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Jasper's diary

Discussion in 'Dog Diaries' started by JudyN, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Just back from the vet's. Jasper was a star, he even let Auntie Kate examine his paw and his joints... Until she stretched out his elbow, when either she'd found the source of the pain or he'd just plain had enough. Maybe having Mr N there helped keep him calmer.

    She doesn't think there's any infection in the pad and that if it is the source of pain, it could be a corn/thickening under the surface. But as he also had a reaction when Mr N felt his elbow a few days ago, that could well be the source of the pain. She agreed that we should simply let J do what he wants to do rather than restrict his walks, though suggested keeping him on lead. The last two times he's had a limp come on suddenly were after spotting a friend in the park and running over to them, so I'll probably keep him on lead in places this might happen but let him off if we go exploring off piste.

    As far as his dementia is concerned, we're going to try giving gabapentin in the evenings as it has a relaxing, but not sedating, effect. She thinks sedatives would have unwanted side effects - though I'm fine to try 'natural' calmers like YuCalm.

    So I'm happy - we know he's not going to be with us for ever, but can just get on with letting him enjoy his life as much as possible. And for the time being at least, I'm coping with the nights. When he goes, I want to be able to say, 'But at least we had a great walk together yesterday' rather than 'That past week of enforced rest, which made him miserable, was a waste of valuable time.'
     
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  2. RGC

    RGC Well-Known Member Registered

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    What a saint you are and he’s a very fortunate boy.Bless him.
     
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  3. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    In its own way it's not bad news, and kudos to you for such a pragmatic take on it.
     
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  4. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Three nights on gabapentin now...

    The first night, I didn't notice any difference. The second night, he had one brief out, bark, in and slept through. Last night I gave it a little earlier - 7pm instead of 8pm - and he slept through again :):):)
     
  5. Pascalina

    Pascalina Member Registered

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  6. Pascalina

    Pascalina Member Registered

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    I have a Jasper and he certainly keeps me on my toes. Many people say how calm he is but they don't always see the crazy dog. We wouldn't have them any other way( maybe except when they do something we perceive as disgusting). Pascalina
     
  7. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    An update on Jasper:

    He's been on gabapentin for just over a fortnight now, and is sleeping reliably on half the dose the vet originally prescribed :) He's calmer rather than 'sedated' - he goes out for his bedtime wee without needing rousing.

    But he's started getting more needy during the day, often whining & barking, and I can't work out why (he probably doesn't know himself). Sometimes he'll be OK once he's got up and had a drink, or inspected his holes in the garden, or I've chucked a few tennis balls at him (he won't move to catch them - I have to pretty much aim at his mouth, and even then he sometimes misses them and looks at me accusingly for throwing them wrong). So we're going to try gabapentin up to three times a day to help with his anxiety - the vet says that dogs were generally anxious in their younger tend to develop worse anxieties as they age :confused:

    We had an odd encounter in the park this afternoon - a couple up ahead had a greyhound and a lurcher, and Jasper usually greets any sighthound like an old friend, but he stopped a few yards away and looked really unsure. He did come over a while, but he seemed very... tentative. Later, on the field, he seemed much more his normal self when he met another lurcher, and I'm wondering if his eyesight has declined - we met the first group under trees. He also later thought of going up a narrow path under trees, but changed his mind and turned back. His sight still seems fine in the house, though, even in the evenings, and he's not worried about going into the garden after dark.
     
  8. RGC

    RGC Well-Known Member Registered

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    I can understand that he's fine in the house and garden - he knows the layout. However, when outside he has to contend with changing light and shades. I once took our male whippet with me when I was delivering some equipment backstage at a theatre. Although not in darkness the light was sombre and Blue wasn't happy going up and down the stairs although I was with him - proceeding with hesitation and not happy. On another occasion we were in the crypt at the back of St Davids Cathedral were it was gloomy and Blue wasn't happy walking past a few areas as though there was an unseen being lurking. Blue was eventually diagnosed with slow unstoppable retinal deterioration. He was quite comfortable with it as, in the house we didn't move stuff about and on walks our other whippet wore a bell on her collar. It sounds similar, JudyN.
     
  9. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Thanks RGC - though he still notices if, say, the dishwasher door is open and blocking his route past the table, or my footstool is pushed further out than normal, and he also responds to hand signals or notices if I pick his brush up (he loves being groomed). I'll have to experiment in different light levels... Maybe shadows from trees make him feel as disoriented as I do when I'm driving at night - in which case no wonder he's anxious!
     
