Author Topic: help with elderly cocker  (Read 5084 times)

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Offline daydreams

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help with elderly cocker
« on: December 27, 2014, 06:18:16 PM »
Hi everyone,

I would really welcome some advice on how to deal with my old lady Bracken, she was 13 years old in August and I have had my worries over the last year as she has had some spinal problems, which has made her back legs quite week, but we have got over all these worries and for the past few months some of my old 'scallywag' has been back, BUT,  we do seem to have a problem with her pooping at night. 

her appetite has improved, from being a fussy eater she will now eat almost anything, she is still fussy, but its more of what she wants to eat, if nothing else is provided other than her biscuits then its 'ok if I must' but she is eating well

we take her out for her normal walks,  sometimes she's a bit of a plodder and doesn't seem to enjoy them then we cut them short, at other times she's like a puppy again
we let her out at night before we go to bed, but about 4am I hear her walking about our bungalow ( she sleeps in her bed in our bedroom)  I let her out and all is ok, but if I don't wake then she begins to cry and if I'm not up in time she has an accident by the back door, she is trying to let me know and bless her it seems to upset her as well

poo is normal, so nothing wrong with upset tummy etc., but I am at my whit's end as to why this is suddenly staring and what can I do about it

I would really welcome your help on this,

thanks

Maria and Bracken



Offline daydreams

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 06:56:09 PM »
sorry mods, thanks for moving into right section

Offline rednblack

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2014, 05:37:45 PM »
It might be worth getting your vet to check Bracken over to see if there is any physical or medical reason for her needing to toilet in the early hours. 
 
I've had a similar problem years ago with an oldie, and while more may be available nowadays on the vet side, on the "problem management" side you might find that putting down newspaper over the spot where she toilets in the night will save you having to clean up every morning.

It's really hard when they get into their teens, my personal feeling is to let them tell me when they've had enough walking, as they can't tell us in words if they feel a bit tired/bad/sore/whatever.
 
Best wishes for you and Bracken.
Remembering Rex, Janna, Toni, Billy, Rufus and Ebony - gone beyond recall.

Offline daydreams

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2014, 08:49:44 PM »
thanks for your reply,  Bracken is due her yearly check and jabs in January so I'll talk it over with the vet then

I think your right, we go with how she feels as to what we do, she lets us know if she's more able to do things on some days than on others,

as long as she remains well  in herself and is happy, so am I,  but if we could resolve this problem then it would be good,

thanks

Maria and Bracken


Offline ollie nathan's mum

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2014, 09:02:01 PM »
It's possibly the increase in food and decrease in her walks. It's worth mentioning when you go to the vets. I would tend to do what ever keeps her happy and healthy
Ollie D.O.B 29/03/2010

Offline honeysmun

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 11:58:21 AM »
Hi, Our little girl Holly is approx 14 years. (She was an ex-puppy farm girl)
and she also sleeps in our bedroom and for the last
 few months has got us up in the night asking  to go
out for a wee, I guess it's a bit like us, as you get older there's a need to go
more offten. We have found Holly also sometimes enjoys her walks other times it's an effort,
and the call of a warm bed has more appeal  ;) Must admit though she
is not such a big eater these days except for treats and those are never pass by. :lol2:

Offline elaine.e

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 12:42:19 PM »
My first Cocker, Josh, reached the grand old age of 16 years and 51 weeks and was very much an old man in his last year or so. He'd gone deaf when he was about 10 or so and was almost blind by 16, but despite that he was still quite active up to the last few months of his life. During those few months he slept most of the time but was alert and wanting cuddles and attention and food when he was awake. He was slightly bladder incontinent when asleep, but it was more of a little dribble than major flooding :005: so I just changed his bedding every day to keep it fresh and dry.

My vet agreed that vaccinating him in his final few years probably wasn't needed and might actually do some harm, so he wasn't vaccinated after about the age of 13. That was long before the current advice that the core vaccinations last many years, perhaps a lifetime. So I think it would be worth asking your vet if Bracken needs vaccinating rather than assuming she does.

Josh used to be on a medication called Vivitonin, a kind of go faster for older dogs! I think one called Aktivait (spelling?) may be more popular with vets now, so it would be worth looking into that. Josh was a long time ago, but I think Vivitonin was meant to improve blood flow to the brain, or something like that. It certainly perked him up a bit.

