It is hard watching a beloved pet get old. Our little miniature dachshund, Suki, is 15 years old now. She was doing pretty good until her heart started giving her problems. The vet said it was the beginnings of congestive heart failure and gave us a couple of prescriptions. After that, a lot changed.
She has gotten more anxious. She used to snuggle down in any available lap, but now gets distressed if you pick her up and she can't sit still in a lap most of the time. Sometimes she just paces in circles for a couple of hours, til she tires herself out, then we put her in her bed and she is quiet for a while. She has good days and bad, but isn't in pain and still eats good. She was never perfect on potty training, but seems to be getting worse. Sometimes when she paces, it is because she needs to go outside but can't seem to tell us that anymore.
Nights have been the hardest. She can't go all night now without needing to go out and was soiling her bed at night. We put a large (St Bernard sized) wire crate in the living room and she sleeps there now. We put disposable doggie potty pads at the front of it and her bed at the back on a raised rubber cushion. That allows her to get up as much as she needs to at night and keeps her bed up where it doesn't get wet--most of the time. I bought 3 small, washable beds at a big box store for $5 each and just swap them out.
She stays there in the daytime now if we have to leave the house. We know she is safe in the crate and we don't have to worry about her trying to get up or down on the couch. Our other doxie has gotten a little aggressive with her as she has declined, which also worries us, so we separate them if we aren't home.
I think the medications are causing the anxiety. She is also more sensitive to cold. There were a couple of really cold mornings (we're talking zero degrees) where she cried like she was in pain when we took her out. She kept lifting her feet up off the snow like it was hurting her. Later in the day, when it warmed up to 40ish, she didn't do that.
We know we will be faced with a hard decision soon, but for now she has more good days than bad, so we will all just cope. She has been part of the family for 12 years and we will see this through with her.
I have a 9 lb. doxie that takes pills for her heart twice a day. If you've ever had to stuff pills down a dogs throat, you know what a battle it can turn in to. She is old and getting frail so I don't want to wrestle with her twice a day to get her pills down her throat. Like most dogs, she loves peanut butter, so I made 'pill pockets' from one part creamy peanut butter mixed with two parts coconut flour and so far, she gobbles it right down with no fuss. I keep a small bowl in the fridge now so I can just grab a little at pill time. The nice thing is that when my other little dog gives me the "Where's my treat?" look, I can give him a little piece too, sans pills.
We have a Weimaraner, Babe, who is 18 years old and has arthritis, particularly in his hindquarters. To top it off, he some how jerked the nail out of one toe and it got infected. That means horse pill sized antibiotics twice a day, along with pills for his arthritis. He is way to big for me to wrestle down and stuff pills down his throat plus he is so old I don't want to do that to him. Actually, I don't want to do that to any dog.
I have yet to meet a dog that doesn't love peanut butter. We never keep things around like Velveeta or hot dogs, in part because the people in the house can't leave them alone and they settle straight to the bottom and clog arteries. My husband always has flour tortillas in the fridge, however. I tore off a little piece of tortilla, smeared it with peanut butter, stuck the pills in it and folded it up. When I offered it to Babe, he snarfed it down, no questions asked. Certainly makes my life easier and he thinks he is getting a yummy treat twice a day. Now if he would just stop butting me with his E-collar....I'll be glad when that toe gets well.
Hi there! I am Jeannine.
I believe that a holistic and balanced approach to life is a must when living with an autoimmune disease. I share gluten and dairy free recipes and all the other things I do here. I just like doing stuff and making stuff.
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