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Thread: Feeling blue....a rant on aging....

  1. #1
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    Feeling blue....a rant on aging....

    Hi Pters.....I don't know if any of you remember me...its been a long time since I have stopped by. My name is Anna and we have a 10 year old yellow lab/golden retriever mix named Malone. It took a long time, but Malone has worked out to be the best dog ever....so dependable, loyal, mellow and lovable. Lately, it just seems like his health is declining and it makes me SO SAD.

    A couple of years ago, Malone & I got in the habit of walking 15 miles a week.....but earlier this summer, I noticed that he just can't keep up on the hills, and he quickly tired on our long walks. I started to leave him home more often and just take him on leisurely walks. Even just laying around at home, you can tell he is creaky when he gets up after a long sleep. Don't get me wrong, he still gets a burst of energy and playful every once in a while, but definitely not the way he was even just a year ago. I raised concerns with the vet in June at his annual visit, but she just thought it was normal aging.

    Another thing that saddens me is that his hearing is rapidly declining. For example, I noticed that he was *constantly* barking to alarm me that someone was here, but nobody would be here. And then, it hit me, when someone was actually here, he wouldn't here them until they were in the house. He was always barking false alarms because he couldn't actually hear!! He is has a cataract that has formed over one eye, and I'm pretty sure he is nearly blind in that one eye. On top of that, he has ongoing digestive issues - lots of gas, anal glands, and horrible breath.

    Yesterday, I had to take Malone to the vet (to the tune of $178) because he has a hot spot on his back that hasn't healed in a couple of weeks. I thought it was the size of a quarter, but after they shaved the area, its about 4 or 5" across. They gave him an injection and an ointment, and a round of antibiotics, so hopefully he will start healing soon.

    But, this morning, as he was eating his breakfast, I looked over at him, and I noticed that he has a HUGE lump on his side....visible without feeling it, and I have no idea how we missed it at the vets yesterday, or I am *hoping* it might be a reaction to the shot they gave him???

    I feel so helpless, and now I am really scared about this lump. How do you deal with the effects of aging? It is so hard to just sit by and watch!! And I know that it shouldn't be about the money, but I am feeling scared at what the vet bills are going to be to properly take care of this lump, especially after the bill from yesterday.

    Thanks for listening to my moan......I love this pup with all my heart, and it hurts to think that he is getting older every day.

  2. #2
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    Cookiebaker,

    I am so sorry to hear about Malone. It sounds like age is creeping up on him. Maya Linn has a bump on her back from her rabies shot. The vet won't lance it and biopsy it because it'll spread

    Having a pet is a big responsibility. When the bills start, you always seem to come up with it one way or another. It's what we do.

    You and Malone will be in my thoughts and prayers. All you can do is keep him as comfortable as he ages gracefully.
    Last edited by moosmom; 09-01-2012 at 03:08 PM.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Unfortunately, our fur kids age much to soon it seems, but there really isn't anything we can do about it. I just live life with my 2 who have serious health issues, in as normal a way as possible. If I dwell on their issues, I would constantly be in tears, and they would also pick up on my sadness. Obviously I don't want that - I want them to stay happy. Myndi is 16 1/2: has aging kidneys that don't work as well as they once did, has arthritis in her lower spine and rear legs, luxating patella in both knees, a mild heart murmur., and cataracts. She can no longer go up and down stairs or jump up on the bed for furniture, or walk on slippery floors without all 4 legs going out from under her in different directions. She almost died 2 summers ago from an intestinal bleed, but fortunately I caught it in time, got her to the vet, and she bounced back in just a few weeks. In spite of all that isn't right with her, she is still a spunky and alert little girl who loves her people and just has to be right in the middle of everything. She is on special prescription food for her kidneys and takes pain meds for her arthritis, and she still sees well even with the cataracts.

    Sparky is 13 1/2, and his condition is much worse than Myndi's He also has luxating patella in one knee and arthritis in his lower spine, tho this doesn't affect him as much since he can still do stairs and jump up on things. However, his heart murmur is much more severe than hers, and he is in CHF, and he could be gone in a heartbeat. He takes diuretics and blood pressure meds, but still coughs a lot, and even fainted once early this summer. He goes back to the vet again on Friday, so I'm hoping she can add another diuretic that will be more affective. I don't know how much longer he will be with me, but I try to be positive. He still enjoys life and is alert with a good appetite, so I just have to take it one day at a time.

    As far as that lump - both Myndi and Sparky have them, and it would be my guess that Malone's are the same -- just harmless fatty deposits which are very common when dogs start to age. Does it feel soft and squishy? Your vet can do a fine needle aspiration (cheap-around $20-$25) and tell you right away if that's what it is. They can pop up rather suddenly and can be quite big - Sparky has one on his side, and Myndi's is more between her side and her belly. If they aren't in an area that will interfere with the dogs everyday movements, then the vet will probably just recommend to leave it there without removal. And yes - it could be a reaction to the shot, too.

    Hope this has helped you some.. Try to stay positive and just give Malone all the lovins that he wants and I'm sure that he deserves! Keep us posted, please.
    I've Been Boo'd
    Thanks, Barry
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My little dogs - two heartbeats at my feet.
    by Edith Wharton & Me
    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  4. #4
    I know it's heartbreaking honey. Old age and death are as natural as life. Coping with the cost and sadness however is to dig deep. Aww, so sorry you are going through this, it is unavoidable unfortunately. A lot of us truly know about the cost, and the agony When I had to put Shadowman down, the vet literally phoned me at home and insisted it was time. When I got there I took him back to the car and told my husband NO WAY. No, not today. Well I'm strong, really no drama queen, but he sent the vet out to tell me it was the humane thing to do and that his heart was so damaged from a birth defect that it was a miracle he'd even lived till 14 yrs. old. He was one tough dude. My point is, they may put us through hell and drive us to the precipice of madness but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. At the end of the day, it was SO worth it and I'd do it all again in a nanosecond. Hang in there honey

  5. #5
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    Awww! I'm sorry!
    Owned by one silly Springer Spaniel, and many others who have left their pawprints on my heart!


    Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go, and then do it. --Ann Landers

  6. #6
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    Oh my gosh, do I know what you're going through. It is awful that pets do not live as long as we do. It's never a good thing to experience. I'm sorry Malone is starting to feel his age.
    Mikey - [Pug/Beagle Mix] Spock and T'Stala - [Hermit Crabs] Rest in Peace, Bo. I love you - [African Cawed Frog] Bo II - [Guppy] Buzz - [VT Male Betta] Chippewa - [BT Male Betta]
    "Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you."

  7. #7
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    If your vet is still open (this being Saturday some only do a half day), give a call and see if you can run him back in and not pay for a second office visit. Usually they are good about this stuff. Even say you don't know if it is just a reaction to the shot, and you need to have it checked. They shouldn't charge you for that!

    Yup, tough watching our loved ones age - furkids, pawrents, I got it both ways.

  8. #8
    I remember w/my old girl Mickey when her hearing, sight and stamina were going. It's so hard to go to that place where you realize they are moving on. My thoughts are w/you.

  9. #9
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    I remember when we took the last trip to our vet's for our other dogs-- I always swore I was never getting another dog . After a few months the longing started and I would start looking for another. Right now we're down to one little one and she's 12. I know she has a few years yet but I also know that anything can happen without warning when they reach that stage. Very fortunate that she is still as healthy as the day I picked her up and I hope things will remain that way. I also know I should be looking for another dog so that I'm not left without one if and when she does have to go but now I'm wondering if she would feel slighted.
    That lump could be just a fatty tumor, they're harmless and most old dogs get them. Stay happy and bouncy for your dog's sake, they feel our every mood. It would be sad if she were to sense the vibes and become depressed.
    Asiel


    I've been defrosted---thanks cassiesmom

    I've been Boo'd -

  10. #10
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    Hi guys! I wanted to pop in and post an update. After i started this thread, Malone's hot spots got worse.....and hubby and i had a long talk. We decided that we aren't satisfied with the answers the vet gave us. Mark did a TON of research....and discovered that the food he has been on for years and years changed formulas in the last 6 months. Grrrrrrr! It never had corn in it, and now corn was at the top of the list. We have known since he was a puppy that he is sensitive to corn. So, he did tons of searching, and we just finished switching him. And the exciting part?? We have a brand new dog.....no more anal gland issues , his hot spots are healing, he is much more playful.....I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG! Don't distrust your instincts and intuitions!! And I am thankful, so thankful!!!!

  11. #11
    I lost my old sweetie, Mickey a couple years ago to old age and yes, it was hard to watch her age. As her hearing and sight diminished, she stayed close to me on walks instead of being 20 ft. ahead of me. I had to take it as it was...this is how she was then and enjoy that she could still walk and smell and hear (sort of) everything around her. I guess I had to focus on how she was at that time of her life and not so much on that she was older and I would lose her in the somewhat near future. We still had wonderful walks and playtimes but just different than before. I know you feel that pain already, just try not to focus on it completely. You can't ignore that they're getting older of course but enjoy and make it the "new normal" with the changes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiebaker View Post
    Hi guys! I wanted to pop in and post an update. After i started this thread, Malone's hot spots got worse.....and hubby and i had a long talk. We decided that we aren't satisfied with the answers the vet gave us. Mark did a TON of research....and discovered that the food he has been on for years and years changed formulas in the last 6 months. Grrrrrrr! It never had corn in it, and now corn was at the top of the list. We have known since he was a puppy that he is sensitive to corn. So, he did tons of searching, and we just finished switching him. And the exciting part?? We have a brand new dog.....no more anal gland issues , his hot spots are healing, he is much more playful.....I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG! Don't distrust your instincts and intuitions!! And I am thankful, so thankful!!!!
    That is so good! As a human with food allergies and sensitivities, I always read ingredients before buying anything. The shorter the list the better!
    I've Been Frosted

  13. #13
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    Wow, this is such great news, Anna!! Way to go to both you and Mark!!! I've always loved Malone, such a handsome, sweet boy <3 It makes me so happy to hear he is doing so much better!

  14. #14
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    Gosh, I've seen the hot spots and lethargy with food allergies in my bichons, I just never gave it a thought to mention it for your Malone. WELL DONE figuring out the issue and solving the problem. SO happy your doggy feels better. HOORAY!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiebaker View Post
    Hi guys! I wanted to pop in and post an update. After i started this thread, Malone's hot spots got worse.....and hubby and i had a long talk. We decided that we aren't satisfied with the answers the vet gave us. Mark did a TON of research....and discovered that the food he has been on for years and years changed formulas in the last 6 months. Grrrrrrr! It never had corn in it, and now corn was at the top of the list. We have known since he was a puppy that he is sensitive to corn. So, he did tons of searching, and we just finished switching him. And the exciting part?? We have a brand new dog.....no more anal gland issues , his hot spots are healing, he is much more playful.....I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG! Don't distrust your instincts and intuitions!! And I am thankful, so thankful!!!!
    Yay yay yay!!! As the Dr's I work with say, "Age is not a disease". For someone to assume that something is an age-related issue isn't appropriate (some ailments are related to aging, but not all, so never assume!). I am SO GLAD you guys dug a little deeper and found the cause!!!!!!!
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