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Need advice before I make permanent decisions

March 23rd, 2006, 08:40 PM

I am wondering if anyone can give me ideas to bring up to the vet. My 14 year old Rott/Shepherd mix is having some problems in her old age. I have had her at the vet several times in the past month and a half. Here is what is going on..….. First she is 14 and the past two months she seems to be declining fast. Over a month ago she had a tumor removed from her elbow, which she faired very well and healed quickly. She, in the past couple of months has been having a VERY tight stomach, and having a very hard time getting up.

Her coat looks healthy except graying, her eyes are cloudy and the vet said she has vision problems, she does have a hard time judging stairs. She has lost several teeth too. Her stools are normal for the most part but when she is doing the deed she has a hard time holding herself up to finish. Her legs seem so weak., especially her hind legs. There have been several times where she has laid in her own urine and feces because she can’t hold herself up. She gets a disgusted look on her face and it is so sad. She has been doing a lot of dry heaving and on occasion she has thrown up food and yellow bile.

Overall she has always been a very healthy dog. Once when she was about three she ate a rubber dog toy which she had to have surgically removed. I have always had her get check ups twice a year and her shots on time. In the last couple of years she has been slowing down but the past two months she is declining fast.

When I had her at the vet she had an x-ray, blood drawn, was poked with needles to see if she was retaining water. The x-ray was cloudy but showed things were where they should be, but maybe being “pushed“, the blood work was inconclusive and she was not retaining fluid.

She is not being her happy self and is snapping at the other dogs and she only wants me around. She won’t even get up when I offer her a bite of “people food” but she will whine until I bring her a bite. She is off the dry food and on wet food which she doesn’t like too much but will eat it. The other day she did not want to eat so I cooked her rice with strips of beef and gravy, she turned her head. Then I made her scrambled eggs which she ate but I had to feed her.

Now, other times she will get up and come to me, I still have her climbing the stairs when she can. Sometimes she doesn’t seem as strained to get up but still slow. So it comes and goes and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions that I could run past the vet. I want to check out everything before I have to make permanent decisions. Thanks for your time.

the gang
March 23rd, 2006, 08:59 PM
im so sorry you are having a tough time, i wish our wounderful pets could last forever, i do have had to make some scarfieces about my little ones, i wish you and your little one the best, it sounds to me like your little bundle of joy is giving up so i know you will do whats needed i do not wish this on anyone so i will keep you in my thoughts brenda:fingerscr

March 23rd, 2006, 09:04 PM
I would suggest giving her some Glucosamine everyday and you can discuss using Rimadyl for pain this drug I know is not very good for Mastiffs long term but they seem to have a differenet tolerance to drugs and anesthesia. But I have heard it is great in pain control. But add the glucosamine everyday and if you can add shark cartlidge I buy my supplements at Costco much cheaper. I hope this helps it can really help it takes a little while to see the effects but you will be surprised I just noticed you are in the US get maloxx coated asprin they have a brand name but I cant remember what they are called but they are easy on there stomachs ask your pharmacist

March 23rd, 2006, 11:52 PM
It's calles Ascriptin I believe, my golden/samoyed mix took it once a day for her arthritis

March 24th, 2006, 12:11 AM
The rate at which wounds heal is one of the major indicators of the state of health. A dog will snap , or become short-tempered, if in pain from arthritis , spinal misalignment, and digestive or gastrointestinal problems . You might want to check into acupuncture treatments( for your dog or have your dog checked for a spinal misalignment which a chiropractic adjustment could correct ( . In her book, The Last Chance Dog, Dr. Donna Kelleher, DVM wrote about a German Shepherd who had degenerative myopathy( he dragged his legs behind him) and the worst case of arthritis she'd ever seen. She made some dietary changes( too high a meat diet adds purines to the joints, stiffening them) and gave some additional supplements. She also gave acupuncture treatments( about 5) and within a matter of weeks the dog had regained complete mobility . A friend added 20 alfalfa tablets to some apple sauce and gave that daily to her arthritic collie who could no longer make the stairs It took about a month but she says that he can now make the stairs with no problem and he's more active than he was, more limber. She wants to start acupuncture treatments now because she wants to begin taking him on longer walks . Tranfer Factor Plus(human formula) has also helped ( ) in some reported cases.

Dr. Michael W. Fox, DVM has found that adverse vaccination reaction shows up in numerous ways including IBD(inflammatory bowel disease), polyneuropathy ( weakness, incoordination and muscle atrophy), and hypertrophic osteodystrophy (shifting lameness and painful joints ). If you are continuing to vaccinate your dog yearly, this may be part of the problem. Dr. Allen Schoen, MVSC, noted vet, lecturer, and author , has questioned the reasoning behind vaccinating the elderly( sick, very young) pet because their immune systems are not strong and vaccinosis( adverse reaction to vaccines) can occur that much more readily.

Your dog may be suffering from either food intolerance or an inability to assimilate protein . Ask your vet if one, or even a combination of several or more of these products, may be suitable for your dog . Also, ask about the feasibility of adding digestive enzymes to the food to improve digestion and assimilation even more .

Canine z/d™ ULTRA Allergen-Free(dry) is a Hills' product for dogs who have food allergy /intolerance . This allergic reaction can show itself as painful digestive upsets, stomach discomfort ( i.e. " tight" stomach) , and inability to digest the food that is given so that the food may be vomited without even being partially digested. The adverse reaction can be in response to the protein used which, in most commercial dog foods, is beef. There can also be an intolerance to dairy products or wheat. Hill's Canine z/d ULTRA Allergen -Free contains none of these but instead, it contains hydrolyzed protein which is a process that eliminates intact animal proteins and breaks down the protein molecules to such a degree that the allergic response is virtually eliminated.

Canine Prescription d/d™ Lamb and Rice Formula( canned or dry ) is similar to Hill's z/d ULTRA Allergen-Free because is also used for food allergy and intolerance , does not contain beef, dairy products or wheat. However, the protein source is not hydrolyzed .

Hill's Prescription Diet i/d(canned) is used for dogs with gastrointestinal disorders that affect the stomach and intestines and can cause such symptoms as vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, regurgitation, gas, and even constipation. The formula is designed to be highly digestible and to help eliminate these symptoms.

Hill's Prescription Diet j/d ( canned) is formulated to help aching joints by maintaining joint function and health through the use of high levels of EPA(eicosapentanoic acid) which is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil. Hill's determines that there should be an improvement in the quality of life by helping dogs to "run better, play better, and rise more easily."

March 24th, 2006, 05:53 PM
I have just read your post, and firstly let me say how very similar your doggies symptoms were to my Max's. He too was quite old, he would have been 12 years very soon. He was the great love of my life, and I can truely understand how you are feeling. I tried for a very long time, vets, change of diet, everything and nothing helped, it was just his time to leave me, and eventually I became to realise it, he already knew.

Its very hard to let go, I will never forget the time we shared as I waited for the vet to put Max down, he sat by me in the lounge, I'd explained to him what was going to happen, that there was no quality left to his life, that I loved him and always would, that he would be better in doggie heaven, running around and enjoying himself. The responsibility was too great, but I was the only one that could stop the suffering. His look of understanding and peacefulness helped me to do this.

I don't know if this will help you, and I can honestly say I understand how you are feeling. I truely feel for you.