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Discussion Starter #1
My parent's dog Casey is almost 12 years old, I see him every few weeks and am able to notice in these intervals that he's lost a lot of muscle tone as he ages. He had HD surgery as a young adult, and still has bad hips. He also gets GlycoFlex III everyday.

He currently is fed Canidae. I stopped by our local "Natural Pet" store and got a few recommendations from the store owner.
She suggested either:
1) changing foods to Horizon Legacy
http://www.horizonpetfood.com/
or
2) adding 1-2 tbsp of Wysong or Tiki Dog canned food to his dry food.
http://www.wysong.net/products/aujus-natural-healthy-dog-cat-ferret-food.php
http://www.animalworldnetwork.com/tidoglololuw1.html

What are your thoughts on this? Is there something else you would recommend instead? :confused: We don't want him to gain weight, he's at a healthy size despite hypothyroidism. However, we'd like him to maintain and keep muscle.

I'd like to discuss this with my parents over the holidays. Any suggestions that have worked for you would be great!!!

Melissa
 

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Is there a place that they can take him to swim for physical therapy? The swimming would be good for getting muscles without strain on his joints. All of the foods look good and I would make sure to not put him on senior blends. My vet said he likes to keep dogs on adult blend food not senior.
 

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please discuss this with your vet before doing it, but my Toby, who will be 12 in January, has made huge improvements since I started giving him a can of sardines, in spring water, no salt added) daily. He gets half in the morning and half in the afternoon, with his meals.
They're loaded with Omega-3 oils, and give him 19 grams of extra protein per day with only 190 calories. I've cut his kibble a little to make up the calorie difference (about 1/2 cup less).
There are some threads in the senior section of the forum that you might find helpful, too.
 

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Marcy
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He probably needs some sort of exercise to maintain muscle. Swimming would be best, but can he go for a short slow walk morning and night? That would help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He gets a short walk every evening. My mom takes him for as far as he wants to go, then they turn back. Usually he wants to go, and after he does, he seems to "feel" better.

There are no specialty facilities that offer pet physical therapy in my parent's area. Casey has hated swimming his entire life, so even if available, I'm not sure if we could get him to do it without stressing him out.

My mom has an appointment with Casey at the vet on Monday for a Thyroid Panel recheck, so I think she was planning on discussing it then. I was just curious what had worked for others.
 

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Canidae is a good food (I feed it to my group of all ages) but I do like the idea of the sardines for additional protein (after vet approval).

Some loss of muscle tone is inevitable in older, neutered males. You can offset some of it with exercise-he may need more than one walk a day. Also, if he is a ball chaser, then doing some retrieving a couple of times a day may help.

My friend just neutered her 11 year old agility dog a few months ago and even though she has kept him active, he has lost some significant muscle tone.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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I agree that a loss of muscle tone is inevitable in older dogs. The fact he had HD as a youngster may be a precursor for arthritic issues later in life. And it is very difficult to get the proper exercise fir an older arthritic dog to maintain optimum muscle tone. My feeling that if the dog is willing to go on walks that they be increased to help. Unfortunately it is a way of life for dogs and humans. Some seem to be able hold it off longer than others but it gets all of us sooner or later - if we are that fortunate.
 
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