Well, actually, he will, but only very little. It’s been about 4 days now that his appetite has been practically non-existant, and only the last two days that he’s eaten hardly anything (and last night he didn’t want to drink, now I’m REALLY worried). Last night I had to feed him peanut butter and mac n cheese in order to get him to eat anything, and of course he drank water after the PB. He would not eat canned food or kibble.
He is not acting like he’s in pain. His hips are weak, yes, but he was moving around fairly easily (if slowly) up until a couple of days ago - now, because he doesn’t want to move around on his own, when I finally try to get him up to take him for his walk, his hips are so weak and stiff that he’s almost constantly wobbling - I’m quite certain this is just because he doesn’t want to move around.
We are going to try and get him up to the vets, but it’ll be a couple of days… I cannot fit him in my car and I’m on 12 hour shifts until wednesday. Because of his age (he’s 15) and the fact that his legs are so weak already, if he is sick we are likely going to have him euthanized. His quality of life is degrading quite a bit - if I can get him to pull out of it I will continue to exercise him and such to attempt to keep his legs limber, but if we cant get him to move around I dont think it will be worth it, to him or myself.
Does anyone have any ideas to help my doggie have a few more weeks or months of quality life? I love him and I really want to do right by him.
As for his aching elderly joints, have you thought about massage or a hot water bottle? There are pet massage videos available (if you live in the States) from several places. I’m not sure about internationally but assume they are available in other countries as well. One I’ve tried is Loving Touch by Jim Durant. Both my dogs loved it and would line up to get their twice daily dose of magic fingers (my husband enjoys them as well…)
Try to feed him gentle foods, such as rice and chicken. Canned dog foods contain a lot of fat and are not easily digestible. Also if he has any teeth trouble, normal kibble may be hard for him to chew. Try soaking the kibble in hot chicken stock and let it cool before feeding him. Not only is chicken easily digestible, but helps boost the immune system as well.
As an extra incentive, perhaps mixing in a bit of beef mince, butter, or cheese (though be careful not to ‘plug him up’ with the cheese).
If it wasn’t for his age, I’d ask if it was possibly Lyme disease.
Our puppy (at the time) caught it a couple of years ago and over the course of a few hours went from a playful maniac to a poor pitiful creature who wouldn’t eat, wobbled when he tried to walk, and had trouble controlling his bladder. A shot of antibiotics and a day later, he was back to himself.
But a 15 year old dog with known hip troubles is another story. It might be worth discussing this possibility with your vet if he’s an outside dog. We’ve been picking tons of deer ticks off our guys already.
I think I am going to pick up some bulk chicken stock in order to do that. I know his teeth are probably bothering him, at his age (since he’s never had a cleaning)
Lyme disease, as far as i know, is a real rarity around here. Also, he does not have any tall grass near his kennel and is never loose outside - always on his lead or on a leash with me on the other end. It’s a possiblity, i guess, but the odds would indicate otherwise - I don’t know how the ticks would get to him.
I have been trying to rub his hips, but the muscles there are so wasted that I don’t know if I can do any good. I am going to try and do the water bottle thank you both.
My dog growing up did the refuse to eat and drink thing, and it turned out be the mid-stage of kidney failure. They said she probably had six months to live, but it progressed much more quickly and in a matter of weeks, she was sounding a lot like your dog sounds. They told us we could let her die naturally, but that it would be very unpleasant for all involved - and that to euthanize her was the humane thing to do. So we did.
Anyway, not wanting to bum you out, but you might want to get a check of the kidneys done too in addition to everything else people are saying.
Of course, I suppose the vet is the best person to ask. Here’s hoping for the best.
Please take your dog to the vet. Probably needs fluids badly. Try baby food. I use Gerbers. Don’t know if you have that brand there. Fluids are the main concern. You might try using a syringe to squirt a little water down the throat. (very little at a time). Sounds like this has beem progressing for a while…have you seen the vet with this before? You might ask about Rymadil and glucosimine. I have a dog that has shown considerable improvement with glucosamine. I order it from “arthaflex”. But that will be a very long term treatment. I would suggest that you get your dog to the vet immediately…could be a stroke. Fluids are very important.
Thank you for the advice, jacksen. However, as I have said, I was working 2 straight twelve hour shifts - the second today. I do not have a vehicle that I can use to take the animal to the vets, and would have to solicit someone else’s (my own is too small to fit the dog comfortably for a long ride). The vets is a one hour commute away.
This has not been ‘developing for a long time’ it has only occured over the last couple of days. I do know, as I very carefully watch how much he eats and drinks.
The dog has not been to the vet recently - indeed ever - for anything but shots. He has never been sick before in his life (that I can recall - the dog is 15, I’m 21, you do the math)
On the upside, he is now eating AND taking water again, as well as moving around vigourously! Drove in the yard at 11pm last night and he all but bounced out of his kennel I’m going to try and pick up some bulk meat stock at the store today, if I can get away from work long enough to.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I’m going to go hug my dog.