dang, her coat is soooooo thick. Maybe when you have a lot of cortisol, it grows the coat too much? A couple months ago, she started breathing fast when she would get excited. Then recently I started thinking it was because her coat was making her so hot.

    We were at the Vet's probably 5 months ago at most and he drew lots of labs. He said everything was normal. I hope he wasn't overlooking anything.

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    I said Cushings because in horses, it manifests with a really thick coat-- if you have seen a horse with Cushings it's real distinctive, along with cresting of the neck. The hair is long and kind of wavy, really thick, and the shedding patterns are wrong.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks Tybee......That's very interesting. Our dog is shedding in weird patterns too. I think I'll make an appointment for next week. Seems like a blood test would be enough to know. I've read it's not an easy problem to fix. Even if we can keep her from drinking and peeing so much, that would help a bit. I swore she was so much heavier, but we weighed her, and she's lost a pound. So her coat is probably making her look so big. I wish we could at least get her a hearing aid........but I'm sure even if they did make those, the dog wouldn't tolerate it.

    I'm glad you brought up Cushings, Tybee. Thanks!

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