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Hi, do you guys know what it feels like to have an 8 yr old lab that I you grew up with and are 12 years old. She loves to hunt but is getting stiff. She hunts like shes 3 but when she gets home I even have to carry her up the stairs. Every night that she sees the guns out she knows were hunting the next morning. Shes the first one in the pickup. Everytime more excited. But I don't wan't to make her stop hunting yet. Even though there are needs of her health there are needs of her heart too.
Any reccomendations would be great.
 

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I went thru that once - Only I had a a pup from the mom & by the time the Mom got old, the pup was coming into her prime.

Eventually had to leave the mom home on the serious trips :(

But I always managed to get her on some good hunts & let her hunt at her pace

There are drugs today for Dogs that can relieve pain & help joints etc. But they are costly & could actually shorten her time, as she may overdo it - & some dog foods claim to help older dogs ???

I found when I brought them both - the older dog learned she could not do it all & was happy to just be along

Some dogs are in their prime at 8 yrs old - usually at 10 11 12 they are old

I sure wish they lived longer

I got a new pup this year, after not having one for 3 years (the other pup of my 1st one, died way too soon - at 8, or I would have had a pup in training)- The new one has made me whole again, even though she is no where near a mature hunter or even trained - But I'm sure looking forward to yrs to come & am enjoying this year getting her some expirence

Good Luck !!!
 

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Give the dog a coated aspirin and 500 milligrams of vitamin C after each hunt with food. Watch her poop if she doesnt get diharrea then up the dose of vitmin C to 750 milligrams. You can/should also get her glucosomine chondroitin from walmart (for people it cheaper and the exact same stuff) wont hurt her and will do her a lot of good It takes about 2-4 weeks for the glucosamine to take affect. the glucosamine should be given year round it really isn't that expensive. Next look at the dog with a critical eye or get your vets opinion to see if shes over weight if so feed her less. Her stomach line view from the side should tuck up and viewed from the top should go in. You should be able to feel her last rib with no fat on it. Over weight dogs suffer a lot of problems as they age. IF you can only afford one of the above get her the glucosomine chondroitin mix you can get it from Walmart or Sams club if they are up there. use the 750/600 milligram stuff and give it to her twice a day until you see some improvement then cut back to once a day. once you get her on the on tab a day schedule keep her on it the rest of her life its not really that expensive About 35- 40 dollars a year. Kid type Gucosomine into your search engine on your computer and read about it so you understand why its needed
 

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One more thing if your dogs sleeps one the floor get it a soft dog bed this will help alot also
 

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stolenbase said:
Hi, do you guys know what it feels like to have an 8 yr old lab that I you grew up with and are 12 years old. She loves to hunt but is getting stiff. She hunts like shes 3 but when she gets home I even have to carry her up the stairs. Every night that she sees the guns out she knows were hunting the next morning. Shes the first one in the pickup. Everytime more excited. But I don't wan't to make her stop hunting yet. Even though there are needs of her health there are needs of her heart too.
Any reccomendations would be great.
I had the exact same thing- my old dog hunted until she was 12. Her best years were from 8 to 11. She was as hardcore as it got....but after 11, I had to start leaving her home at times and could only hunt her in the easy spots.

She had a stroke right after her 13th birthday and we had to put her down. She'd have been with me in the field otherwise.

The buffered asprin helped....and I would have done the glucosamine as described above had I known about it. But because they don't regulate themselves, you will have to be the one to slow your dog down. Maybe keep your dog on a leash and don't let em run as hard as they normally would. It seems they only have 2 buttons, on and off- you have to find the middle ground.

Good luck-
 

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one more thing....

Don't overlook offseason conditioning. Don't settle for just a walk around the block or a short game of fetch....get em out and excercise em like they would get in a hard hunt. Doesn't have to be every day, but make it a few times a week. If its purely joint pain- that's one thing...but if its cuz your dog is out of shape, that problem can be fixed.
 

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If people exercise (and eat right) they feel better and have more energy. So do dogs.

I've run my dog every day without fail. Also, I run her on grass and not on pavement or hard surfaces. I feed her twice per day. No open dish policy. Dogs stay trimmer if they don't get all that they want. She turned nine this year and is still going strong.

SJB
Colorado
 

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Don't get carried away with the exercise! Get the dog in shape gradually after she starts to show some improvement with the glucosamine. Diet can be started immediately, if shes fat. If shes not fat then she probably has joint problems from osteoarthritis which is what the Glucosamine mix will help a lot but it can take several weeks to a couple of months for it to really start to work. If she is fat and out of shape start with a 1 mile walk daily walk for 2 weeks then add a mile a week until you are walking her three miles a day, try to maintain the 3 miles a day forever. That will be plenty, especially if you live in a place that she can be waled off a leash.
It will keep you in shape also. In the summer if its hot take her somewhere where she can swim and let her swim after a retrieving dummy. labs get hot easily so be careful in the summer.
 

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My dog too will be 10 in March. I also noticed last year, she still hunts full speed but afterwards at home is in discomfort very stiff and soar. I do not need to carry her up stairs yet. Was to vet recently and did general blood work. Turns out she needed a Thyroid medication. Really noticed a change in her activeness with that. Can anyone advise if the Glucosamine stuff can be used in conjunction with the thyroid condition pills ??? Feel sorry for the poor pooch. Mind wants to go so badly but body is aging.
 

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Bobm is giving good advice with the excercise and Glucosomine Chondroitin Sulfate. I have had good success with Glucosimine on two labs as they got older. Any extra weight really causes problems when they have joint problems so watch the diet. For those times when they just work too hard and they get sore I give a dog aspirin from Fosters and Smith in Wisconsin. Buffered stuff will work as well but most dogs will eat the doggie aspirin without a fight. Don't give Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

When you shop for the Glucosomine, make sure you get the one with the Chondroitin, they also have a straight Glucosomine, the Chondroitin Sulfate helps the adsorption.
 

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You can give the glucosamine freely it has been test literally for decades inEurope with no side effects. It worked wonders on my labs and my old shorthair was about 11 and when I went for a walk he couldn't harldy keep up with me. Two months on the glucosamine chodroitin supplement and he was running around like he did when he was 6. That was what really sold me on the product. By the way I take it myself twice daily for three years for the same reason and I works on people just as well (I'm 51 by the way). Use coated aspirin on the dog never use anything like tylenol. The coated aspirin doesn't hurt their digestive tract. Once they are on the glucosomine for a while the aspirin won't be needed
 
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