Josh had been raw fed most of his life, but in his last year or so he became fussy and I decided to feed him whatever appealed to him on the basis that he was ancient so he might as well have what he wanted. So he had things like cooked chicken and those little trays of Cesar. Not really a healthy or balanced diet, but he enjoyed it :luv:

If Bracken were mine I'd have her checked over by the vet and mention Vivitonin/Aktivait but I'd also enjoy every minute of her (which I'm sure you do) and do whatever makes her happy in terms of feeding and exercising. Old dogs are very special :bigarmhug:

Offline daydreams

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 02:26:26 PM »
thank you all  so  much for your replies,

I think that is good advice, regarding her vaccinations, I'll ask about that.  I will also mention the 'Aktivait' to see what they think about that

last night was good, clean all night, was ready to go out when I got up at 7am,  I think I am going to be guided by what Bracken wants, she is so special to me, I just want to do my best for her and as long as she is happy then I can't want for any more really, and if by getting up at 4am or 5 am is what she wants then so be it, as long as she isn't in any distress that's all that matters

thanks for your help :luv:


Offline LurcherGirl

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2015, 04:07:36 PM »
I can also highly recommend Aktivait which has helped both of my dogs that were on it with regards to their toileting allowing them to hold it longer again. So definitely worth a try.
Vera Marney
BSc (Hons) Canine Behaviour and Training, APDT UK
www.wtdt.co.uk and www.wtdt-eastanglia.co.uk

Offline zenon_bass

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2015, 07:05:05 PM »
Thank you for this thread, with advice particularly from Elaine!
Millie is 13+yrs too and I have also noticed changes in her during the last year...
We have a dog flap, so currently toileting isn't a problem.  But I have noticed that on cold damp days she'd rather stay indoors than go for a walk. Her arthritis must be giving her a bit of pain, in spite of Trocoxil pain relief. Yet other days she'll bounce round the local park telling other dogs she's boss. She's on Synoquin containing glucosamine and condroitin for her joints.
She was vaccinated last year with reluctance, due to holiday requirements, but I certainly am hoping to avoid it this year.
We have to go back to the vet to further discuss pain relief so I'll mention Vivitonin/Aktivait at the same time. I'll also ask the vet to check her sight and hearing, so I know whether she's ignoring me or really cant see and hear me at times...  :005:

Its good to know that others agree that being flexible and  keeping our lovely oldies as comfortable as poss is the way to go.

Millie's birthday is 14th August; does that ring any bells with Bracken?

Offline daydreams

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2015, 11:29:14 PM »
Hi

thanks for your replies

I've got Bracken on umove which has made a real difference over the last year with her arthritis.  she has metacam when needed,  I have never realised that her yearly vaccination isn't essential as she gets older, mind you I'm not sure how our vets will take this, they seem to be quite  'business like and money oriented'  so I'll see what they say when I go again in Jan.  I will definitely  ask about the Aktivait

hearing has gone but we have adapted quite well to hand signals, which she seems to understand, although she does sometimes manage to 'hear' when I open her cupboard where her food and treats are kept!!!!

I have noticed though in strong sunlight she sometimes 'flinches' as though she is frightened, she much prefers the cloudy weather, when I watch her in the garden on a sunny day she will sometimes 'jump' if a shadow crosses her path, but again she is such a stalwart she just carries on,

all your replies have been so helpful, thank you,  I just want to make sure I'm not missing out on anything,  and touch wood,  we have had a few clear nights with no 'accidents' thank goodness

Brackens birthday is 4th August, if I can work out how I'll post a photo of my grand old lady

thanks for your help

Maria and Bracken

Offline elaine.e

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2015, 11:37:29 PM »
Just read the above post Maria, and when my old boy was losing his sight to cataracts he used to flinch when moving from shadow into bright sunlight. It was at the stage where he had very little sight left so I'm wondering if Bracken is losing her sight?  Sorry if that comes as a bit of a shock, and I hope that isn't the case, but I have to say that Josh adapted really well and it didn't seem to worry him. He still found his way round the house and garden and was confident to plod along off lead on walks. I kept a really close watch on him then of course, and made sure I was always close enough to give him a reassuring touch and guide him if he got a bit lost.

Offline sodpot2000

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2015, 12:55:08 PM »
I know from both relatives and from dogs with cataracts that bright sun can be a problem and can be quite disorientating. It doesn't mean that Bracken can't see - only that in some circumstances her sight isn't what it used to be. Just a matter of watching out for them and making allowances just as we hope someone will do for us in due course!

Offline PennyB

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2015, 04:47:05 PM »
I know when Roobs had glaucoma the sunlight actually hurt her eyes so worth checking her eyesight out

I do think their toilet habits can change when they get to a certain age - occasionally Roobs pees on the kitchen floor but I put that down to the meds she's on (frusedale) + I sometimes have to get up in the night to let her out

As others suggest may be vivitonin might help and working out her eating intake
Friends of Hailey Park
Four Paws Animal Rescue (South Wales)

Cockers are just hooligans in cute clothing!

Offline daydreams

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Re: help with elderly cocker
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2015, 02:58:08 PM »
thanks for your replies,  I think your right, I think she is beginning to lose her sight,  we thought this about a year ago and had it checked by the vet who couldn't confirm cataracts, but she is due  her yearly health check this month so I have many questions I need to ask when we go

we went to  the beach at Looe on Friday, it was such a lovely day, and Bracken was scampering around like a puppy again, it was so lovely to see, came home  she had a good dinner and then spent the rest of the night snoring very loudly ;)
when we got her lead to go for a walk the following day, weather not so nice, she looked at me as if to say,  not likely so snuggled back into her bed and had a quiet day

I think we will have her checked,  but go with what she wants, and hope this continues for a long time to come
thanks for your replies, 
Maria