What kind of signs did they show as they aged? Odd behaviors? Personality changes?
I'm a vet tech currently in vet school. I can't legally diagnose your dog but there are many signs. What type of odd behavior? (Getting confused and lacking focus can be signs of dementia). Obviously there will be physical signs. Your question is a little too broad to accurately answer. I'd be glad to give you opinions, but the best thing to do if you suspect an issue is to get a wellness checkup. I wish you the best.
My childhood dog would pace a lot - it seemed like he could not sit still no matter what. Also, when he got a hair cut (he was a Springer) it took a long time for his fur to grow back. I don't know if that was related to age or not but we have another Springer now and his fur grows back quite quickly. He was 13 and eventually his organs shut down and we had to put him to sleep. Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
the two I had to old age became incontinent. one was blind and possibly partly deaf. she slept a lot more than normal, she wasn't really herself. I thought we were going to have to put her down just about a year ago.... its a horrible decision ( she died on her own..... I don't know that I could do it)
How old is this dog??? I currently have a 14 YO brown/tan ACS and a 10 YO yellow lab mix. The age (and breed) of the ACS, she's quite moley. I've had a few removed as they were "changing." Two were malignant, but low grade and they got clean margins. The biggest changes with her is some white in the muzzle, she sleeps more, eats less, and has hearing loss. Otherwise, she's healthy and happy...loves a good romp in the yard, especially after getting a shave down. It's hard in the south with coated breeds.
She's a 10 year old American stratshier pit pull. She'll be 11 in December. Her parents only lived until 10, although they were outside dogs. She on the other hand is spoiled. She's started sleeping outside my door or in the bathroom at night. She has never done that before. I see her struggle sometimes jumping on the bed or using stairs 1st thing in the morning. She refuses to use the back door anymore. Steps maybe? She wants to spend more time outside then ever before. She goes out in the morning and refuses to come back in. She likes it under the porch. The other day she was trying to bury her cracker. When we pull into driveway she barks like it's not us. Like her vision is fading. Small things like listed above. Pit bulls have an average life span of 10-12 years. Although some live to 14. Oh, and shes getting skinny and breathes heavy at times.
As dogs age they will begin to develop basically the same age-related conditions seen in humans. Partial or complete loss of eyesight and hearing, incontinence, arthritis, weakening of the heart, lower energy levels, mild or severe loss of mental function. Behavior changes could be due to physical symptoms such as blindness or stiffness that prevent them from comfortably engaging in the same activities they used to enjoy. Some personality changes might also arise from mental problems or dementia. My old lab mix who lived to 16 eventually started getting some dementia problems that would make her anxious (presumably when she couldn't remember where she was or what what was happening). This led to separation anxiety because she could forget that she'd only been alone for a few minutes, not hours. Her patience level dropped considerably, so acts of frustration weren't too uncommon. One thing pretty specific to older dogs is also vestibular disorders, which affect the dog's balance, so their head is tilted and they either can't walk or will walk in circles. This is usually accompanied by nystagmus (twitching of the eyes) and nausea. Luckily it isn't nearly as bad as it looks, and dogs will recover completely. This is quite common in older dogs, and both of my senior dogs had it (my lab even got it twice), so I thought it was worth mentioning. The heavy breathing might be a sign of heart problems. My 12 year old dog who recently passed away had a heart murmur that progressed to congestive heart failure and heavy breathing was one of the signs. Fluid built up around his lungs because of the heart problem, which led to his heavy breathing. He was put on diuretics that's controlled the problem very well. There are definitely less serious causes of heavy breathing, but if you suspect a problem I would definitely recommend a vet check just in case it is something serious.
All of what you describe very normal at for an elderly dog except the getting skinny part. Is she eating normally? When was the last time you had her blood tested? Considering her age, however, you really could be okay just giving her some table food from here on out. I have fed several senior dogs the following recipe: 3.25 cups poached turkey, minced or ground turkey, fried with some olive oil and then allow to cool 2.5 cups cooked white rice 1 2/3 cups chopped cooked vegetable (such as microwaved zucchini or carrots--different dogs have different preferences) .25 teaspoon iodized salt Mix well. How much she will eat at a meal depends on how she is feeling. This recipe made 4 meals for one dog of ours who was a light eater. One particularly anorexic dog needed a lot of variety. I would roast vegetables for her, such as cauliflower or summer squash tossed with olive oil and Italian herbs. Inevitably, my husband and daughter would want some that dog ended up living two years longer than the vet thought she would. Now, some people think that dogs should never eat table food, but I just found that several of our senior dogs really perked up when I started feeding them this recipe and had a better quality of life during the last stage. Other people feed their dogs a raw diet, but I would not take chances on salmonella with an elderly dog.
My labs both went in different ways. My male died at 13. He was a hunting dog so he was partly deaf by the time he hit 10. He also started having seizures the last like 6 months. The more he ages the more often they were. He would also NEVER stop panting, it was like his heart was just not working the way it should and wasn't allowing his lungs to hold air. He would have these fits where he couldnt catch his breath and his gums would start turning white because he wasn't getting enough air. He drank a lot of water too, all the time. The last like 3 months were awful but when he was having a good day he had so much life so we couldn't put him down, he still wanted to live and have a life. So we made him as comfy as we could. His heart gave out and we found him in his kennel on a hot day. At least he went peacefully. Well we hope anyway. My female started getting tumors around 12 years old and later found out it was cancer. She was to old to get surgery anymore and to get kemo. So we made her as comfy as we could until We had to put her down at 16. Which is still a very good age. Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
She'll be seeing the vet soon. Her breathing has me worried. She doesn't want to eat her dog food anymore. She ate chicken with veggies today. Her spine is really starting to show. Scary. She's had tumors in the past, but they've been benign. I wonder about the CHF too.
Well I wish her luck and stay strong! If you are upset she will sence it and become depressed. Dogs feel everything we do. I know it's scary and hard but try your best she and you will be in my thoughts. Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
Thank you. I'm very strong around her. Learned that from the dog whisperer.
I'm sorry, psalm. I have a pit myself. They're such wonderful dogs. I really think she's generally healthy, but please, please let us know. I think she's just again a little.
Oh good!! love that guy. Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
Going to see vet today.
I truly hope you Staffy is OK. I have one too that I rescued (she is in my profile and avatar photo). All you can do is unconditionally love your dog and hope for the best. Often times it is very difficult to notice symptoms because by nature the dog doesn't want to show weakness. Just being there for you beloved animal is the best thing you can do. I wish you the best!
Sad news today. My poor baby has CHF (congestive heart failure). The vet put her on a diuretic to help with fluid build up. Poor girl can't breath. She's terminal. I'm torn up inside. I can't even euthanize a fish and the vet's suggesting it for my baby girl!! I can't handle this right now. I'm so sad. She still has so much life in her.
I'm sending hugs your way
I'm so, so sorry. Sent from my iPad using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum