Dogs Community
10.3k Members
Avatar universal

What to expect with senior dogs behavior when they approach their end of time

I have an 12yo black lab that all of her behaviors changed when she lost her life long companion and became depressed. We had to put our other lab to sleep because she had major health problems and suffered a major stroke with no good out come. Our lab went through the depression and seemed to rebound to her old playful self in a years time. Playing ball was never the same for her but she still chased the ball and she still had a healthy appetite and ate 2 times a day with snakes and treats in between. We would also make sure to take her on long walk every day.
I notice her behavior is changing again and this time I think it may be her end of live but I don't know because I am not a Vet. "Roxy" my lab' activity has really changed, with her arthritis, stiffness, limping and pain she can no longer walk that far. We still try to take her on short walks but only if she wants to go and usually it is only a block. Roxy's appetite is starting to decline, eating less and less sometimes not at all. I haven't seed weight loss but I am sure that is coming, but right now she still likes her treats. Over the last year Roxy has several fatty tumors that have grown, one is on the top right shoulder extending to the middle of her back, this is a large tumor that makes me wonder if this may cause her problems walking. Roxy can hardly walk anymore with so many different. Problems with her legs and hips. Roxy is starting to spend more and more time alone outside sleeping under the bushes, sleeping outside all night, she just seems like she does't want to be sound us anymore. The last thing is we bought a puppy that tries to be playful with her and Roxy just doesn't really care. None of this sounds much like a questions but My question would be is Roxy extremely depressed over her companion dying and bring a new puppy into our lives or is this typical behavior of a senior dogs last day behaviors?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
What are you feeding Roxy , is it kibble, and are her teeth good enough to chew it.  If not, I would switch to canned or soak the dry food in broth to soften it. Our dog is 15 and doesn't like the food hard anymore.  Ours also has a lot of stiffness, especially on stairs.  We make sure we only let her out on the stairs that are easier for her, not the steep ones.  Is yours on pain meds the arthritis?  Ours also sleeps a lot, also, and loves to do it outside, even in wet grass. I don't think Roxy is still depressed about missing her companion, but it is possible that she goes outside to distance herself from a frisky puppy and likes peace and quiet.  Its so hard with an old dog, you know its just a matter of time, .  We figure this will be our dogs last summer, hopefully she'll go on her own terms, but it seldom works that way.Good Luck.
766573 tn?1365170066
Wow I am so sorry Roxy is barely able to walk any more.

The thing is there are a few other physical indicators that could be symptoms of something else. Change in appetite and physical activity can be neon signs when it comes to physical health of a dog.
It sounds like Roxy's activity level sounds like it has completely changed like night and day. That is a red flag even though she is aging. Especially since you foresee her possibly losing more weight in the future at the rate she is going.

I have seen first hand how sad it is when one dog grieves for another. In fact we are having to face putting one of our dogs to sleep and I know her brother is going to be as devastated as we are.

I am not saying your dog is totally depressed but of all the symptoms you are outlining I would see what a vet has to say. Have the vet gauge Roxy's quality of life right now and maybe determine if something else is going on.

Be prepared for the cost of lab tests if you do decide to take your dog to the vet especially if nothing leaps out when the vet does a physical exam. I am not saying this is what your vet will do but it is possible. Plus it depends on the extent you want answers.

I wish you the best with Roxy as well as your new puppy :)
Have an Answer?
Top Dogs Answerers
675347 tn?1365464245
United Kingdom
974371 tn?1424656729
Central Valley, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Members of our Pet Communities share their Halloween pet photos.
Like to travel but hate to leave your pooch at home? Dr. Carol Osborne talks tips on how (and where!) to take a trip with your pampered pet
Ooh and aah your way through these too-cute photos of MedHelp members' best friends
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child