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Old Dogs, Extreme Cold

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by road kill, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. road kill

    road kill Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 16, 2012
    Location:
    wisconsin
    Those with older working dogs, how do they handle this extreme cold?
    We are in WI.

    12+ year old black lab
    Both CCLs have had surgery
    Arthritis for sure
    Sub zero for 3+ weeks
    18"+ of snow

    Normally run everyday, but not too much now.
    His life has been about work.
    Hunting, training, tests etc.

    Tail goes up and wags when he sees bumper.
    About 2 retrieves in this cold and he walks back pretty slow.

    Same on morning walks, very slow.

    Drinks plenty of water, eats OK, not great.

    SLEEPS a lot.



    Is he bored, depressed, cold, arthritis pain?
    (He is on Adequan and Amoxidyl)

    Thanks,
    Stan b & Elvis
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  2. ripline

    ripline Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florence, WI
    Stan, sounds like he's just acting like an old boy. He's had a lot of good years and the wear and tear is showing up in this severe cold spell. Cabin fever maybe...
    Give him a great big hug and allow him to retire at his pace...

    My old boy Speck (13 yo) sleeps all day and becomes active at feeding time, and when it's time to go out. He walks, and never runs, limps severely, will fall over as his back end is going on him. He has esophageal paralysis. If he tries to run at all, his back end will splay out. So, we don't let him run.
    For his mental health, we faun over him with literally anything he does. He eats, does his duty on schedule and wags his tail when we talk to him. Occasionally, he will get up and come by us to be petted. Usually, we go to him. Oh, he also is developing selective hearing.
    When I'm running Can, he is happier than hell to just hold a bumper.
    It totally sucks when they get old, but that's my time to take care of him in his retirement.
    FWIW
     
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  3. road kill

    road kill Senior Refuge Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    wisconsin
    Thanks ripline,
    This is exactly whats happening.
    I wish he would eat and drink a bit more.

    Let's hope the break in weather perks him up.

    Stan b
     
  4. Aunt Betty

    Aunt Betty Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Sep 30, 2020
    Location:
    Illinois
    Same.
    Puppy keeps trying to make him play.
    Sleeps mostly but bumpers get him up.
    He still retrieves.
    12 yrs old.
    Hope yours perks up a little.
    1613478174936104226325507729478.jpg
     
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  5. crackerd

    crackerd Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Delaware
    Any chance you can top off his kibble with venison - raw or cooked, chunks or ground, muscle meat or organs? May take your hand off getting his appetite sated and his old animated self back. I've fed my older dogs by way of your 'fuge and rtf handle (RK) for the last 15 years, and can't help but feel it's extended lives and more importantly quality of life.

    Shooting the odd flyer for them when possible for them's another boon - this 13+ year-old gal's a two-time cancer survivor with that bugaboo now back for a third time that she won't outlive, having metastasized in her lungs. Out of sight in the photo, but just behind her right foreleg is a tumor the size of a soccer ball.
    IMG_4079.jpg

    But she still wants to work - and eat...and eat...and eat - and the RK venison goes a long way in keeping her happy and hungry.

    Good luck getting him back going, and rooting for y'all to get through this drat winter -

    MG
     
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  6. road kill

    road kill Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    wisconsin
    Thank you MG.

    I think part of the mental aspect is we CAN'T work right now.
    He can barely walk in the snow.
    Its been around 0 or lower for 3 weeks.
    He has been pretty lethargic as we got deeper into this weather.
    We hunted pheasants right up until the deeper snow.
    Up into the 30s this weekend.

    Thanks again.

    20210216_064156.jpg

    Not a lot of work getting done for obvious reasons.
    He has had a great life.
     
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  7. blkduck

    blkduck Senior Refuge Member

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    __________
    I had a 12 year old YLM ( who passed a few years back ) that had a TPLO done. He also did not like real cold. Seemed like he could barely move.
    I chalked it up to the surgery and the screws and plate he had in his knee, the colder the stiffer he was.
     
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  8. pickadrake

    pickadrake Senior Refuge Member

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    Dec 18, 2002
    Location:
    On the prairie somewhere
    My 10 year old BLF had TPLO almost 1 year ago and she does not like this extreme cold and at times holds her leg up like she did pre surgery. I have to think the metal in her leg gets cold and uncomfortable. Hope your old boy comes around after this weather breaks....it's got my dobber down as well !
     
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  9. Tom P

    Tom P Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Indana
    Stan,
    Sounds like father time is catching up on your boy. Just as all of us slow a bit with age. And this cold makes aches feel worse. I've an older lab also and a 2 year old pup. What a difference in energy levels that age brings. One thing I've started doing in this snow is plowing trails in the yard to make it easier for them to run. It helps the old guy. The pup makes her own trails. Just as the old man use to do.
     
  10. mrmallerd

    mrmallerd Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    southern illinois
    This time of year is tuff. My older one is 13. I will toss a couple canvas bumpers(they won't sink in the snow) about 10 yds. daily. It really brings a little bounce in his step. I believe I would rather have the cold as opposed to 100 degree summer heat. The last two years, he has been on a couple goose hunts(land only) making a short retrieve or two. Nothing speedy, but his heart is in the right place.
     

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