My old man Gus
Gus will be 12 in November, but lately seems to be really 'showing his age' he still enjoys a walk but only a very short one. He was at the vet for a check up in April and all was well apart from a slight murmur. He does a LOT of sleeping lately and keeps his distance from DJ and Pippin a lot of the time. He does seem to lie in his bed or on the floor seeming to be sleeping but if I leave a room he follows me.
Last week he moved suddenly and seemed to hurt his neck, I called my vet who told me to give him some metacam (we always have some in) and see how he is in a day or two, he was fine after a couple of days so we stopped the metacam and he was ok.
He had a bit of a dodgy tummy on Weds just vomiting his poop was fine, so I starved him for 12 hours and then gave rice and carrot and he is fine now so I am going to give him chicken and rice for a few days and then gradually introduce him back to his normal dry food.
I always weigh my dogs every now and then to make sure they are maintaining a good healthy weight and Gus was always the one to watch as he would slip above the norm quicker than the others. When I weighed him last night he seems to have steadily lost weight over the last few months. I was quite shocked as the last weigh in was a month ago and while Pippin and DJ remain the same Gus has gone from 8.1 kilos to 7.5.
Should I be worried about this and bring him to the vet? Pippin is due for check up on Monday next so I was going to mention this to her anyway.
Although we had dogs at home when I was a child I don't remember much about when they got old and some of them didn't reach old age through illness.
What should I expect as Gus gets older with regard to sleeping etc and is the weight loss something to be worried about, he still has a hearty appetite and never refuses food, but as he has got less mobile I have been careful not to over feed him, although he still gets a good breakfast and dinner and some home made dog biscuits and fruit or veg treats during the day. Have I been too careful, should I increase his food a little and weigh him again in a few weeks.
He is my little man and I am finding that the more he shows his age the more I worry. Of course DJ and Pippin are 9 and they sleep a lot too, but what I notice about Gus sometimes is that the sparkle seems to be gone from his eyes when he looks at me and sometimes he just lies looking at me and seems sad...or it could be just my interpretation...I have him since he was 16 weeks and hate to see him growing old :(
I am sorry that you have concerns for Gus Pippa, I understand as I am in the same position as you as my Jasper is now 13 years and is beginning to show his age.
I see that Gus has a good heart, whereas Jasper has a Grade 6 so the heart is his concern, as far as I can see Jasper has no joint problems and when out is very mobile, he does sleep a lot and sleeps very sound which we have mentioned to the vet who says it`s just part of getting old.
The hot weather we have had recently really knocked Jasper about, which made him cough more and was panting quite a bit, both dogs had a vet visit last week so we brought up our concerns about Jasper, he said that if he started to lose weight, did`nt want to walk or started to have fits to bring him back up straight away, which we would anyway, he still eats well, like his walks, so the coughing was the issue, we now have to split his water tablet to twice a day. The vet said Jasper is now on the tipping point so he could introduce further medication, he has been on the same meds for the last 3 years.
I also grew up with dogs, they all were about 13 years old when we lost them, so this plays on my mind as well. We all want our pets to have the best possible life and it`s hard to see them growing old and it is the not knowing what to expect which I find hard as Jasper is our first family dog and like you we have had him from a 8 week old pup.
Hope all goes well at the vets on Monday and let us know how you get on.
Oliver is almost 12 and a half and is still recovering from disc surgery 2 months ago. Since his surgery, he's not as crabby which means to me that he was in so much pain before. I find that I look at him with more love and tenderness now than before his surgery (he really was a crabby dog) and most of that is because of his ripe old age. He's still not walking unassisted - although he's an excellent scooter - so I have increased responsibilities with him, but I find that I don't mind at all. Like Gus, he sleeps a LOT. Two of my others are 11 and almost 10, and they sleep a lot, but Oliver seems older and when he sleeps it seems to be a deeper sleep. He can still do a 20 minute underwater treadmill walk 3 times a week as part of his physical therapy so I know he still has some gumption left in him. Other than recovering from his surgery, his health is great - no murmur, no SM, he has a great appetite. Like you Pippa, I try to control his weight. We go back to the neurologist next week where he'll be weighed. I assume he is holding steady in his weight - he sure feels it when I carry him around. He's my biggest one at ~23-25 pounds. You could always just bring Gus in for a weight check on Monday with Pippin. Maybe bring in a stool sample and see if he has anything going on there. Let us know what your vet says. It's hard when they get older - especially when we've had them since little pups.
Sorry Gus seems a bit down lately. It might be the weather that has slowed him down. Leo is 6 and he's slept a lot recently, he doesnt like it hot and it certainly seems to have bothered him. Has Gus been off his food? my friends dog doesnt like the heat and has been off his food (My Leo hasn't been affected in that way in the slightest!!) Maybe that's why he's lost weight. I would definitely speak to your vet just to reassure you if nothing else. Good luck
I know how all of you feel. It is heartbreaking to watch ourbabies age. This post just brought back so memories for me. I remember how itwas with Sydney. He slept a lot. I would just sit there and watch him andlisten to his breathing. I saw how his face aged in what seemed like overnight.Some days he had enough energy for a very short walk, other days, just enoughto go outside for potty.
