Aging Pugs... My first ever dog/pug is Nina a 13 year old and Pinto is close along at 12. They are now both 100% deaf for about 1 year now but Nina is slowing going blind. We have her on eye drops to try to slow the progression. I am so worried about her being both blind and deaf and...well what to do. Has anyone else used drops to slow down the dogs going blind?
I thought that 12/13 year old pug is not 'super old' for toys breeds? How long on average is their life expectancy? It just seemed to be overnight the two went deaf, was I a bad owner? Something in their bath water in Hong Kong? They just bark over and over, I told my boyfriend it was to 'hear their own voice'(?) and to simply annoy the crap out of him
Elmo our third is rescue pug (8) we adopted blind about 2 years ago, he gets along the best of the three albeit SUPER needy but that is cute.
They all lick their paws all the time (I mean all the time) is that boredom from their disabilities?
I am so nervous as I read the rainbow bridge stories and when to let go but as Nina is my first doggy that I got later in life at my human age of 30, I am worried about her little grey pug body albeit she does still seem happy and content.
Anyway there are more comments than questions just because I am new to living with older puglets and how to make sure they are happy all the way to the Rainbow.
PS - any top tips about the increasing horrible breath as they age...
Hello &to the village! I don't have any advice, Tinker is only 5 yrs. I know someone will give you good advice here because several have seniors.
Jackie,Mom to Robbie & Stacy my human children and Tinker my furkid.
I volunteer for a local rescue and I specialize in fostering the senior and special needs dogs. Many I get are already very old, already deaf, already blind, have mobility problems and chronic health issues. But I love them so much, they have a lot of love to give.
As for the drops, it depends on why she is going blind. Some conditions can be helped with drops...some cannot. If it is cataracts, they can be surgically removed, but few owners can afford it and want to put an old dog under anesthesia.
In my experience if it happens very gradually, they adjust well. If it happens suddenly they can have issues.
Pugs normally live 12-16 years. Some who are genetically gifted and well cared for can live even longer.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
- Mohandas Gandhi
I'm no expert. My reply is based on my experience was my Wasabi, a 15 1/2-year old fawn pug. He passed away two weeks ago.
Wasabi began incessant barking (at nothing) last year. Both his hearing and vision began deteriorating at a more rapid pace in the last six months of his life. The vet explained the barking as a symptom of neurological decline - the beginning of a form of dementia for dogs. In the last week of his life I found him standing in the middle of the room barking at nothing and not moving. I'm not sure at that point how much he could still see or hear. I only know that when I put my hands around him to pick him up he was startled. I don't think he knew I was nearby. We had Wasabi's teeth cleaned up until about age 8. The vet became skittish about giving him anesthesia. From that point forward we tried using teeth-cleaning chew "bones" and cookies. Sometimes he'd eat them; most times not. Wasabi's teeth and gums were not healthy. He had very bad breath. In the last year of his life we had to have teeth extracted using only tranquilizers and pain meds for fear of losing him to anesthesia.
In the end (and after many painful weeks of uncertainty) I made an appointment with the vet to let him go. I knew he was in pain from the arthritis. It broke my heart to think he was now deaf and blind and possibly too fearful to move. However, just a couple of hours after finding him standing still in the middle of the room, my husband noticed that Wasabi had begun to shake; he was showing signs of going into organ failure. We immediately took him to the vet. There was no doubt. It was time to let him go. Although it was the most difficult moment in all my time with my little one, it was the most loving thing I would ever do for him.
Again, this was my experience. Maybe someone else on this forum's page can provide more insight. I wish you the best in your journey with your senior pugs.
Mom to Wasabi & Yoshi - at the bridge
Dobby, Sleepy & Max
I read your thread (it was the first one on the forum) about sending Sabi to the Rainbow Bridge and I know that someday I will have to do the same with Nina (and Pinto and Elmo). Your story did make me bawl but in a good way...I know that when the time comes I will be there with them in the end. I just pray I am not on a business trip overseas or something like that as I cannot imagine the guilt...
Both Nina and Pinto are deaf 100% - we did the "bang the pots and pans test" while sleeping and they did not move. They already bark like CRAZY - it drives us nuts!!! :-) We always joke to get Cesar Milan out here to Hong Kong stop them from barking but then they could never here the "tssst" noise he makes and we joke about that.
15.5 years - wow what a great life you offered this little guy. I hope my Nina (+ the boys) make it that long and are healthy. I guess I have to look at all the 13+++ years of love and smelly kisses they gave me.
