8 years old and slowing down?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Smurph Man
Barked: Sun Sep 18, '11 5:14pm PST 
Over the past few months I've noticed Murphy slowing down. He tends to pull A LOT less on his leash and he gets tired faster. We go to the dog park quite often and the past few time's we've went, after 10-20 minutes of running around he's ready to leave! Usually he wants to stay, but now he's been walking to the gate when he wants to go. He's sleeping a little more as well and I'm wondering if 8 is even the appropriate age that they would be slowing down? It's really depressing to me, and he's not exactly 8 yet but come December he will be. He still acts himself (he's eating normal, drinking normal etc), it's just I can tell he gets tired faster than what he used to.

I'll be taking him to the vet for his shots soon and I will talk to them about it as well but I just wanted to make sure that this is normal.

Pocket Wolf
Barked: Sun Sep 18, '11 5:55pm PST 
age 8 seems to be a pretty significant time in a dog's life. WHen I look at dogs to guess their age, I can usually tell immendiately that a dog is around 8 because there is a change in muscle tone, body carriage, and There is a change in the cornea that turns a dog's irises kind of greenish-bluish due to aging corneas, the teeth are usually yellowed almost always dullled. This is all progressive stuff. Even tiny dogs show these signs of aging. It's all normal, and dogs do slow down a bit. I like to say "mellowing into a wise dog phase"

Age 8 is about age 55 in dog-human comparison, so he's done maturing, and he's had a healthy adulthood, and now he's entering late middle age. Bitches should be retired for sure, as midlife pregnancies are as risky for dogs as for humans, studs are usually retired from breeding and showing, all the craziness of hormone driven youth is done, because hormone activity decreases, metabolism is slowing down so he shouldn't need to eat as much calorie-wise, and because of that his stamina and overall energy level goes down. he's also psychologically done maturing and has a pretty concrete view on life from his doggie perspective. Just like with humans now it is time for middle-aged dog to really enjoy life in stride. With luck, love, care, good diet, and good genetics, your dog can be expected to have another wonderful 8-10 years.

Edited by author Sun Sep 18, '11 5:57pm PST

Mitchell- Rapp "Black- Ops"

Barked: Sun Sep 18, '11 9:55pm PST 
Are you planning on doing some blood work on you pup when you visit the vet? I would do a geriatric panel on him, this will show his kidney, liver, thyroid, pancreatic functions as well as glucose levels, also you may consider having a cardiac workup done at his age.

Also consider asking the vet if he really needs vaccines at this age, I am a huge believer in not doing vaccines without titers, why do them if they do not need them. We only do vaccines every 3 yrs at the clinic and quite a few times we do the titers beforehand.

Is he acting as if something is hurting, arthritis can be a problem at that age. At times dogs can exhibit "slowing down" when their joints or back is hurting them just like we do.

At age 7 we start doing full "senior citizen" work ups which include, blood work, urinalysis, cardiac ecg (ultrasound also if needed) abdominal ultrasound getting a look at the spleen, pancreas, kidneys and liver. If the dog is exhibiting signs of pain in the back, neck or joints we will get some xrays. I know this sounds very expensive but you may ask about wellness plans that your vet may have that include discounts. I would definately get blood work

Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
Barked: Mon Sep 19, '11 7:34am PST 
Hey Murph...I honestly don't think 8 is old for your breed. But you know me...I'm your pal...and I'm not an expert wink We noticed Trudy slowing down a bit a year or so ago. Trudy is now 9. I honestly think depending on the breed, their zoomie zoom, run free years are between 2 and 8...but again, that's my guess and my experience.

Trudy still gets lots of spurts of excitement...she does sleep a lot more but overall, she seems like a content, playful dog who especially loves her walks.

Talk to your vet about it, but unless there is something specific you are seeing, something to concern you besides the "slow-down", I think all is ok. Now if he is really moving slowly and not moving around much, that's different. Good luck and I'm sending you my scootie hugs!


Foster Failure
Barked: Mon Sep 19, '11 7:48am PST 
"You may notice that you dog slows down some with aging. This isn't always the case, but look for subtle changes in how s/he gets up, lays down, and uses stairs. Is there any hesitation or stiffness? Does a change in the weather (rainy, cold) make it worse?
Arthritis is common in dogs as they age, particularly large breeds. Arthritis can occur in any joint, most commonly the legs, neck and back (spine). There are many different medications available to help ease the discomfort of arthritis -- see your vet if you notice any signs of slowing down in your dog. Another potential cause of slowing down is hypothyroidism, an endocrine disorder common in dogs. This condition is easily diagnosed and treated with proper veterinary care."

http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/doggeneral/a/caringsenio rdog.htm

Smurph Man
Barked: Mon Sep 19, '11 11:41am PST 
Hi everyone, thank you so much for the help!

I called Murph's vet today and the kidney test alone is pretty expensive to get done so I'm calling around to see if its any cheaper around here. They suggested just bringing him in for a general check up, which I will probably do anyway.

Honestly, I have no clue about Murphy's background. I do know that he came from a very bad Amish puppy miller. This guy was banned from the AKC because of his kennel conditions. His previous owners bought him from a pet store. I do wonder how healthy is parents were when they were bred too. I don't know how much this would have to do with his life span or what age he would start to slow down but I take it genes have a lot to do with it.

Murphy is acting completely normal other than the sleeping more, and less energy. He's still his normal playful self when hes awake and not tired laugh out loud. I just want to be sure nothing else is going on so I definitely want to get some tests done to ease my mind. I really appreciate all the help♥hug
♠- Mickey- ♠

One by one The- squirrels steal- my sanity

Barked: Mon Sep 19, '11 12:35pm PST 
Hi, Murphy!wave
As a fellow 8-year-old, I'm in the same shoes (or booties as it were).

Mom sees me slowing down and not playing as hardily as I used to. I never play with my toys any more, and spend most of my day sleeping.

I think its just age. But when I see a cat or get offered a yummy treat, I'm up and at 'em!way to go

Its hard for them to see us getting older, but remember, we might only be middle aged. shhMom's middle aged tooshh She's slowing down!big laugh

That doesn't mean she's done though! Just got to modify and keep moving. And I know you know this, but don't jump down off the sofa or high places. Our middle aged bones don't like that. We don't bounce back as quickly as we used to.

Love ya!
Mickey the Buggy Boy
Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
Barked: Mon Sep 19, '11 1:19pm PST 
Murph, perhaps consider having a general blood work up done...it's a lot cheaper, but it can at least point to any changes in kidney, liver, or red/white blood cell counts. That can let you know if anything is "off". I think that's around $100 or $150.

Mickey! snoopyhughughug

I don't play as much as I used to either...mom attributes it to my back though as my activity level changed a couple of years ago around the same time as my back problem. I'm only 7. Mom can see the changes because our brother Billy has some serious energy/spunk! laugh out loud

Got food?
Barked: Mon Sep 19, '11 3:40pm PST 
8 in a dog Murphy's size is about 54 in human years. Since I am over 54 there's no way I would consider that senior! wink

Barked: Mon Sep 19, '11 3:52pm PST 
I think I would still do a guick check up on the dog . 8 is not real , I have had some slow down a bit at that age. They are not puppies anymore so I am sure they will slow down a bit. I hope there is nothing wrong. good luck.