geriatric dog issues (1 Viewer)

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Hey all.

I have a 16 year old Brittany Spaniel who has started to lose her marbles a bit. K and I are both at work full time and the dog always stays at home, has the run of the house but will typically just sleep on her bed most of the day. She has always been super house trained and done her business outside. Lately, she poops in the house while we're at work. To make matters worse, she's now unable to relax and walks around the house all day long. Sometimes it can be a real mess when we get home.

We're at our wit's end. Every night when we get home we have to clean up after the dog. Luckily we have wood floors, but it's still a real hassle.

We've altered her diet, put her on different dog food, we've stepped back her meals to one a day (in the evening) vs. two meals / day.

Any suggestions on how to make our lives easier as we make this transition? We love the dog, but the mess has got to stop!
 

splitshot

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Has she ever been crate trained?
Sad situation, but if she has, she may be ok with going back to it.
 
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splitshot said:
Has she ever been crate trained?
Sad situation, but if she has, she may be ok with going back to it.
Thought about the crate but she'll just make a complete mess of herself. It's easier to clean the floors than give her a bath every night.
 
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Thinking out loud here, just throwing out ideas. I wonder if dog diapers would work? May still have to clean her up at night on occasion, but it saves the floors.

Thoughts?

S
 

Jomama

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My last dog had similar probs when she hit 15... Letting her out more often is all you can really do afaik... Friend or neighbor around that could let her out during the day? Otherwise you might seek out a "dog walker/sitter" type business and see if they could help letting her out more..
 
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My last dog had similar probs when she hit 15... Letting her out more often is all you can really do afaik... Friend or neighbor around that could let her out during the day? Otherwise you might seek out a "dog walker/sitter" type business and see if they could help letting her out more..
That was something we looked at too. $15/day? Yipes.

We're also in a bit of a "transitional neighborhood". Not too many of our immediate neighbors get to look in beyond the front door, that is, if we even respond to the knock. :rolleyes:

S
 

splitshot

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Sounds like it is time then to put up with the old gal while she still has a quality of life. Maybe confine her to a smaller area in the household she is comfortable with, install a doggie door (although if she has never used one, that may be a challenge to get her to use it).
Also there may be something deeper than incontinence here, have you talked to the vet?
 
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splitshot said:
Sounds like it is time then to put up with the old gal while she still has a quality of life. Maybe confine her to a smaller area in the household she is comfortable with, install a doggie door (although if she has never used one, that may be a challenge to get her to use it).
Also there may be something deeper than incontinence here, have you talked to the vet?
Not about this situation. She's had a few seizures and has been in and out of the vets for close monitoring. I may consult the vet about it sure enough. In the meantime she's going to give adult diapers a try. Made a special trip for some on my way home tonight!
 
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What Slipshot said. We've been through this with dogs we have fostered. Make an appointment and take her to the vet. Your canine can't be comfortable with all this either. We know it's hard on all involved as quality of life is important to all members of the family.
 
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Have you thought about putting her down?
Sure. I'll just put down grandma too, since she doesn't know what time it is, smokes in the house, smacks my butt and calls me Larry.

I'm going to pretend you didn't suggest that. Her quality of life hasn't depleted in the least. Until she stops eating and takes no interest in us or things around her - euthanizing her is not on the board.
 
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Sure. I'll just put down grandma too, since she doesn't know what time it is, smokes in the house, smacks my butt and calls me Larry.

I'm going to pretend you didn't suggest that. Her quality of life hasn't depleted in the least. Until she stops eating and takes no interest in us or things around her - euthanizing her is not on the board.
I don't think wob was going for anything cruel. Never an easy thing to even consider. There's no question that you're in a tough spot. I've got two that are over age 12 so I worry about the same thing. At 47 I wonder if I'll even get a new furry friend when the time comes. I hope you find a solution and good luck with your dog.
 

wob

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Yeah, not really going for that at all. I've got an old neurotic lab that's going on twelve now, and is going downhill pretty quickly, so I've been thinking about it again. My "rules" as far as when to put one down are as follows.

untreatable pain
can't get up / walk around
stops eating
incontinence

I base this on when I would want to be put down. YMMV. I do love my dogs, but I'm not going to keep one around that craps the place up, especially inside my house.
 
