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Elderly Staffie not doing well.

(14 Posts)
ExConstance Tue 10-Jan-17 13:21:01

Dear Butch was 12 last September. He is an ex rescue dog who was kennelled for 2 years before we took him in and has always had rather stiff back legs. When we first got him, 4 years ago, he was quite lively and enjoyed two thirty minute walks a day across the fields and could do 3 miles or so at the weekend or if we were away with him. He has aged a lot over the last 6 months or so and now only goes "round the block" his back legs are a bit wobbly and although he is pain free, we think, as the vet has prescribed Metacam he struggles to get downstairs, sometimes falling half way, he struggles to get on the sofa and his back legs sometimes do the splits on the kitchen floor. The essential dog is still very much there, he eats very well, wags his tail and has the odd short frolic from time to time, rolling about on his back. He spends most of his time asleep, not even bothering to come out to meet visitors or delivery people. I'd hoped he would be like other medium dog breeds and live to around 16 but we are very worried about him at the moment. Before we go back to the vet's does anyone have any suggestions as to how to help him or what the vet might be able to do? Am I being unrealistic to expect him to live much beyond his present age? He is a lovely lovely dog ( except to other dogs, in fairness) and we would be really upset to lose him.

Penvelopesnightie Tue 10-Jan-17 13:27:02

If it's any comfort , my staffer is nearly 13 and she eats really well and has two half hour walks with me aday . However, she looks very frail, looks like she doesn't eat at all even tho she has two meals and snacks a day. She can walk ok and get up and down stairs but she looks like a bag of bones or just " A very old lady" . She loves sleep but always has . But I think she's probably on her last legs . Johnny Vaughn ( the radio presenter) said once he's bulldogs and staffys never get beyond 12 or 13 years .

ExConstance Tue 10-Jan-17 13:40:46

We have had a bit of a sad time with dogs of late. Our Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen died just over 6 years ago in his sleep after 15 wonderful years. Our first Staffie who was a really lovely dog too developed leukaemia and was only with us 18 months, he had had a rough life and was very threadbare and warty and it seemed that he had only just settled in before we lost him. Butch was 8 when he arrived, it seemed young to us but the years have just flown by, just hope we have another year or so, 12 seems young when our first dog made it to 17.

pigsDOfly Tue 10-Jan-17 14:15:32

Sounds like it's been a really tough time for you ExConstance. I hope the vet can find a way help with your Staffie. It does sound as if he still has a good quality of life generally though, so maybe it's just a case of managing his limitations.

It's never long enough though is it? Dogs live such a short time. My dog will be six in April - had her since she was eight weeks old and I retired - and I have no idea where the years have gone. I'm just hoping that we can grow old together; I dread her going.

LaGattaNera Tue 10-Jan-17 18:15:52

I lost my staffie cross last Friday aged 14 due to kidney failure - he was a rescue and I only had him 2 years - he became ill 6 months ago but after a couple of days on a drip at vets, recovered well but went downhill very suddenly between Xmas and the new year and even after a couple of days on the drip he just didn't rally and was so poorly and disorientated I had to let him go.
When he came to me, he had stiff back legs but still walked for half an hour 2 or 3 times a day. As he got older, he still wanted to go out 3 times a day but for less time, gradually decreased to 20 mins then 15 then 10.
What is worrying to me about your post is the splits. I lost one of my elderly greyhounds 4 years ago after she did the splits and basically could not get up again. I gave her time to recover etc but hours later she was still paralysed.
Can you lift him on to the sofa at all and carry him down the stairs? Just thinking of things that will help him and keep him safe.
I felt that my dog really seemed to slow down in the last 6 months it was really noticeable - even as a 12 year old he was playful and puppyish loved his toys and ball and cuddling on the sofa but over time although happy and friendly, he did spend more time sleeping.
I have never heard of a staffie getting to 16 myself although I'm sure someone will say differently. By all accounts, mine did well to get to 14. Yours does sound like he has a while left but just at a slower pace. Good luck

Penvelopesnightie Tue 10-Jan-17 18:27:52

LaGattaNera: That's very sad . Staffies are so loving and affectionate , you must be missing him so much. I have never heard of a staffy getting beyond that age either.

LaGattaNera Tue 10-Jan-17 18:34:57

Yes I do I am still getting teary - I live on my own so it was just him and me and I will have to get another and it will have to be a staffie or staffie cross.

user1471453601 Tue 10-Jan-17 18:56:54

Ex, my staffie cross is about the same age. She Still seems to enjoy her food and our company. However, she hates to walk for more than ten minutes and its clear when she goes up and down stairs that her legs are not what they were. She's as deaf as a post (as am I) and she pees unpredictably (once on DDs DP s bed, when DP was in it).

I've also noticed some signs of possible demantia. She will sometimes stand looking at the floor until I touch her and "bring her " back. She will also get confused about where the outside door is.

I'm desperately sad, and as soon as she no longer seems to get joy from us / her food, I will do the kind thing. Meanwhile, I monitor her temperament very closely. So far she just seems less bothered about other people and dogs.

It's sad, but it's the price we pay to have thes wonderful creatures in our lives

ExConstance Wed 11-Jan-17 10:25:50

Butch is a bit better today, he seems to have realised there is only one way downstairs and that standing sideways on a step only means he will fall and roll the rest of the way. DS2 came home for 10 days yesterday, he is Butch's number one favourite person in the world, which accounts for his increased vigour. We have put our holiday plans for this year on hold and will be the best doggy parents we can be to make what is probably his final year a good one. La GattaNero - sorry for your loss, there really is no other dog like a Staffie, before we got our first we couldn't understand the affection they engender, but I would find it hard to accept another breed as a pet now.

LaGattaNera Wed 11-Jan-17 14:14:44

Ah I hope Butch has a great 10 days!

pigsDOfly Wed 11-Jan-17 14:50:59

That's good to hear. Hope he enjoys your DS being home.

slinkysaluki Thu 12-Jan-17 07:49:06

Ask your vet about Cartrophen injections. My greyhound had arthritis and had a course if four injections one per week and then topped up when needed it cost 70 pounds and it helped her. The other thing that was good as a joint supplement called Mobile Bones which is in powder form which you add to their food. I used to use salmon oil or olive oil also a glug in food once a day. The mobile bones supplement helped her a lot.

ExConstance Thu 12-Jan-17 13:00:52

Thank you, slinky, we will be going to the vet's next week so I'll ask her then

slinkysaluki Thu 12-Jan-17 19:19:13

Hope your vet can help bless her x

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