I thought his appetite was good, but I then noticed that hestarted to leave a little food on his plate……he still wanted his treats, butsometimes he just nibbled at them and didn’t finish them at all. I know some ofthis was from his medications for MVD and CHF, but it was also part of theaging process. I spoke to his vet and cardiologist about this and they said tojust let him eat when and what he wanted. So I made sure I gave him his favorites. But mostly his days were good even if they got a littleslower. He was happy. Mostly, I had to remind myself that Sydney didn’t know hewas sick. So I took care of him the best I could and loved him all the more. I talked to him a lot too, he was a good listener.
Gus, Jasper and Oliver (and all the other oldies) are so special, but we do what we can to make them happy and comfortable.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Gus is still enjoying his food, he usually hoovers it! He still likes treats too, but one thing I do notice is he was always a beggar very naughty around food, and would be on my knee in a second when I tried to eat in the living room, even in the hot hot weather of the last few weeks he had to be watched. When we had a Birthday party in early July here in the house, every time someone stood up from the table away from their food the cry would go out "mind Gus!" and we would turn to see him on a chair about to put his face in the food plate :) He enjoyed a bowl of chicken and rice this evening but I managed to eat a chocolate bar with a cup of tea on the sofa with him just lying beside me looking at me, he just seems tired....
Also when Pippin and DJ bark at something at the window he doesn't even bother to get up to see what all the fuss is about, where a couple of weeks ago he would be running to see what was going on...maybe he's just getting sense there as it's usually nothing :)
His face is not pinched looking and he is not in the least crabby or grumpy just quiet....and seems to have aged a lot in the last few weeks, his face hair has gone very white.
Joyce I hope this thread hasn't been upsetting for you....I too sit and look at Gus sometimes while he sleeps...I had been so worried about Pippin and his heart problems in the hot weather and on Monday he is due at the vets to check if things with his heart have gotten worse, but the change in Gus has switched my worrying to him, or should I say added to it...
I'm glad that Gus had an enjoyable meal. You know, I used those exact words to describe Sydney, "he looks tired". He enjoyed what he wanted to, and then just wanted to be. Don't worry though, this post didn't upset me. I love talking about Sydney. I was in the same position as you are and you gave me much needed support. I only hope I can do the same for you.
My parents own a VERY old rat terrier. She spends a lot of time sleeping, and prefers to sleep away from the other dogs and people. My Mom just bought her a really nice doggie bed and put in in the corner of the hallway she had chosen to sleep the most in. She also seems to get cold easily especially during the winter, so I made her a warming corn bag (its a bag filled with feed corn you pop in the microwave hold its heat for hours) she really likes it. She has had periods of weight lose (sometimes a lot of weight) but its never from her not eating, but just went she gets to the point its time to take her into the vet she bounces back and gains a few pounds. My Mom has changed her diet and is feeding her twice a day, that has helped. This dog still enjoys a short walk, or play in the yard, and still loves to bark at the neighbors dogs through the fence. Just a few weeks ago she was running back and forth along the fence (barking at the neighbors dogs) like she was a puppy, but she then slept for like 3 days straight only getting up briefly to eat, drink and potty.
Gus's deep sleeping and not bothering to get up and bark with the other dogs may be because he is deaf. Deafness is very common in Cavaliers even younger than Gus; my Oliver at 12 is almost completely deaf, he can't hear much under 9 decibals (which is shouting very loudly, as in 'Get your nose out of that kitchen bin, you are not going to have the chicken bones!'), though he can hear loud clapping to get his attention and will then follow hand signals. He doesn't want as much for breakfast as he used to and doesn't like fish oil any more, but otherwise eats as usual and although thin hasn't actually lost any weight. But some weight loss is normal for oldies, as it often is for humans in old age (doesn't seem to have happened with me yet but I live in hope!).
If Gus hasn't been checked for dry eye recently it might be worth asking the vet to do it, as this is also very common in older Cavaliers, and what seems to you a dull look may be painful eyes, or possibly something like cataract. Oliver developed dry eye last year.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
Originally Posted by Kate H
Thanks Kate, Gus is actually deaf we know about 80%, he like Oliver hears loud clapping understands hand signals and hears a shout to get away from the food he is trying to steal :) Maybe he has gone a bit deafer recently...I did notice that as Gus went deaf he got VERY vocal, he always was a vocal dog but got much worse, lately he has gotten much less vocal but doesn't seem in pain or anything just quiet relaxing and couldn't be bothered, he's not ever keen on walks lately, maybe because of his disc problems or possibly a little arthritis?
I will keep a close eye on him, I'm probably just suddenly noticing his age...