Keeping my senior dog spry

meezyballsmile pt

November is Adopt a Senior Dog Month.

We didn’t set out to adopt a senior, but Mia fell into our laps three years ago and I have nothing but good things to say about adopting seniors. I’d do it again (and probably will). You should too.

With younger dogs, I’ve been guilty of not taking them to the vet for regular check-ups when they seem perfectly fine, but I decided to be more proactive with Mia.

It’s odd to have no idea what your dog’s medical history is. When we first got Mia, we tested her blood, and learned that she had high antibody levels for parvo, distemper and rabies. As far as I’m concerned, that means she never needs to be vaccinated again. And I’m lucky that my local licensing agency accepts titers as proof of rabies immunity.

On the first anniversary of her life with us, I had Mia’s hips X-rayed. She had some arthritis in her right hip, but nothing serious or unusual.

A few months ago, the vet made Mia squeak when he checked her right hip. I didn’t even notice, because she squeaks a lot, especially at the vet. He suggested I consider putting her on arthritis medication, and I said I’d give it some thought. I’d gotten pretty lax about adding the K9 Glucosamine to Mia’s meals; maybe I should try that first. And add salmon oil to the cocktail.

No need to rush into drugs since Mia hadn’t shown any signs of discomfort in her right hip.

She could still keep up with Leo in the yard and leapt on the couch easily as always. Until the one day when I watched her hop down from the couch favoring her right leg. I followed her around the house and outside, watching her. She was clearly limping, not putting weight on her right leg.

The limp went away a couple of days later, but my decision had been made. I googled all the side effects of NSAIDs for dogs and no question, the benefits of easing Mia’s pain outweigh any potential risks. We’ll have her blood checked regularly to make sure there’s no liver toxicity.

On the way home from picking up her prescription, I asked, “Mia, how would you like to take your pill? With peanut butter or cheese?” She voted cheese.

Three weeks later, we had our first blood test. The doctor said the levels in her liver were fine, low even. He asked how she was doing. I said, “She’s running faster.”

I expect that sooner or later, she’s going to figure out to swallow the cheese and spit out the pill, so to make life easier and save money, both on the pills and the string cheese, I mail-ordered meat-flavored generic Quellin chewables. I can’t wait for them to get here.

fitDogFridayThis post is part of the FitDog Friday Blog Hop hosted by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life.

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It’s also Pet Health Awareness Month!

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5 thoughts on “Keeping my senior dog spry

  1. How old is Mia? She looks great! Beebs is 14.5 and her hips have pretty much given out. We have her on NSAIDs, too, and it was a hard decision but I think the results outweigh the risks. And the vet basically said that she’s at the end of her life and it’s best to keep her comfortable. She still takes walks each day and plays hide ‘n seek with her squeaky toys, but other than that she has really aged, fast, though probably it wasn’t that fast, probably it was so gradual that we didn’t notice it. But oh, I wish we could run together in the mountains again! I wish that more than anything. Pets to Mia, and take care.

  2. Thanks! I love the name Beebs, by the way. We call Mia “Meems” sometimes. We think she’s 10. I’ve have a couple of complete strangers say, “Oh no, she looks like she’s 12.” Which I find very rude.

  3. Thanks for joining the Hop. We’ve had most of our seniors on NSAIDs too and luckily no bad results. Keeping them active is so important and that’s tough when it hurts.

  4. Thankfully my senior sis has great hips, but she has arthritis pretty bad. She has slowed down, but she is still walking, slowly, but walking and occasionally, she will run for a couple of minutes. Thanks for joining the hop!

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