Going on 17yrs old...tips to help increase quality of life? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Thanks: 33
Thanked 24 Times in 5 Posts
Going on 17yrs old...tips to help increase quality of life?

Liam turned 16 in January. The last year was probably the most dramatic in terms of behavior changes...up until then he could hike up to 12 miles and swim for hours. And, then something shifted.

This last year his blood work showed some liver disease (new prescription food and supplements have his numbers back in the good range) and anemia due to secondary disease (not new, we just watch it).
His eyesight is almost non-existent with uveitis in one and cataracts in the other. He can sometimes see outlines, shadows....we think. Since he's lost it over time, I am amazed at how he's adapted and how brave he has been over the last few years.
He's had frequent skin issues and GI upset...and on his birthday this year the poor guy had a bout of vestibular disease. THE WORST! Such a scary thing to witness the nystagmus, the vertigo, inability to stand, etc. The vet said it usually resolves in weeks (normal) to a couple months (not as normal).
He doesn't have his head tilt and he can walk...but after two months! It seems like each day his abilities to navigate his world are a little different. We have covered all the floors with rugs and rubber mats because otherwise we find him unable to stand, exhausted from trying in uncomfortable positions :-(

One thing constant - his appetite. I try to keep his mind active with treats and puzzles since we can't physically exercise as much. But, it doesn't seem like enough. Some days he doesn't want to go for a walk (which I totally get). He doesn't want to play. And, then he spends 830pm until 1030pm pacing, restless, and panting.

Sleeping at night is probably what is hardest on everyone. The panting, the shifting around, etc.
It's been like this for a while, but seems to have gotten much worse in the last 3-4 months. He regularly takes gabapentin and sometime tramadol. But, this doesn't affect his panting and sleep. Is it akin to sundowners? It is funny how it definitely starts around the same time every night and during the day he is sleeping...

We do sometimes find him in corners...confused. And, it breaks my heart to see these changes in him as my mom is suffering with the early stages of Alzheimers and the similarities are striking.

I'm just looking for any insights, tips, suggestions, as we navigate this really special and difficult time.
My guideposts have always been is he eating and can he go to the bathroom on his own. Both of those things he can do save the occasional little 💩 that happens in his sleep...Poor guy!
He eats and he can ambulate. But, with his sight and body - our 4 stairs to the backyard are getting harder and harder for him. Our walks are getting shorter and shorter. And, his interaction with me, other dogs (we only have two cats right now and I'm not entirely sure he knows they are here!) is getting less and less.

I know 16 years is an incredibly long time for a Golden...I just want to make sure that I am doing the best for him right now...that he doesn't spend any of his coming days feeling anxious, confused, or worse - scared. I am grateful that he physically is eating and drinking and I can spend most of my days with him sleeping peacefully...yet, I want to do more - what else can I do for him?

If you've read this far - thank you!
SWIdaho is offline  
post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 08:07 PM
Senior Member
 
cwag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,003
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Quoted: 335 Post(s)
Thanks: 4,045
Thanked 2,563 Times in 1,390 Posts
Wow what a blessing to have Liam for so many years. It is sad to watch them decline. There is a thread about a scale/test to help determine quality of life. You have to go to post 12 to get the current link which is a downloadable test. I wish you well as you take care of your sweet boy.


Lyric Last Jedi - Call name Rukie Bear 05/2017
Eva Bear (Bichon) 09/2005 to 11/2018
Tawny Bear 01/2000 to 10/2012
Honeybear 01/1987 to 07/1999
cwag is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to cwag For This Useful Post:
SWIdaho (03-05-2019)
post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 01:04 PM
Member
 
Brodys Rockies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Crested Butte, CO
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Thanks: 78
Thanked 89 Times in 59 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwag View Post
Wow what a blessing to have Liam for so many years. It is sad to watch them decline. There is a thread about a scale/test to help determine quality of life. You have to go to post 12 to get the current link which is a downloadable test. I wish you well as you take care of your sweet boy.
Yes, what a blessing to have had such a long life with Liam. We only had 11 years with our past Golden, River, but they were great years... Please do read the scale/test to help determine the quality of life for Liam. Keep us posted...God Bless!

Roger

River, RIP Ole Boy, 5/04/08 -12/15/18

Brodys Rockies is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Brodys Rockies For This Useful Post:
SWIdaho (03-05-2019)
post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Thanks: 33
Thanked 24 Times in 5 Posts
Thank you! I've tried to search the forum for "scale/test" but nothing comes up. Any other guidance on what thread it is in?

