October is here!

Dotty Marsden

Gill Marsden writes:

It is good to keep up with the WELTOS news and I am sorry we haven't been in a position to take part in activities. Dottie is 14 next month and feeling it - we have had a couple of times when we have thought we were going to have to make a decision for her, but then she bounces back a little. She is still going to weekly hydrotherapy which she loves and has made a great difference to her mobility but she is clearly pretty uncomfortable at times and doesn't much like going for walks, unless we drive her to a nice grassy field in which case sometimes she will even try a little run! There is a bit of dementia creeping in and we have regular wake up calls - this was anytime from 2.30am in the summer, when i would then stay up with her as she couldn't seem to settle and was quite confused. The vet suggested Vitofyllin which she has been on for about 3 months now and does seem to have helped a bit. Pain relief is proving tricky though - Metacam is causing some upsets and Tralieve doesn't seem to do much. I wondered whether any of the WT community have any ideas please for pain relief for an aging old girl?

Editors Note: It breaks my heart to hear or see our beloved dogs getting old. Our rescue Trudi started to just stand and stare into the corner of the kitchen , then would refuse to go out and was peeing wherever she happened to be. We had no paperwork so nobody really knew how old she was. But you have to come to that horrible decision, what is best for your dog, so in that case we decided to let her go. However if anyone knows of anything that may help Dottie, please get in touch. I know Gill would appreciate any help you may be able to give.

I'm glad you can meet up with Morag and the lovely Nelson. You both live in a beautiful part of Kent and your dogs are so lucky to have such caring owners.

Paula Pearce writes :

I have an elderly cat (18 years) who has arthritic joints. I have found one of those warming pads helps him and by placing his bed beside an oil heater to help keep him warm this also helps a little, plus I have raised his bed slightly to keep him from being in contact with the floor.

Its so sad to see your dogs grow old, its such a pity they don’t live as long as people.

Jan Chamberlain writes:

I have given Willow (13) Yumove from Lintbells for ages now. Can be bought at Pets at Home or direct from Lintbells. Also in the past year she has had Turmeric. You can get pets version from Dorwest herbs. Both have helped with her mobility.I know how Gill is feeling after the past week with Willow, luckily she is on the mend now. She is off to the Vets tomorrow for an ultra sound scan. That'll be interesting, she's back to her wriggly self now. Hopefully the scan will show a clear liver and then we'll put her illness down to a mystery.

Judith Berg writes;

So sorry to hear about Dottie. It is really hard to work out what is best for our ageing wts. Katie had arthritis in her shoulders and hips and metacam didn't help. Eventually we took her off everything and just let her do what she felt up to on the day. We also put her on Yumove which seemed to help. Good luck Dottie.

Stephen Warne writes:

This may be worth considering...


When we still had Woody it was only licensed in the USA but now I understand it is available here.

The great thing is it’s suitable for older dogs as it doesn’t affect the liver and kidneys like older NSAIDs.

Definitely worth asking Dotty’s vet to see what they think.

Chris Amos writes:

Our Bracken lived until she was nearly 17 and we used Yumove for her aching bones and never insisted that she walked. I used to carry her to the corner of our road where the grass verge starts and put her down so she could read her "pee"mails. She would then walk along as far as she wanted, do her business and turn round and usually manage to walk home. Ocassionally I had to carry her home. We did take her in the car to other places so she could potter around sniffing as she was beginning to go deaf and had cataracts too by then. As for the dementia, night time was the worst. She would get me up to go in the garden but forget why and just lie down in the grass. Not good when it was frosty or snowy. I was often in the garden at 2.00am carrying her back in and warming her up. I never tried any drugs for the dementia, just accepted it as part of being lucky enough to have my dog for so long.

This was 12yrs ago and there are probably meds available now to help.

Good luck wirh Dottie....I know how you feel. This is the hard part of the journey that we all face at some point with our lovely dogs but making them comfortable in their old age and keeping their brain as active as we can is the least we can do.

Jane Price sent me a really lovely email:

How difficult it was to read about poor little Dottie and how much we all feel for her poor family who are obviously doing everything in their power to make her comfortable.

Watching the health of our beloved dog decline is as much painful for us as it is for them experiencing it.

Even more painful, is seeing them suffer and not being able to relieve that suffering for them.

We had tried everything imaginable to relieve her discomfort. Carrying her outside to do a wee to save her the indignity of wetting herself, warmth pads, the softest bed, hand feeding her so that it would not strain her neck to bend down to the bowl, vitamins for arthritis, analgesics etc. etc.

Editors Note: In order not to have everyone in tears Jane has suggested that I do not print all of her email. I hope it's actually been helpful to Jane to write it all down as well as a comfort to Gill and Dottie to know that people care.

Gill Marsden writes:

Wow! What an amazing group of people belong to WELTOS! Or is it our dogs that just choose the right sort of owners...?!

Please pass on my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has offered support and advice for Dottie. I have ordered some Yumove and will also look at the tumeric once she has started on the Yumove Plus - her system doesn't seem as robust as it once was so will add extras in slowly. I really appreciate everyone's understanding and warmth in replying to my request for help and thank you Patsy for posting it so quickly.

Dottie was really stiff and uncomfortable yesterday and I took her to her hydrotherapy unsure as to whether she would want to swim... well let's change that old adage of you can lead a horse to water..... lead an elderly uncomfortable WT to water and I swear if she could have said ' thank you' - or being a WT, more likely, 'at last you have got the message' - she swam and swam! The lady supporting her had to make her stop for rests! When we got home, and still this morning, she is clearly so much more comfortable and even managed a little chase of the cat earlier! She really stretches her back legs in the water and has a lovely even stroke - sorry, I'm a keen swimmer so I look at that sort of thing!! - certainly doesn't show any signs of pain in the water and gets really excited about going. I have just been offered a new job and luckily it is only 4 days a week, so have been able to organise my non working day to be able to accommodate the weekly hydro sessions. I needed to get back to work to pay for them!!

Thank you again to the amazing WELTOS community

Best wishes

Editor's Note:

These are remarkable dogs for sure. Only yesterday poor Captain Jack was chewing at his paws and whimpering. I quickly got a bowl of water and washed his paws thoroughly with hibiscrub then towel dried them.

Well you've never seen anything like it. He charged around the kitchen, tail wagging furiously and then flopped down in his basket, belly up, head hanging out with the biggest grin on his face. I wasn't imagining it. He was obviously so relieved and made me feel good by fixing me with his gaze and giving me that soppy smile!

Jan Chamberlain writes:

Glad to be of help to Gill, my friends dogs have a massage as well as hydro. They all fall asleep while it's being carried out, it's so relaxing.

Update on Willow: She had her scan this morning, glad to say it went well. There's no sign of any lumps or bumps that shouldn't be there. Such a relief to both of us. We have to get her bloods checked again in a few weeks,She's seems back to normal, whatever that is for an elderly dog.

She's walking to the park again, now that makes her happy.

Editor's Note:

Phew! Great news Jan.

Sandra Kisby writes:

`otis my daughters dog is now elderly and suffering with terrible arthritis he is being given pain relief injections once a week - I will find out what the injections are just in case they may be helpful. I will also tell my daughter about Yumove. I can only hope that I am as well looked after in my dotage as all the elderly WTs I have read about on the blog are/were! What a wonderful life and care they are/were all given by their loving owners a just reward for all the happiness they brought into our lives SX

Sandra's daughters reply:

The vet said three stages to arthritis care. She gave me names of three possible supplements - all ok, might give slight relief in early stages but after seen x-rays definitely past it for Otis: yumove, nutraquin and dasuquin. Next stage - daily medicine (don’t know name, as didn’t opt for that). Last stage - the four weekly injections which, after that month, will provide relief for 3-12 months depending on dog’s response, then you do them again. (You so know Otis will only last the 3). Not sure name, as on invoice all mixed with other treatments from day, so one of either - torbugesic, cartophen or revertor sedastop. I imagine any vet will know those three stages though....

Chris Amos writes:

When your favourite squeaky toy has to go on the line to dry. I just missed the shot of Jasper up on his back legs trying to reach it.

Editors Note: I remember taking a load of our dogs cuddly toys and putting them in the washing machine. They came out squeaky clean and looked lovely, but the dogs lost interest in them. They much preferred them when they were mucky and smelly!

Judith Berg writes:

I remember when Alan put Katie's teddy in the washing machine. She just sat there watching it go round and round until the cycle stopped. Then she got upset when it was pegged on the line. They do love their cuddly toys.