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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
My 4 1/2 year old golden, Sandy, won't jump up on the bed by herself anymore. She also seems to have a hard time jumping in and out of the car, and she climbs up onto the sofa now instead of jumping like she used to.

I know that she's getting older and is obviously going to mellow out, but she won't even jump up onto the bed when I invite her up and try to get her to do it! Until about a month ago, she was the first one on the bed always and took my sleeping spot, so this is very strange of her.

I know that golden's can have hip problems- would this be something that could affect her agility? I'm suspecting that something is hurting in her joints but haven't pin-pointed it yet. I don't have a vet in my area that I really like so I have been putting off taking her to the vet about this issue because I'm not convinced that paying for a visit is worth it if the vet is just going to tell me that she's getting older...

Has anyone else had this kind of behavioral change with their golden? What could be causing this?

Thanks!
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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At 4 1/2 a dog should be in their prime, so I would say a vet trip is definitely needed. I would be inclined to say something is going on with Sandy's hips, too. My 7 year old labs still jump up onto things. They are just starting to show signs of slowing down some... just barely.
 

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I agree. 4 1/2 should be smack in the middle of the prime athletic years. If she has bad hips, though, they could be showing up, and there are other health problems that can cause reluctance to jump like you're seeing. A vet visit is definitely in order. If it is hip dysplasia, you want to start the intervention as early as possible.

How's Sandy's weight? It only takes a teeny bit of excess weight to make joint problems far, far worse.
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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A 4 1/2-year-old golden is still a young dog, so a vet visit is definitely in order. My 3.5-year-old rescued dog couldn't walk up stairs normally, he minced. Turned out he had a broken back, courtesy of his previous owners! Your dog could be having trouble with hips, discs or joints. I'd find out sooner or later, especially since not jumping up onto favorite places like the couch or the bed indicates PAIN, and you don't want that for your dog!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Took her to the vet a few days after posting this, she's got arthritis in both her back knees (at only 4.5 years old!). Started her on Adequan injections, she's on week 3 of the loading phase now, we're thinking she maybe is starting to feel better. Also she had gained quite a bit of weight. The weight gain has us stumped because we havent changed anything in our routine and she has always been about the same weight. I guess her metabolism is slowing down with middle age. Either way, we cut back her food to try and get her weight back down as well.

Thanks everyone.
 

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Thanks for the update.
Did they check her thyroid? Again, she is much too young for her metabolism to be slowing down. Like about 6 years too young!
 

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Hi there -

I have to agree with all who are saying 4 and a half is too young to be slowing down. The arthritis has probably been causing her pain, so definitely good to get that pain controlled. Once you do, don't be shy about giving her lots of exercise. It will probably help, in that it will get some of the weight off, and it will help keep her mobile. I do also think it's worth checking the thyroid to make sure it's not behind the weight gain.

My super-energetic girl only started to slow down around, well, 10 years old, I guess - but that meant only one or two 30-minute sessions of playing ball a day, instead of 3. She had arthritis in her ankles, which was controlled with a painkiller, and was on a joint supplement - but continued to run and swim and play. She was still jumping up onto my bed until maybe 2 weeks before she died - but she only stopped because her muscle tone and energy were lost to cancer.

I think you'll see a big change once her pain and weight are both under control. Please let us know how she does.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
She had bloodwork done in the fall and things looked normal (but then again she was normal weight then too). The Dr said if we try to get the weight off her and it's not working we will check her bloodwork. More than likely her joints started hurting (damaged, but not torn, cruciate ligaments) so she started being a little less active, which led to weight gain, which led to more joint pain, etc.

We are definitely very active. We go on neighborhood walks almost every day, throw the ball several times a week, and go on ~5mi hikes about once a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, it's been a rough year for sandy. In march she had a complete rupture of one of her cruciate ligaments (the knee joint where she was diagnosed with arthritis) and had surgery. After a long recovery of no hikes and no fetch, she was just starting to be able to run again, and she ruptured her other knee about 6 weeks ago and had surgery on that one as well. Hopefully the surgeries will be a good, long term solution and after this recovery she will permanently be back to fetch and hikes for many years to come.
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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Hoping your girl recovers quickly and completely. How's the weight loss coming along?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the well-wishes. She has lost all the extra weight she put had on (she was always in the low 60s but had gotten up to 78 somehow!), but the vet would still like her to lose a few more pounds and get even leaner than she was given her new joint issues. Hopefully we can get her down to about 60-62 from her current 64-65 after she's recovered and we can get back to chasing balls and hiking. She is only getting 3/4 cup twice a day which is not a lot of food, but apparently Fromm Gold is high in calories. We are hesitant to change food as she used to have tummy issues on several other foods and it has been best controlled on Fromm so far. We might try their senior blend.
 

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Misty & Holly's Mom :)
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Awwww I hope you Sandy has a quick recovery. I had a Sandy...I love that name for a golden. :)
 

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Dog Lover
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Sandy's dad

Well, it's been a rough year for sandy. In march she had a complete rupture of one of her cruciate ligaments (the knee joint where she was diagnosed with arthritis) and had surgery. After a long recovery of no hikes and no fetch, she was just starting to be able to run again, and she ruptured her other knee about 6 weeks ago and had surgery on that one as well. Hopefully the surgeries will be a good, long term solution and after this recovery she will permanently be back to fetch and hikes for many years to come.
Poor Sandy and you have been through a lot! Praying her recovery goes very well and fast for her and she's back to having fun!
 
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