My boy, Blaze is 11 1/2 and in the past couple of weeks we have seen signs of him slowing down some. He is having a hard time with steps all of a sudden, he hesitates and tries to avoid going up them. He used to follow me up and down all day and night, now he only goes up when he has to. We took him to the vet. He have him some anit-inflammatories and said if he is not better, they will do xrays next. I'm hoping it is a temporary problem.
Blaze is not hearing as well and not seeing that great. (he had an eye removal last year due to a tumor) and the eye he has left is getting pretty cloudy. Not a cataract, just old age. He is also slower getting up, etc. It is just tough to watch him age and I know it will be harder as he gets older. I just wondered if anyone else had a corgi around the same age that I could talk with? He is still pretty healthy and for that I am very grateful. I will cherish each day that I have left with him. I hope he has a couple of years of good health left.
@Suzanne....yeah, I still find myself catching my breath and having my stomach roll over knowing that he is getting older but I try to put those feelings aside and just enjoy every day we have. I thought we were going to lose him 3 years ago when he developed a calcification in his neck and the pain was so bad. Nothing helped and I couldn't afford the surgery he needed. I tried acupuncture as a last resort and it gave me my boy back. Normally I wouldn't have a fatty cyst removed either but this one grew so large and is low on his side and hangs down, with them being such low riders if it gets any bigger it will be hitting the ground. So out it comes.
It is hard to decide what to do when medical problems arise....are we doing what is best for our beloved pal or because we can't bear to lose them. I have had to make that decision too many times between dogs and cats and I always swear I am not going to go thru it again but my life is not complete without those 4-legged critters shedding fur all over the place.
@Jane...I give mine the 1000 caps, same ones I take. I don't break them open, just toss in with their dinner and they get hovered up with the rest of the food.
My older guy, Bert turned 11 in January - I've had him for a little over a year, and he sounds a lot like your Blaze. He's doing pretty well, but like you said he's become more hesitant about stairs - when he comes in from outside he has to stop at the bottom of the stairs and kind of psyche himself up for a couple seconds before he bounds up the steps in one go. If he's upstairs and has a real desire to see what's going on downstairs, though, he'll come trotting down the steps from the 2nd floor at a decent clip (usually for noms, ha!) I started giving him a daily glucosamine supplement, but I can't really tell if it's making a huge difference or not.
Walks are kind of similar - sometimes he just trots along like nobody's business, and then others I nearly have to drag him to keep him moving. He sleeps a lot, for sure, but he always follows me around the house, the big old sweetie! He does have hilarious bursts of energy sometimes where he'll just mash himself against the furniture and roll around for a minute or two. He usually does that right after having food or a good drink of water. Silly boy! He'll romp with my other Corgi, Jake, who is around 5, but Jake has to be the one who initiates it.
Overall he's clearly aging, but he definitely has his energetic moments, especially when he thinks we're going for a car ride - he loves those. He'll go tearing out to the garage if he even remotely thinks there's a ride in it for him! I kind of knew when I adopted him that he was going to be different from Jake because of his age, but really, he's been doing as well as I could hope, and he's such a sweetie that I hope he has many more years ahead of him. I tell everyone that I'm his retirement home! :-)
Sorry to hear you're having to deal with the vicissitudes of old age. No experience here (yet!!) with aged corgis. But I had a German shepherd who lived to advanced old age. She went blind (had pannus, a common eye ailment in GerSheps) and toward the end was mentally confused (decided the shower stall wast he dog door and kept trying to use it to get outdoors). She was very, very crippled toward the end.
One extraordinary thing did happen, though, that caused a startling improvement in her overall decrepitude. During the great melamine dog food scare, it seemed as though every commercial food on the market was putting dogs at risk. Every time I would change to a new food, that one would be recalled. In frustration, I started cooking real food for the GerShep and her pal, an equally aged greyhound.
The effect on the Shepherd was startling. Before, when she was eating commercial kibble, she could barely drag herself to her feet. Chasing the beloved Ball across the yard was out of the question -- she no longer even tried to hobble after it.
Shortly after I began to feed them a mix of cooked meat, vegetables, and starches -- within a week -- she started to revive. Suddenly she was chasing Ball again. She couldn't run the way she used to, but she would walk briskly across the yard, and now she was wanting me to throw it again. Overall, too, it appeared that she seemed to feel better. It's hard to describe: it had to do with the way she looked and the way she acted. Of course she wasn't her old puppy self, but she was more alert, appeared to be happier, and apparently simply felt less decrepit.