***We had a great walk this morning - over an hour- he did run into a chain link fence (snuck up on him) and he collapsed a few times when he shook his head (vestibular disease?)...but overall he seemed alert and happy to check all the message spots around the neighborhood.
SWIdaho is offline  
post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 07:47 PM
Kristy
 
nolefan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 8,857
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Thanks: 6,016
Thanked 8,763 Times in 4,598 Posts
nolefan is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to nolefan For This Useful Post:
cwag (03-05-2019), SWIdaho (03-06-2019)
post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 08:05 PM
Senior Member
 
cwag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,003
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Quoted: 335 Post(s)
Thanks: 4,045
Thanked 2,563 Times in 1,390 Posts
I'm sorry I meant to add the link when I first posted. What nolefan listed above is correct but the latest link was in post 12.
Here it is again

https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ife-scale.html (Quality of Life scale)


Lyric Last Jedi - Call name Rukie Bear 05/2017
Eva Bear (Bichon) 09/2005 to 11/2018
Tawny Bear 01/2000 to 10/2012
Honeybear 01/1987 to 07/1999
cwag is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to cwag For This Useful Post:
SWIdaho (03-06-2019)
post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 08:35 PM
Member
 
jdavisryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Florissant, Missouri, US
Posts: 456
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Thanks: 444
Thanked 326 Times in 216 Posts
I'm so touched by your post, and the obvious devotion you have for your dear friend. I don't have any specific advice but wanted to lend my support in what I know is a heartbreaking journey. It brought to mind our last years with our beloved Tucker who died a few years ago at age twelve. There was no single health crisis, just a gradual but persistent decline in strength, mobility, and cognitive function. I love that you're letting Liam tell you on a day to day basis what he needs or wants in that moment. We had so many up then down days with Tucker, and daily discussions of good day vs. bad day, how did he eat, did he get up when you got home, etc. Tucker also had a boundless appetite and when he lost interest in his food bowl we saw that as a significant change. You know Liam best and you'll do the right thing for him at the right time. My best wishes to you and your family.


Moses 1991-2004*Tucker 2002-2015*Daisy 2005-2017
jdavisryan is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to jdavisryan For This Useful Post:
cwag (03-05-2019), SWIdaho (03-06-2019)
post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 10:34 PM
Debbie624
 
debbie624's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Thanks: 27
Thanked 85 Times in 60 Posts
What an amazing story of your beloved Liam. He is lucky to have you. I can't imagine how difficult it is to see his age related changes and how heartbreaking to see him on his down days. We only had our golden Callie for 8 short years but they were amazing. She never had a chance to grow old. I know its hard to make a decision. I was faced with this with my previous dogs who lived to age almost 16 (american eskimo) and 13 (terrier mix). Its heartbreaking. I am a firm believer in holistic care and I had Lady and PJ both receive reiki treatments. My holistic vet also used lavendar essential oil on Lady when she came in for cold laser treatments (for a torn ACL) and it really helped her relax. Reiki is such a benign gentle treatment, it may help poor Liam. Best wishes to you and Liam.

[
Callie, You stole my heart from the minute you entered my life. My heart belongs to you for eternity. 6/24/10 -
7/11/18
debbie624 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to debbie624 For This Useful Post:
SWIdaho (03-06-2019), Wendy427 (03-06-2019)
post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Thanks: 33
Thanked 24 Times in 5 Posts
Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement!
Here is a picture of my old man from August and November 2018....all white faced and cloudy eyed. And, his most recent outdoor adventure.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	BPP_6342.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	484.9 KB
ID:	813580   Click image for larger version

Name:	BPP_6273.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	606.2 KB
ID:	813582   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5011.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	1.17 MB
ID:	813584  
SWIdaho is offline  
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to SWIdaho For This Useful Post:
Brodys Rockies (03-14-2019), cwag (03-09-2019), Helo's Mom (03-06-2019), Ivyacres (03-07-2019), jdavisryan (03-06-2019), LynnC (03-07-2019), scully91 (03-06-2019), sophieanne (03-09-2019), Wendy427 (03-06-2019)
post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:26 PM
Debbie624
 
debbie624's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Thanks: 27
Thanked 85 Times in 60 Posts
Oh my, what a beautiful boy he is. Look how active he is, that is amazing! What an absolute blessing that he is 16 and still able to do those things. Thanks for sharing.

[
Callie, You stole my heart from the minute you entered my life. My heart belongs to you for eternity. 6/24/10 -
7/11/18
debbie624 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to debbie624 For This Useful Post:
SWIdaho (03-06-2019)
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
blind , deaf , panting , senior , vestibular

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome