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simba

Doea this merit the vet?

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I know, I know, this is one of those question titles you seeon yahoo answers about a dog bleeding from the ears.

 

 

But seriously. My elderly dog will not fetch a tennis ball. We play fetch for her dinner and she will go to the ball, move at it, then look up at me. When I ask her again to fetch she pokes it and then looks at me. She will fetch socks and a small stuffed toy. No visible problems with the mouth.

 

Vet or leave her for a week and see how she goes? 15 y/o dog, no other symptoms save some odd shaking that has been going on for a few months.

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If a 15 year old dog loses interest in fetch....or in any other game....I think they should be allowed to make that choice. I say just let her be.

The game is supposed to be for fun, right? And if she doesn't think it is fun any more, stop doing it.

 

Or just do it with the soft toys that she wants to fetch. What's so special about a tennis ball that she needs to fetch that?

 

I also think that a dog that age should just be fed, period, and not made to do anything in order to get her food. I often use kibble, one piece at a time, to train with younger dogs. but I would never do that with an 15 year old dog.

 

My 15 year old gets whatever she wants to eat, and isn't asked to do anything at all any more. She has earned the right just to be, and live out the rest of her life in peace, snoozing, playing, doing whatever she wants to do.

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I am more worried in case she has a sore mouth or eyesight trouble or something. Most nights I get bumped on the leg with the tennis ball, or she 'steals' socks, the phone, toilet roll etc and I have to chase her and then cuddle her as that is the game. It is out of character.

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A bit quieter overall than usual. It also literally happened overnight. Last week she was scratching at me to go get the ball for her.

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If a 15 year old dog loses interest in fetch....or in any other game....I think they should be allowed to make that choice. I say just let her be.

The game is supposed to be for fun, right? And if she doesn't think it is fun any more, stop doing it.

 

Or just do it with the soft toys that she wants to fetch. What's so special about a tennis ball that she needs to fetch that?

 

I also think that a dog that age should just be fed, period, and not made to do anything in order to get her food. I often use kibble, one piece at a time, to train with younger dogs. but I would never do that with an 15 year old dog.

 

My 15 year old gets whatever she wants to eat, and isn't asked to do anything at all any more. She has earned the right just to be, and live out the rest of her life in peace, snoozing, playing, doing whatever she wants to do.

FWIW, some older dogs still revel in simple games and training. And it's good for their mental health. Remember Bretagne - the search dog from 9/11 that lived to be nearly 16? Part of the reason for her longevity was the fact that she still had stuff to do (therapy dog right up until almost the end)

 

While I certainly agree that a dog that age has earned the right to do whatever - and I'd let them if that was what they really wanted - I'm also a believer that mental enrichment and simple games are a part of seniors staying healthy. So I try to keep those up and change them to suit the dog as they get older

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If it happens overnight, yep to the vet. To me, not wanting to play is not the same as poking the ball (showing interest) but not wanting to pick it up.

 

Dental issues can be not obvious. Had more than one dog who during a routine exam we discovered a hidden fracture or else. Maybe something weird. Maybe nothing!

 

Hopefully you have a vet who understands when you arrive with a dog who is "just not right" and doesn't think you are overly protective.

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I'm pondering things like arthritis in her jaw that would make it hard for her to open her mouth wide enough to get the ball in/exert enough force to hold it there.

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Yep, go to the vet. Could be a bad tooth, a tumor, arthritis in the jaw or (I've seen several dogs with it) an inflammation of the masseter muscle that is painful and prevents the dog from opening their mouth completely. Good luck. Let us know what is found.

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Vet couldn't examine her jaw (she turned into the Incredible Snapping Dog*) so she has been given a course of anti-inflammatories and if that doesn't clear it up she will go in for x rays and further investigation. It requires sedation and she is elderly and has a couple of things that make that a bit more risky.

 

 

*Sore jaw, half-blind and hates her face touched at the best of times, so fair enough. we do lots of careful desensitization for treats but it wasn't enough.

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I'm sorry the vet didn't sedate her and do x-rays straight off. I just had my young dog in for x-rays (leg injury - turned out to be nothing) and he was out in 15 seconds, pictures done and back in the car in 15 minutes. I hate treating an ill without finding the cause. :( I hope your girl will make a fast turnaround, though.

~ Gloria

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She seems to be doing a lot better. It was tough for her because the vet said to take all the toys away and not let her hold anything until she was rested a bit.

 

She resorted to, for example, pulling the bin over to get a piece of plastic wrapping (!) out so she had something to play with. Rubbish EVERYWHERE. But hey, at least I know she's not just miserable and sick and lethargic?

 

But anyway, there was an object of roughly similar size in the bin and she managed to grab that and toddle out with it. So I think she seems to be a bit better.

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