Feeding real food had less visible effect on the greyhound, but he was not suffering the effects of old age in the way the shepherd did. He never suffered much from arthritis, nor was he going blind and deaf. I don't know why the GerShep responded so strikingly to the diet change...but she surely did. I'll try to post my recipe at my blog here, if I can find some time in the next day or two to write it out.
@Mark....my Max is 12 and has issues with his neck but a couple of the things the acupuncture vet told me to do really helped and made life a bit easier on my old guy. If possible build a ramp for him, even it it's just for coming outside. It helps to take the pressure off his joints. We have one to go outside but not possible for inside but Max knows to only come upstairs once a day...at bedtime. Also and I know it sounds funny for a dog with 6 inch legs but raise his food and water bowl. They have ones that will only raise them 4-6 inches, again it takes pressure off the neck and shoulders. I also give Max a fish oil capsule every day with his dinner. It has the same benefits for dogs that it has for humans...heart, joints, dry skin. I use Walgreen brand, same stuff my husband and I take. Both my dogs get it....our girl Katie is 10. If you don't already use a harness for walks, again it is less stress.
May you have a lot more time with Bert and bless you for taking a senior corgi so he has a good retirement home.
This is my first and only dog, I am so grateful that we got him 11 years ago. He has brought so much joy into my life. Please keep us posted on how Max does with his surgery. Hoping and praying that everything goes well. :)
I am working on keeping Blaze downstairs so he doesn't have to go up and down all day. He doesn't most days anyway, but somedays he tries to keep up with me like he was when he was younger. I have made gates out of cardboard for now to try and keep him downstairs, we'll see how it goes.
Bert does sound just like Blaze. They are funny aren't they. Blaze does that same roll thing, on his back with his arms and legs in the air, then he swivels his hips like Elvis. Lol..It is too cute. I get so excited when I see him playing like that, he does it less often it seems, but he still does every now and then.
I know what you mean about the car rides too. He can be having a down day but if he thinks he is going to go in the car, look out, he tears through the house ready to go. I need to take him on more car rides since he enjoys them so much. It is hard for him to get in and out of the car at times, guess I can pick him up. It is difficult with their long body though, I dont want to hurt his back more.
Thanks for sharing about Bert. I love that you adopted an older dog, I'm sure he has turned out to be a huge blessing to you. I hope you guys have a lot more time together. :)
Thanks for sharing your story. It is amazing what happened when you fed your doggie real food. Blaze has had allergy issues his entire life and we have tried most foods out there before settling on Wellness Core Ocean formula. It is fish and sweet potato I believe. I have thought about cooking for him, but wasn't sure how tough that would be to make sure they get the right combo of nutrients, etc. He seems to be doing okay now on this food and has been on it for years now. It also has some supplements in it such as chrono/glucosomine. etc.
Making their food is not at all difficult, but if you're used to eating a lot of convenience foods or fast foods, it can seem time-consuming. I actually posted on the subject -- was talking about the cost -- at Funny about Money last night. If you google "funny about money blog" it should come up. Am in the middle of a large project just this moment but whenever I surface will post a description of how I make Cassie's food.
Linda-I'm curious to know more about the fish oil suppliments. I currently have Noodles on a joint suppliment type powder, but to be honest with you, I haven't noticed that it is making much of a difference. The fish oil suppliments I take are rather huge (I get the 2-pack from Costoc and I don't know how many mg are in them.) and I highly doubt Noodles would eat that. Do you think it would be okay to open a capsule up and pour that over his food? I'm curious to know if the fish oil might work better than the current joint suppliment I'm giving him. I'd rather give him fish oil and have that help his joints than have to give him his pain medicine since that can be hard on his liver. Thanks for the additional information. (Oh, Noods just turned 9 and he was diagnosed with arthritis in his front legs)
Suzanne....Max has a hard time getting in the car too and I have a fusion in my lower spine so he's a bit over my weight limit to pick up. What I do is get his front paws in the car...mostly he will do that on his own...and then I lift up his hind end and in he goes. And once in awhile he is just plain stubborn old corgi and I do have to lift him up...I pay for it but can't be helped. I do have to lift him out but that is easier on my back.
Mark....both of mine love doing that roll on the back. Max adores doing it on the grass. Enjoy the time you have with him.