Older Dog Behavior/Feeding Questions

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Older Dog Behavior/Feeding Questions

Postby LMayhew » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:43 pm

It's been a while since I've posted, but everyone has been so helpful in the past, I am hoping you will have some good suggestions.

Darby - now 15 1/2! - has had run of the house and yard since he was two. He really likes his doggie door and running in and out. Last week, he went outside in the morning, laid down for a nap in partial sun, and never came in out of the heat. It was over a 100 degrees that day, and the partial sun became full sun at noon. I think he might have gotten really hurt, but a utility worker saw him and called animal control, who then contacted us. Our vet thinks he just doesn't realize he should come inside until he's gotten overheated and is too weak to come inside. So, we tried locking him inside and using diapers and puppy pads for about 5 days, since we know he can't hold it very long. This was a disaster. He was totally confused (and mad) by the new routine, his poop actually came out of the diaper tail hole, so it got all over the house anyway. While it is so hot, we are thinking it might be better to keep his doggy door open, but block the yard, so he just has access to a small, shady part of the yard. That way, if he goes out and doesn't come in, he'll at least be in the shade. I've started leaving water bowls outside (never needed to before) and he seems to really like them. But are there any other thoughts on how we could handle this?

Also, he is very skinny. He used to be 42 pounds in his prime and now weighs 36! We ran some blood tests on him last week and his liver is not in the best shape. We've been trying to help his liver function well for several years now. We give him daily Denamarin, which helped for a while, but is having less impact now. Because of his liver problems, he's also anemic. I feed him dry food in the morning and "mush" (chicken or fish with canned veggies) for dinner. I checked mu Natural Dog food book and will make some adjustments for the "liver" diet. Any other ideas on how I can fatten up an older dog?

Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you for your help!
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Re: Older Dog Behavior/Feeding Questions

Postby Frisco » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:17 am

My older dog also had liver problems for the last three years of his life along with Laryngeal Paralysis. To keep the weight on him I gave him egg noodles with his dry food. He loved it. He was also on Denamarin. I considered it a miracle drug as it brought him back after liver failure at age 11. He lived 3 more years until he developed Megasophagus. It is hard watching our dogs get old and go down hill. My boys are 11 and 2. The young one keeps the older one active. Good luck!
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Re: Older Dog Behavior/Feeding Questions

Postby StFrost » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:01 pm

Our 17 year old exhibited the same confusion and problems in the yard and was diagnosed with Canine Dementia (cognitive dysfunction). I believe you are on the right track with blocking off part of the yard, that way he still has access to the familiar but lessons the chance of the overheating. I had to physically remind my dog to come in, usually just a touch got her back on track. I found her many times though lost in a corner or doing laps in the yard...

Some supplements that were recommended were fish oil and Cosequin. We did not notice any change, but then again she was 17.

For fattening up, there is a recipe somewhere on this site for "Satin Balls"...here is link for one recipe I found, but the amount of grains in this is larger than I remember.
http://www.food.com/recipe/satin-balls-50904
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Re: Older Dog Behavior/Feeding Questions

Postby LMayhew » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:00 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. The Satin Treat recipe sounds promising, as do egg noodles. So far, Darby is enjoying his extra meal - it might be giving him a bit more energy, or maybe he is more relaxed without the stupid diaper - but he has seemed pretty happy for the past few days.

He sounds like your older dog, St. Frost. He gets a little lost sometimes, but a light touch gets his attention. And like your dog, Frisco, he's been on the Denamarin for several years. We caught his liver trouble when I brought him in to get his teeth done. The Denamarin has done it's job for several years, and definitely has helped him.

While it is hard to see him a little out of it, I try to think that he's just becoming a puppy again with somewhat unpredictable behavior!
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Re: Older Dog Behavior/Feeding Questions

Postby janjan697 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:15 pm

To gain weight I used salmon oil as recommended by my vet Have to increase slowly though to avoid loose stool.
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