We have been giving her drops for 2 years now to slow down, as it is progressive old age blindness so we hope to slow it down as much we can. As for the smelly breath, well I guess we have to just grin and bear it.
I bought the book "Real Men Love Pugs" and that is what lead me to this forum. Pug owners are special, I really believe that and there is no typical owner, they can charm the hardest of hearts and make everyone smile. Here in Hong Kong Pugs are Chinese and very very lucky - especially on racing day - so we get very special treatment here in neighborhood. If you really want another book of tear jerkers and laughs, I also just finished Chicken Soup for the Soul - What I learned from my dog and there are some wonderful stories, maybe Wasabi's Mom it is too fresh for you but it is a lovely read.
I will try to post a photo of my gang and look forward to reading and participating more in this forum...
Thanks Lisa for the kinds words and I LOVE senior pugs (besides the bad breath). 12-16 years life, that is great news so mine really are seniors at 12 and 13.
I would adopt a senior pug next time - forget puppies, these guys are seasoned vets, mellow, lovely and just want a comfty bed (and a bit of chicken scraps)
Boy does this sound familiar!! I'm in the same boat as you, and I came today actually to see if anyone has experience with my other senior moment issues...I'll save for another post.
Cubby is 13 or so (just a guess, we are not sure). He has been deaf for some time, and in fact we never noticed. He did have some residual hearing in the left ear but that is now gone as well. It's been at least 3 years, and our vet believes that was gradual.
His blindness was the rapid onset type, most likely SARDS, and it was not a happy time. He did not adjust well, and over 2 years later bumps into things incessantly. We got him a halo - through a website called Angel dogs I think - a woman makes a custom head piece to keep your little one from damaging their eyes worse. he does not like the halo and often sits and mopes when we put it on him. He was very depressed for several months after losing his eyesight. We thought we were going to lose him. But he eventually bounced back, started wagging his tail again, and has a new 'normal'.
He is still very active, though it is very difficult to walk him we are sure trying. Our vet emphasized that keeping him moving was critical. he did gain a lot of weight initially and laid around a lot but now we've gotten him back in a normal range and try to just walk him in circles in the yard.
He does make strange noises now that he did NOT make before when he was just deaf. I think it's because he doesn't know where anyone is - I can't imagine what it must be like to have most of your stimulation and way of knowing cut off. Of course for most dogs the NOSE is most important, and they will continue to do well because they take in so much information that way. Cubby, well, that is not good for him either - he's got allergies, constant drippy nose in spite of whatever medications we've tried, and as our eye specialist noted, he just drew bad luck because some of the things that help dogs in his condition are not there for him to fall back on.
so - if your girl has a good nose still she may function very well. Our vet also said at some point, if he becomes fearful and starts lashing out that we may know then that it's 'time' but otherwise, he still smiles, runs into the walls, eats with vigor and still loves to be held and carried just like before.
Also - since you have a companion dog with her already, he will surely help her and bring her comfort as well....
Best of luck to you - you are not alone!!
My Kelev, 14 next week, is deaf.....and has limited sight! He has other problems too...but he does quite well. Sometimes, I need to go wake him up now....but he can still see large movements.......and I have to point out his treats!!! He's getting weaker in the rear.....and stiffer....But he sure loves to cuddle and to eat!!!!
He sleeps with me......is having a chronic bladder issue with calcium deposit pressing a bit on his urethrae...He feels like he has to go often...but only goes a little!! He's on special meds....to help concentrate his urine....and where's a belly band everywhere except outside!
Our Otis seems to have gone deaf very suddenly: in the last month or less. He seems almost totally deaf. He also seems to be a bit confused by it. He is more likely to follow me around when he's awake, he doesn't respond when we come home until we actually touch him (if he's asleep and doesn't see the other dogs responding), he doesn't play quite as vigorously as he used to just a few weeks ago, and has a really strange attachment to our vacuum cleaner when I am running it. He just walks right beside it the whole time I use it. I think this may be related to his hearing loss. He is almost 12 (January 1) so he seems a bit young for this. We feel so bad for him because I think he can't figure out what happened to him. We had another dog who was totally deaf and blind by the time she left us at age 14. We're going to start working on sign language with him. It's so sad to see your puggies age.
Top Row: Tucker, Spencer, Otis (2000-2013); Bottom Row: Barney, Toby and me