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Yeah, not really going for that at all. I've got an old neurotic lab that's going on twelve now, and is going downhill pretty quickly, so I've been thinking about it again. My "rules" as far as when to put one down are as follows.

untreatable pain
can't get up / walk around
stops eating
incontinence

I base this on when I would want to be put down. YMMV. I do love my dogs, but I'm not going to keep one around that craps the place up, especially inside my house.
She's definitely one down on the list, and unfortunately it's the worst out of the four. I've been experimenting with doggie diapers the last few weeks and as long as you get them on tight, they seem to work. I had one incident where my fiancee went home at lunch to check on her, removed the diaper, let her out (she didn't do anything), then put the diaper back on her and left. She unfortunately didn't put the diaper on snug and of course, she made another mess. It's just going to be a battle of patience until something worse happens or another item on the list gets checked off. She's certainly going down hill, but she hasn't lost interest in any of the other things that she enjoys - so we're trying to stomach the incontinence issue for now. We all know what the eventual outcome will be, so we're just trying to get as much quality time as we can.

Sorry to jump on the euthanization remark, but you have to admit at least the grandma joke was kinda funny.

S
 

wob

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Oh I know- my post did sound crass.

It sucks what you're going through. I had to put my best dog down about five years ago due to cancer - it sucked. It was a tough call, and I told myself I wouldnt let him suffer or lose his dignity (as dumb as the "dignity" thing sounds when talking about a ten year plus dog)... It took me three trips with him in the car to the vet before I could pull the trigger. He never really got too bad, but when it was over, I was glad I did it.

I've seen my parents and others wait too long to do it with their pets, and they've regretted it. Good luck...
 
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wob said:
Oh I know- my post did sound crass.

It sucks what you're going through. I had to put my best dog down about five years ago due to cancer - it sucked. It was a tough call, and I told myself I wouldnt let him suffer or lose his dignity (as dumb as the "dignity" thing sounds when talking about a ten year plus dog)... It took me three trips with him in the car to the vet before I could pull the trigger. He never really got too bad, but when it was over, I was glad I did it.

I've seen my parents and others wait too long to do it with their pets, and they've regretted it. Good luck...
Thanks!
 
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One of ours is around 16 1/2, and she has her days where she is just as you described, and then there are days/weeks, where she is as sweet as ever. We noticed that if anything changes in her diet, it sets her off on a bad "trip". She still has the whole house, along with our two Dobes, but we gave her an area in the basement to go do her business...if she has to...and she does go in that one area when she has to. Not the best, I know, but under the circumstances, we can live with the arrangement.

Not to sure I like the idea of diapers, although I do understand why. Have you considered giving her a corner of a room, say like the kitchen, where you could lay down some old newspapers for her to go on when you are not home? I worry about the diaper starting to irritate her, which could lead to her constantly licking her sore area, which could lead to more problems, and so on.

I didn't take it the wrong way wob, we know that this isn't chat, and we all have to think about it eventually...it is just part of having a dog in our lives. I have shed many tears over the years when that time has come, but they just have so much love to give, that there will always be at least two in our home :beer:
 
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I didn't take it the wrong way wob, we know that this isn't chat, and we all have to think about it eventually...it is just part of having a dog in our lives. :beer:
Perhaps I'm just sensitive. :meh:

We have one hallway in our house that is ideal for cordoning her off from the rest of the house. We've put down a sheet of plastic and secured with painter's tape around all corners. We gave up because it's a lot of friggin work each and every night. We tried newspapers but because she's loopy and can't relax during the day while we're gone she walks around and around and around all day. By the end of the day, all papers are shredded and pushed out of the hallway. So, that's when we landed on the diaper approach. So far it seems to be working. I will probably have to give her a bath this weekend but it doesn't seem to be making a mess on her as I thought it would.

We'll keep it up until this method no longer works! It would be nice to have the luxury of a basement or a space that's away from "traffic". Unfortunately it's our "city" house, which means it's on the small side.

Thanks for all the ideas guys. Keep 'em coming.
 
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The one thing I have learned is that no two cases are alike. Keep doing what is working for you guys, and be patient with the poor thing. All these years all we received was love, and I agree with you, it is the least we can do for all that they have given us over the years.

Have you tried going for longer walks in the morning before work to tire her out? Did you notice anything in particular before she started acting strange?
 
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There is nothing like a dog (or a few!), that is for sure. Our Katie, about 4 years ago at age 15 had a couple of strokes and would walk circles and mess everywhere after years of no problems. We got one of the big kiddy play pens and kept her in there during the day. It was maybe about 6 feet diameter, and we put her bed in there with her and the water. (On Tile) It kept the cleaning down a bit, but nothing mattered once you knew she was suffering. Hope the best for you, your dog will always be there, whether it is physical or not.
 

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