1. WELCOME

    To join the conversation, please register. It only takes a minute!

Senior dog behaviors

Discussion in 'Senior Labradors' started by mom2labs, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. mom2labs

    mom2labs Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    121
    Our 11 yr old lab has always been a fairly mellow dog, but he is 11 now and lately he just seems to not be acting himself. One thing we know is he isn't hearing as well. In March he was treated for an ear infection and unfortunately the medication they used one of the side effects is deafness, I can't remember the percentage something like 80% of dogs it will return, some to all. Thankfully at that time about 3 -4 weeks later it seemed his hearing was much better. However, over the last couple of weeks, it seems to have decreased again. Not sure if this could still be a cause from medication or not.
    He has also really slowed down, he is eating, drinking and pottying fine, he just seems, slow. He seems to pant more than he did a year or more ago, I'm not sure if I would call it excessive not sure how to determine excessive or not. He doesn't seem to get "excited" as much about things he used to. He seems to have periods but not as much. Should we be concerned?
    Back in April they ran a full panel of blood work, and other tests and it was all normal, his heart is good. Is this just signs of old age? We are so scared. Oh one other thing we noticed is when he pants some times he will drool not a lot around his mouth more in the front in a single drool
     
  2. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    5,130
    Sorry to hear your dog doesn't seem quite right. I think you should listen to your gut instinct. It sounds as though he needs another vet check. Lots of things can cause drooling - it could be as simple as a sore tooth for example, and pain can make a dog seem a bit down - but a vet would be able to reassure you and make sure there is nothing else going on. I hope everything is okay
     
    Emily_BabbelHund likes this.
  3. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Longest on the Forum without an actual dog Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,960
    Location:
    Regensburg, Germany (Bavaria)
    I definitely second the idea of getting him to the vet again. 11 was the age that my dog developed thyroid problems. Like you, I'd done the full blood panel several months before and all was fine, but suddenly I had a pup without his normal energy or spark. As soon as he got on thyroid medication, he was so much better again. Not saying that's what your dog has, only that things can change quickly and may be relatively simple to remedy, like my boy's thyroid or Pippa's idea of a sore tooth.

    While a larger breed than a Lab and therefore 'older' at 11 than most Labs, my boy did decide at 11 that he was 'retired'. That was the age he slowed down and started to take a decidedly 'when I want to' attitude towards work. He also went deaf that year. While I was very saddened to see signs of ageing in my boy, I have to say that I was absolutely beguiled by the sassier, (sometimes) grumpy old man version of the dog I'd loved his whole life. He made me laugh so much during his senior years! Also deafness was way more of an issue for me, he wasn't upset by it in the least. I expanded his existing hand signal repertoire and we just got on with it.

    I just mention this to say that even if some of the changes in your pup are down to age, in many ways the senior years can be even more rewarding than having a young dog, just different. I hope all goes well for you and your boy.
     
  4. Thirteen

    Thirteen Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Beattie went deaf pretty quickly in the last few months. Hand signals are the answer. I have always used a hand signal for sit and down and she has picked a hand signal for come and go out or go in that direction really quickly. She’s still alert and bright eyed and has the perfect excuse for wandering off on a walk without having to use selective hearing. I try not to approach her from behind when I have been out of the room and gently stroke her nose if I want to wake her. She uses eye contact pretty efficiently too. I taught deaf children so probably know the snags. It isn’t too much of a problem. She looks for me more than previously and gets a good dose of stroking.
     
    pippa@labforumHQ likes this.
  5. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2018
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    A vet check would be a really good idea, but bear in mind that conditions like arthritis can be really hard to definitively diagnose without x-rays and general anaesthetics etc.

    You can ask the vet about trialling a course of pain killer - like Metacam or Rimadyl - and seeing if any of the behaviours improve whilst he is on this. If they do, you can be sure that he was in pain of some sort. Once you know that, you just have to find out what is causing the pain.

    There are many natural supplements which are effective against arthritis (they are used in human arthritis and recommended on Arthritis UK for humans with a research base behind them) and don't have the same side effects as being permanently on NSAIDs. So if you do determine it's arthritis, post again...

    Deafness is very common in older dogs and it can come on quite suddenly. Their eyesight deteriorates just as much but we probably notice that less because they can compensate more through smell/scent.
     
  6. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    20,176
    Mmm.....doesn't Arthritis UK say that fish oil is a good idea...and nothing else much gets a look in?

    https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org...ntary-medicines-for-rheumatoid-arthritis.aspx
     
  7. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    7,301
  8. Aisling Labs

    Aisling Labs Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    Florida
    Our five year old ED and HD afflicted Angus gets Fish Oil and Vitamin E along with a Glouc/MSM every day. Take away any of those for as little as three days and we see him slow down and limp. We are able to treat for pain when needed rather than every day using these supplements.
     
  9. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2018
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    Yes, the link which Beanwood has given - it shows many more natural treatments and rates them by safety and efficacy and is a great starting point when considering supplements for dogs.
     
  10. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    20,176
    Well, not really. It has only a couple of products with anything like a decent score for effectiveness (but which I will go and read the detailed reports for - and revert back :D ).
     
  11. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    20,176
    Plus, it's not actually about dogs....or safety of rubbing derivatives of (for example) chilli pepper directly onto a dog. Yet to read far enough to see if they have considered the fact there might be fur in the way! :D Or the patient will lick it off...
     
  12. Cupcase

    Cupcase Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    324
    JulieT likes this.

Share This Page