Slowing down with age

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Post by Guest on Wed Apr 11 2018, 17:43

Our girl is 11 now (maybe more because she's a rescue) and has slowed down notably in the last couple of months. Her appetite in the morning has largely disappeared, though she is glad to eat a bigger meal later in the day and overall eating much the same amount, so I'm not too worried about that.

Her weight is stable and she seems happy enough in herself with no sickness. She has always been a big girl at around 22 kilos, but being white it's hard to see any tell tale grey hair. She had heavy pigmentation under her coat when she was younger that has largely faded over the last year. Occasionally her front leg shakes when she is sat down, however it stops if she moves.

She can still cover a couple miles on a walk and really looks forward to going out, especially in the muddy woods, but the pace has really slowed to a crawl, especially on warmer days. It's only 12C outside, yet she was clearly finding it harder work today than a week ago when it was a few degrees colder, which makes me wonder how we'll manage in the summer if it goes above 20C. Have other staffie owners found they are struggling in the heat as they get older? She's fine around the house, but outdoor exercise requires a lot of patience now.

She has a few lumps and bumps, though nothing the vet thought we need worry about. Perhaps a little more stiff legged than in the past, though we give her the joint tablets to help with that and otherwise she is all good. I guess it's all just a case of getting older, but I wanted to ask if all this sounds typical for the breed?

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Post by gillybrent on Thu Apr 12 2018, 10:53

I think it's typical of most breeds.

The heat can become a problem with older dogs, they seem to find it harder to regulate their body heat & so suffer a bit. You could try taking her out early morning & late evening, with just a relaxing break in the garden during the day. Have you thought about getting her a cool mat?


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Post by Guest on Thu Apr 12 2018, 11:49

I hadn't heard about a cool mat, but that sounds like a good idea and I'll look for one. We are living in a newish house with modern insulation, which is great in the winter, but in the summer it can feel uncomfortably hot, unless all the windows are open, so I need to plan for this now. I've also noticed that she is drinking more nowadays, which may well be related.

During the recent cold snap, she was looking active and energetic when it was 3C, but now panting on a short walk when it's 12C, so I wonder how on earth they manage in hotter countries. We'll have to limit our walks to early morning and stay in the shade where possible.

I've had various breeds over the years, including an English bulldog and Bull Terriers that all slowed down with age, but I don't remember any of them being quite so obviously effected by the outdoor temperature.

She's been such a good dog and like everybody here I want to ensure she is comfortable. I released a book a couple years ago that took almost 4 years to complete and the dedication inside read "With special thanks to my dog Bailey who never left my side during the writing of this book..."

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Post by Guest on Thu Apr 12 2018, 12:05

I've just found some cooling mats on Amazon and eBay that sound brilliant. They are 5-10C lower in temperature than the ambient conditions apparently, so that would be ideal if we can get her to stay on one during the day. A cool water bath in the garden on the hotter days would help as well.

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Post by gillybrent on Thu Apr 12 2018, 14:14

Don't choose the cheapest mat - choose one that has compartments in it (a bit like quilting) so that the gel inside doesn't all end up in one corner! Also, the cheaper ones can be very thin & a claw can rip them, releasing the gel which is often toxic.

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Post by lexii on Tue Apr 17 2018, 23:56

Frankly lexi spent most of her life in bed at about 12/13/14 she would go out when she wanted, but generally was left to it. whilst exercise is important, it has to be at their pace and want. As long as you get a vet check and make sure nothing else is going on with her heart and lungs etc, id let her be. Her weight could also cause a bit of issue, so if shes not moving as much you may want to lower her calories drastically...lite foods and less to no snacks.
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Post by lexii on Tue Apr 17 2018, 23:58

Also, i see you mention you write? Im actually looking for an author...

if Admin are okay with it can we get in private contact somehow?

i dont visit the site tooo much but my email is hayleyannstokes@hotmail.com - if this is not okay admin, i apologize..
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Post by Guest on Wed Apr 18 2018, 09:28

I'll drop you a quick email separately, just to keep the thread on topic here.

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