Your senior dog likely has several processes occurring under the surface that you are not aware of!
One BIG one that you as a pet parent to a senior dog need to be aware of is muscle wasting in our senior dogs. This is something that EVERY senior pet will encounter and WILL IMPACT their mobility, their joints and their ability to live life to the fullest as they age.
In the podcast this week, we’ll talk about how aging dogs have a natural propensity to lose muscle and how we want to counteract this in our senior dogs if possible (given pet’s current health status)).
This can be hard to do and there is SO much we are learning about how to counteract it. The perfect example of both subtle and severe muscle loss can be seen in my own two dogs at home: Twig and my geriatric labrador Becca.
Becca is a 15.5 yrs old labrador mix with severe muscle wasting visible in this photo. Her medium hair coat actually hides it. We are able to 'feel' it more than see it. Becca also has significant arthritis in her hips and lower back which we manage. This has somewhat affected our ability to counteract her muscle loss.
Twig is an 8 year old SF mix breed cattledog. She is what I call an 'early senior' though we are just starting to see some subtle muscle loss in her back legs.
Twig (the brown dingo dog) is my early/middle senior and has subtle muscle loss that is beginning. Becca my super senior has obvious muscle loss in her back legs.
We try to counter both of their muscle loss with low impact activity, diet, weight management and muscle building activities. Their routines are much different than one another because they are at very different physical status compared to one another.
In particular, with Becca we have to be very mindful about what we do and how much because she also has hip dysplasia and lower back arthritis.
Anyone else have a geriatric dog with visible muscle loss? If you enjoyed this blog then we hope you join other Dog Parents like you and transform from concerned to 'in-the-know' dog parent with our one-of-a-kind vet created courses. Learn more about creating a healthier life for your aging dog, by checking out our free resources and top-rated Longer Living Dog Mini Course for Pet Parents. Your dog will thank you.