Taking care of our elderly canine

We have an Australian Shepherd that turned 14 in September of 2013, he’s a really good dog. There have been a couple times that I really though we were going to loose him in the last year, but he’s really pulled through, surprising both of us. He suffers from some dementia, tending to get stuck in corners or in the bathroom between the toilet and the bathtub, why he even goes in the bathroom, I have no idea. I’m going to put out there what kind of supplements I give him, your mileage may vary on taking care of your elderly canine, but this works for my dog. I am including amazon links to the products I use, but I have found some cheaper localy, you just have to look for yourself.

I have had him on cholodin since just after the dementia started and it makes an amazing difference in his general confusion.
http://www.amazon.com/Cholodin-Canine-180-Chewable-Tablets/dp/B000MF99XM/ref=pd_sim_petsupplies_2 If I forget to give him the cholodin then he regresses, its amazing to me the difference its made. He gets 3 per day, he weighs in around 60lbs.

 For the weakness in the back and general joint/hip pain I’ve been giving him:

2 tabs/day http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001G7R30Q/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

4/day http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EPQ7OS/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

4/day http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EPQ4Y6/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

1/day http://www.amazon.com/Zeel-Arthritis-Pain-Relief-Tablets/dp/B000Y38NJIref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1389389015&sr=1-1&keywords=zeel

2/day  http://www.amazon.com/PETCO-Joint-Support-III-Tablets/dp/B001VIWDMI/ref=pd_sim_sbs_petsupplies_2

The only reason I give him the petco brand of the glucosamine is I got it b1g1 locally.  I basically grind it all up in a food processor and mix it with ground food and he eats it all up.  The only thing he will eat straight out of my hand is the cholodin, and not reliably. 

When he first started having problems we took him to the vet, she recommended all of these things for him, for us to try.  It’s been trial and error, and lots of working with her, but we’ve narrowed it down to this regiment that works for him.  I’ve tried removing things, and adding things, and this mix works.   Occasionally I will give him an aspirin (from petsmart) when I can tell he’s really hurting but that’s less then once a week in the summer, it’s moved up to daily this winter. 

When we first started having problems with him it was taking 2-4 tramadol a day to control his pain and he still had the confusion.  I honestly believed that we were going to have to put him down last spring, however I was in California for two weeks when he went down really bad and my husband couldn’t face doing it while I wasn’t home to say goodbye (I’ve had his since he was 6 weeks old), he had improved so much on the cholodin that by the time I got home he was a completely different dog.  That cleared up the confusion (95% of the time anyway), but we were still dosing him with the tramadol.  It took us about 6 months to get him off the tramadol completely, I was very leary of letting him be in pain.  I still have the tramadol, and and I’ve been giving it to him occasionally this winter, but it’s been rare since we narrowed down his supplements.

He’s still slow getting up, and sleeps on his sleeping mat, but he’s not in the pain or wandering off and getting stuck in the corner or beside the toilet like he was.  This summer he even was interested in chasing his Frisbee again (a few times, thrown not super far.) This winter has definitely been tough on him, he goes up and down, but he’s still eating heartily and seeming to enjoy life, I believe the supplements that I’ve been giving him have had a lot to do with it.


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