Dealing with a Senior Dog
My pet “Rengui” was a stray dog that we took in when, according to our vet, was about 3 years old, but we can’t really be sure. She was an adult already, but a very energetic, puppy-like adult.
She had a broken paw that seemed to have healed, and when I say healed, I mean it was already stuck in place badly, so she had a limp. Hence, the cruel and cute name, which in Spanish translates to “Limpy”. Mind you, before taking her in, we fed her and took care of her like we do with a lot of stray dogs which we tend to name them by physical appearance, in order not to get attached. However, she won us over and made “the cut” into our home.
She is a princess, she always has been. Every time we would try to feed her, she would smell her plate for long minutes, as if suspecting poison, before daring to actually eat. This has been a funny thing to watch.
It wasn’t until recently that we noticed certain things that made us realize she had definitely reached old age and might even be senile.
She is, approximately 19 years old. Yes, of course she’s a senior dog, but there weren’t too many things that made us realize it before.
The food thing got worse, and from one day to the other, she didn’t want to eat off her plate anymore. We would have to put the food on the floor. This was not too bad, except that when it started happening with the water, it got complicated. So, now we have to remember every couple of hours to offer her water, which we pour onto the floor where she proceeds to drink from. Summer days are especially hard because she could get dehydrated. She sometimes sort of lets you know if she’s thirsty.
It gets harder and harder for her to get up after long periods of sleep, you can hear her complain, even though if you grab her, there’s nothing particularly wrong with her legs. It just needs some getting used to. We don’t play as much, but she’s loving as always.Here are some things to notice about your own dog, to see if he or she is suffering from the time passing:
- Hesitation or stiffness when climbing back down from stairs or steps. This might be related to arthritis and you can have your
vet prescribe medicine. It won’t cure it, but it will make it easier for your dog to deal with it.
- Gray hair, first around the face and then the body.
- Bluish eyes. This is normal, and it doesn’t mean a diminished sight. Whitish eyes, however, mean cataracts which will reduce your dog’s sight.
- Loss of hearing. Depending on the age, this will either be an infection or just a normal sign of old age. You can teach them hand signals and be extra careful of dangers they may not hear (such as approaching cars).
You, like me, have to just deal with these situations and take great care of your dog which has been a great companion in your life, might still be. A little payback to him for all the great moments you shared.
About the author:
Eugenia Sincovich is an Argentinean writer that can’t seem to stay in one place! She loves everything that reminds her that she’s alive and does her best to convey those feelings into her texts. She currently writes for iNetGiant.
Filed under: Caring For Your Senior Dog
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