  10. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Going through the same with Lils re eyesight Judy , she’ll see something ahead on her walk and suddenly stop and stare , could be people or another dog that she’s usually happy to meet but now doesn’t seem to want to interact like she used to, she also walks with a low head carriage and seems more confident on her lead being close to me. Wish I knew exactly how good or bad her eyesight is , as like Jasper , she knows if my hand is near and will find her ball if I throw it in the house . She will only play for 5 mins now whereas before she was ball obsessed ! Seems to cry for no reason , and wants to be close to me all the time. Every day I go through these quality of life lists to check for deterioration but thank goodness she doesn’t fit the brief as yet :rolleyes: I constantly fret about her and I’m continually stroking her…I’m sure she gets fed up with me ;)
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    It's rubbish, isn't it Mayblossom? :( I really hope the gabapentin works because yesterday he was more sad than happy :(
     
  12. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    So hoping it works for him Judy, how old is your lovely boy ? Really sad seeing them unhappy, hoping he’s a bit happier today :( the last two nights I’ve had to get up at 1.30 to let her into the garden for a poo , I’m grateful she at least tells me she wants to go and doesn’t do it in the bedroom :)
     
  13. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    He's 12, Mayblossom - so not that old, but he is a big dog. How old is Lily?

    Yes, I'm grateful that we don't have bowel/bladder problems... yet!
     
  14. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Lils will be 13 in July, so like Jasper , much the same age :rolleyes: but he’s a big lad so a good age.
    We’re going away on Monday so hope the change of scenery perks her up a bit and really hoping she doesn’t want her trips to the garden in the early hours :( does Jasper sleep a lot during the day?
     
  15. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    He doesn't sleep any more than he used to - maybe less, because of his anxiety. Though, touch wood, he's been OK this morning so we've not needed to dose him up. And being a sighthound, sleep is his natural state when not out walking!

    There are so many places I would love to take him - the heaths he loves, to visit my mum, whom he loves - but he began to really struggle with the car, and there's no way we can lift him in and out. Fortunately we still have several good walks we can do from the door, though.

    Poor Lily, that's not that old for a terrier :( Though I think in a way, we suffer more than them because we know what inevitably approaches, whereas they just live in the moment.
     
  16. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Pleased he’s been ok this morning, but such a shame he’s struggling being in the car, luckily you live in a beautiful area with gorgeous walks close by. We took Lils to West Wittering beach last week and she did actually enjoy it, she can only go on sandy beaches as stony ones make her feet sore :( was lame on her front leg for a while but that seems to be ok at the moment . You’re so right in us suffering more than them, they go on in their own little world while we worry ourselves to bits! Lils is staring at me intently now and I think she may want a walk….until we get out there then decides she doesn’t really want to :D ah well, just go with the flow :) sending you and Jasper big hugs and hope our oldies go on for a while x
     
  17. Tinytom

    Tinytom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Tilly was 12 but the same size as Jasper so a good age ....
    Think all we can do is make sure the good days outweigh the bad and when they dont you know its time to let them go ....xxxxx
    Tiny Tom is only 9 this year but is in heart failure. ..after thinking he had a bad bout of kennel cough it appears its his heart ...within a year of having no heart murmur to a grade 5 on the right side and a 6 on the left :(he is on heart meds which made a slight difference....going for a heartscan monday to see what the damage is and if medication can let him live a good quality of life. ...after losing 2 of our dogs within 2 months of each other we are devastated. ...
    Sorry to hijack Jaspers thread Judy ....i will start a new one monday when i know what the heart scan reveals. ...xxxx
     
  18. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh @Mayblossom West Wittering ! Were almost neighbours:eek:
     
  19. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Wish we lived near West Wittering but sadly live in Surrey ;) dedication to take our little girl 70 miles away so she can enjoy herself :rolleyes: it’s the most beautiful beach unlike the other beaches on the south coast where it’s too stony for Lily feet :( whereabouts are you excuseme?
     
  20. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Mayblossom, Jasper's never been able to walk on stony beaches! We once stayed in a holiday cottage with a large gravel driveway where the gravel was in very large stones, and he hated it - presumably he thought he should have a red carpet rolled out for him!

    Tinytom, I do hope Tom has many more happy days to come - I can't imagine losing two dogs so close together :-(

    I gave Jasper a gabapentin just before midday, and he's been much better than he was yesterday, but then he's had Mr N on hand too.
     
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