10 years on the chain

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy


Member Since
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '13 2:05pm PST 
It's a long and hard story but to cut it short I have a 10 year old collie (from good stock - very powerful father - but who has spent the best part of his life chained to his kennel) who has come to ours to retire. He ripped a few lambs open in his prime & was still worked a bit so you don't have to feel too sorry for him but he's not had the best life.

Now he's got a few acres to run about in, a comfy bed (duvet to lie on), a good friend (chocolate lab) to play with and he's getting decent food (worker dry complete with plenty of water - with the odd treat) and he's happy.

He'll have a good retirement and he'll be looked after well but he comes to us with a very weak back end. Seems to be a bit of arthuritis but I'm not sure it's not just lack of muscle development as a result of years having been tied up.

He has spent the last few weeks running about the woods outside all day then coming in for a big bowl of food and he has made good improvements in size and form and also in his coat. He sometimes seems a lot more agile but other times seems stiff.

I'm just wondering if it is possible for a 10 year old dog to pack on muscle to his back end where it has not previously been allowed to develop or are we kidding ourselves here?... probably a trip to the vets in order I know but interested to hear any views.


Edited by author Tue Feb 5, '13 2:10pm PST

In Loving- Memory of- Chance

The dog who- didn't stand a- chance
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '13 3:27pm PST 
Possible? With the right diet, it could be. I've seen senior dogs come from terrible lives, looking like they're very close to the end. And yet, go to a new home, get put on an adequate diet, and make a complete turn around.

Of course, this would all depend on what's wrong with his back end. I'm no expert. It could be arthritis. Lilo and Chance both suffered from it near the end. And with both of them, there would be some weakness in their back end. The right supplements (speak to your vet before getting any) helped a lot. Some days were better than others, nevertheless.

When in doubt, the best thing to do is always consult a vet. It sounds like he has a lot more mobility than my two late seniors had in their last months. So, that's certainly a good sign. But a vet's opinion would not hurt.

Edited by author Tue Feb 5, '13 3:28pm PST


Member Since
Barked: Thu Feb 7, '13 12:39am PST 
As the previous poster said, it certainly is possible for your senior dog to pack some muscle as long as he is given adequate diet. I've also heard a lot of old dogs and even those weak, stray dogs gain lots of weight because they have people who took good care of them.

As for your dog's weak back end, I couldn't exactly say that it definitely is arthritis. Only a vet could tell you for sure, so I guess you'd be scheduling that trip to the vet soon then.


Mr. Hankey
Barked: Fri Feb 8, '13 8:28pm PST 
wasting of thigh muscles can be due to hip dysplasia