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Elderly dog owners

We have a nearly 16 yo Springer who has arthritis, heart disease & some'dementia' & hes lost weight. He can still manage the stairs (with a bit of help) but  a few nights ago had a sort of 'turn' when he got to his bed. He just stood there, legs went, his eyes rolled, he peed himself & his breathing went heavy. He then settled, slept all night as usual & was fine the next morning. This has happened a few times now & Ive taken to sleeping downstairs so he doesnt have to go upstairs as he stresses if hes not near me.
Any ideas re his funny turns? & getting some weight back on him? hes gone off his dried food (which Ive been feeding wet as hes lost some teeth) but will eat anything else but have to be careful what I give him as he has a funny tummy.
sorry for the long post  

Hi Sapphire,

It is so difficult with our beloved old dogs, we love them and want them to have "quality if life", but you know, your old guy at 16 (a great age for any dog to get to) is really not going to be getting much better. His old age seizures are probably little strokes, (transient ischemic attacks) and he may well continue to have them. They do sometimes go together with dementia. I think you are right to sleep close to him, so you can, put him out if he needs to go, or just be near him if he is stressed at all.

His eating, well you know, at his age, and given his problems, I would feed him pretty much whatever he will eat, maybe some chicken and rice, or veggies, or even brown bread with gravy on, anything that would tickle his old taste buds and cheer him up, without being to much for his tum. Chappie, believe it ir not is a great food, and very gentle on a dogs digestive system, and usually they love it.

I hope your old guy has many a long and happy day to come, and that between you you find something he likes and can tolerate.

It's sad when your best friend gets to an age when the best years are behind them, it sounds like a mini stroke or fit, to me , i have had this with 2 of my dogs in the last 5 years , it was a hard time and hard decisions had to be made , hopefully it was a one of , all the best.

Sorry Sapphire, I have no advice - what Conundrum has posted seems to cover it all.
Hope All goes well.

I wanted to thank Conundrum for the heads up about Chappie, I shall ceratinly bear it in mind because Jilly has spells of upset tums and poor appetite (she's 12)

Sapphire, having the age he has .........maybe a trip to the vets might be a good idea.

There is a reason he has gone off his kibble, go get him checked over, it will give you peace of mind.

Ours are fed on chappie and boiled rice every day, and have been for some years now.

When the shooting season starts they are given raw green tripe every other day as I think they need a little extra, this seems to keep them in good shape.

Even if the old boy passes wind a few extra times during the evening, when they get to bad, he leaves the room and goes back to his bed.

Sorry for your problems he sounds a great one with our dogs as they live on meat/bones when they get old we feed them minced beef or horse and give them Glucosamine which seems to help their joints. Our houses have all been 1 story so that helps. All the best with him

Mum's dog got old and ancient and went off her food for a while all she would have was sausages, then not even those, but we found she liked custard creams, so she spent the latter part of her life on custard creams with the occasional chocolate digestive and bit of sausage.

Vet came to the house in the end, but she had a good life, and that is all you can really ask for yourself or your dog    

I feel for any dog owner in this sort of situation....believe me after we lost our last two dogs, through age.....
I'm sure you will continue to look after your cherish pet for as long as possible and will only do the best you can, for as long as you can...

Just hope "He" has as many happy days to come as possible...
Love to all from OH & Myself....

Sapphire-has he had his heart checked recently? If you say he has heart disease this many have progressed and he could be in chronic heart failure, which could cause collapse after exertion (climbing the stairs). It would be worth getting him checked over as if he isn't already on medication there is stuff available that could improve his condition and give him a more comfortable life by reducing fluid build up in his lungs. But as said previously his is a good age and unfortunately lots of things in his poor old body won't be working as well as they should.

I had a talk to all our family (dogs) and they send their love and good health((((vibes)))) to him too

Thank you so much for all your replies & good wishes & all the great tips  

Touch wood, he has his appetite back:chufted: , though has decided he doesnt 'like' his biscuits now    have bought some Chappie which he is eating well, he also has raw egg & probiotic yoghurt (vets tip) with his wet biscuits so will lick all this off them. He has eaten really well today.
Since Ive been sleeping downstairs with him he doesnt appear to have had a 'bad turn'. Also he hasnt spent much time standing in a corner or circling or getting stuck between the furniture at the moment. Im very lucky in that he still asks to go out & he still flumps our JRT when he feels like it.
He has been on Vasotop since 2010 & also has Loxicom. I also give him codliver oil, garlic.

Border, think I'll give the raw green tripe a miss     hes always been rather windy  

Anyway, keeping everything crossed that he wont get any worse, have told OH he will have to carry him up to bed  

Just a short update.

Thanks again for the tip about Chappie   he has been on it nearly a week now & asks for it - in fact everytime I go to the pet cupboard he is there    Hasnt upset his stomach which appears quite settled at the moment since starting the wet food. Im still downstairs with him til we can work out something for him to be back on his bed upstairs. Any ideas?
Touch wood, hasnt had a 'turn' so far this week & hes got a spark in his eye & wants a cuddle  

Glad to hear the old boy is a little better, and hope he continues to make progress.

Its always a good sign when they want to eat

That's certainly good news that he seems to be feeling better. I'm another one who would recommend Chappie for delicate tums - this was suggested by our UK vet both for a healthy but elderly rough collie, and our EPIer, Ebony, who needed a low fat/low fibre diet. It smells awful, I know, but seems to be very easily digested. The Chappie kibble is good, too.


Great news    

Good news  

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