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How much excersize for 12 yr. old Akita?

brentski
February 9th, 2008, 11:54 PM
Shogun, our 12 yr. old male Akita has pretty severe arthritis (though you'd never know it) and as recommended by the vet, is on Rimadyl 100 mg. 2 X day.

My question is, how much excersize is suggested for a large dog of his age with arthritis?

He currently walks about 20 minutes every morning, about 30-40 minutes in the afternoon and another 30-40 minutes in the evening.(A little over an hour a day, spread out during the 3 walks)

He sleeps all day when he's alone, but always seems ready to walk when it's time.

He's had 2 bouts where he's hurt his back lately,1 that required an emergency trip to the vet.
(But with a few days rest,he was back to his regular self.)

Though he seems eager to walk,I'm not sure how much is good for him as he grows older.
Might we be walking him too much? Should we shorten his walks or cut them to twice a day?


Any help help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Brentski

happycats
February 10th, 2008, 12:13 AM
Welcome!!! And we would love to see pics of shogun!

When our dog became older, our vet told us that we should treat her like our 85 year old grandmother, basically if the average 85 year old grandmother can't walk that much/often, then your dog shouldn't either. And no off leash, yes they love to run, but the stiffness becomes worse after a run.
maybe take out one walk, or walk more slowly.

hazelrunpack
February 10th, 2008, 09:37 AM
Hi, Brentski. Welcome to the board.

Easy exercise like walking is great for arthritis, and multiple short walks are better than one long one--so it sounds like he's on a fairly good walking schedule.

When we've had older dogs with arthritis, we let their joints tell us how much was too much. If they showed signs of discomfort, we adjusted the length or frequency of the walks.

Is Shogun showing signs of stiffness after his walks? If not, he may be okay with the schedule he's on. If he seems stiff, maybe shorten the afternoon and evening walks by 10 minutes.

If you have a swimming therapy center for animals available, or lake or pond access in summer, swimming is a great exercise for dogs with arthritis! Very low impact. 'Course, that won't help if Shogun doesn't like water (our setters are notoriously wussy about the whole distasteful idea of getting wet :o).

And I'm with happycats--I'd love to see pics of Shogun when you're able to post some. :thumbs up

Gibbons
February 10th, 2008, 11:54 AM
I'm fostering a dog (estimated age between 11-13 years old) with some severe arthritis. We're also splitting up his walks into four 20-min walks. If he seems to be pushing it or looks uncomfortable after one of his walks, we just encourage him to take little "breaks" on the walk- so we'll stand still for 2-3 minutes and he'll sniff at the air or the snow (he's a hound, so this is heaven for him!) to give him some down time.

We find if we don't do this at least now and then, he seems more stiff and uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

diandpat
February 10th, 2008, 02:10 PM
We have a 13.5 yr old golden who started Metacam just before Christmas because she was getting up slower and having trouble with the stairs.

We have always walked in the woods in the winter. This year I drive her to the woods and let her pick the path. Some days she can do an hour and some days she only wants 25-30 mins. She knows every path and has not trouble letting me know when she has had enough. We go home and she has a nice deep sleep on the couch for the afternoon.

Sounds like your dog is always eager to go so just get your signals from him. Ginger will literally sit and not move if I try to take a "long" path and she is not up to it.

Sounds like your dog has a great life and is well cared for.