Old Dogs

Each year we add a few more things to our list of important things. Many of us have old dogs. I call anything over 10 years of age an old Komondor. Many of these Komondors, even if their hips were excellent, get arthritic. It gets hard for them to get up after they have been lying down for a long time. When our dogs get in this condition, we put them on phenylbutazone, which I give them in their food. You should not do this without consulting your vet, but many vets agree that dogs have few side effects from bute, and they get a lot of relief from the aches and pains of old age. I also try to make sure my old dogs do get some exercise. Few of them will willingly go out and run around by themselves, but a slow walk does them a lot of good. I figure it does me good too. Quite a few old dogs have thyroid deficiencies. If you have blood work done, have this checked. Thyroid pills are easy to administer, and your old dog may benefit from being put on the right dosage. Old dogs who suddenly seem to walk peculiarly may need to have anal glands expressed. This is best done by your vet if it is needed. If their breath is foul, have the vet check for broken or damaged teeth. Sometimes cleaning the dog’s teeth is recommended and helps a lot. Just remember that old dogs do not tolerate anesthesia very well. Your good vet will know this. Someone gave Harapos a pad made of convoluted foam rubber (like the pads used on hospital beds) inside a washable cover. He liked it a lot. Bocs now finds it a comfort to her. I got a topper of this for my bed when I had Lyme Disease. It is extremely comfortable for me, so I know why the dogs like it.

Since I wrote this last year, I have had reports of several newer drugs that help relieve arthritic pain. One such drug is Adequan, which is given in the form of a series of shots. Another is Arquil, which is given in Pill Form. Inger Beecher, who is a veterinarian and a Komondor owner, says she has had good results with Cosequin, I don’t know what form this is given in. And, of course, Aspirin or Ascriptin are also often very useful. These and Bute are much cheaper than the new drugs. Not every drug works with every Komondor. The main thing is that there are things that will give your arthritic old dog some relief, ask your vet about your dog’s problem.