Hello! I just stumbled onto Pugvillage.com, and I'm very excited to see a whole forum devoted to pugs! What a great idea! Anyway, I'm a pug-addict who is REALLY HOPING some other pug-owners here can help me out with an elderly pug question.
I have a very sweet but elderly and arthritic 15-year-old pug, Pipster, who recently has been refusing to go on walks. I'll take her out and she'll sit and refuse to get up, and then after a lot of coaxing she'll get up, walk a few steps, and then come to a stop and refuse to budge. And you know how stubborn pugs can be! She'll only actually walk more than 3 steps in a row if we're pointed in the direction of home.
This is very surprising -- she's always been VERY enthusiastic about walks prior to this. They used to be the highlight of her day. Unfortunately, if she doesn't go for her morning out-of-doors walk, she then has a LOT of trouble walking inside the house, even though I've covered the floor with rubber mats to help her keep her traction. She even will refuse to get up because she's afraid of falling over inside the house. The situation totally changes once she's had her morning walk though -- after the walk, she moves around inside the house just fine with no anxiety.
Has anyone else dealt with this problem? Or just have some suggestions? Know of rubber mats with amazing traction? I would really appreciate any sort of help or commiseration. :)
Hi and welcome. Having been the carer of a few elderly pugs over the years I know how precious they are and how much you want to help.
Sounds like the old dear might be experiencing a bit of pain. I would discuss with your vet suitable meds for her and also look into acupuncture. With careful management and help from your vet you'll get her through these bad times and hopefully have much more time with her.
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Hi and welcome - my oldest is 11 and he recently started to do this. He's got some arthritis and other leg/hip issues but isn't in pain from it, with him its just being stubborn (something Vince is very good at). What he'll do is walk outside, pee - poop (all within 50 feet of the front door) and then he does the sit. People find it amusing to see me trying to coax him along - all the while my other 2 are anxious to walk. What I do now is pick him up and carry him to the 'end point' in our walk - as soon as we turn around to go home miraculously those legs move...pretty quick too ;)
He doesn't have mobility issues - its all mental LOL. Of course my strange foreign neighbors think I'm carrying a dead dog 'cuz of the way he lay with all his paws up in the air while walking. Every once in a while on a cool dry day he'll walk the whole way - the other night he went for a mile before we turned him around. So if you find a similar compromise with Pipster the walks might improve. Vince does get several supplements like kelp, glucosamine, salmon oil, and also gets reiki and massage - so I know he can get the exercise without pain, its just a matter of tricking him into getting the exercise.
If you're not doing supplements and/or some other work on the arthritis mobility its definitely time, but I'm guessing at 15 Pipster is getting a lot of that stuff. There are some topical aids for arthritis you can rub in to relieve pain that might help ease discomfort before a walk - I think its Nature's Animal that makes a rub-on glucosamine plus product.
For in the house those foam puzzle pieces you can get anywhere like Target, etc. might help - Vince gets slippy on the hardwood floor but usually only in the morning straight out of bed.
The most famous pug in North America was Bob of Toronto. He had a pull wagon in which he rode. Talk to your vet about Condroiton, Glucosamine and a baby asperin. I feed the oldest of my animals down the hall, a long walk for a very old dog. It is her morning exercise. I would not personally force the dog to go for a walk, but you know your sweetie better than anyone.
I have a houseful of seniors so know what you're dealing with. I recently lost my eldest within a week of her 15th birthday. She couldn't walk more than a couple of steps for the last couple of years. You're right to try to keep Pipster mobile as long as possible to stimulate her potty functions, but if she is in pain, she needs some help and shouldn't go too far. An x-ray should show up any arthritis or disk problems. Along with supplements, you might try hydrotherapy. This has worked wonders for some of our rescues with mobility issues. It is also important to keep the pug at a healthy weight so as not to put too much pressure on the knees, hips or spine. You might try putting her in a cart so that she can still use her muscles but with some assistance. I didn't have any success with my girl because I think she was too far gone and very stubborn, but others on this forum have had great success with carts. Hopefully they will chime in.
I also have a 12 year old male pug, Gooey, who has had chronic disk disease for over 4 years. He still hobbles around but cannot go for walks as his feet knuckle under. He can no longer do even a small step so I lift him when there is an incline, but I encourage him to walk whenever possible and he will happily do a circuit of our large back yard. I do leg exercises with him regularly to keep him limber and the muscles as strong as possible.
Good luck with your old doll.
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Welcome to the Village
You've had great advice.
It sounds to me like there is some pain involved and maybe stiffness when your sweetie gets up. I would go with a Vet check and some pain medication and supplements for her joints.
Hope she's feeling better soon.
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Hello and .
I have no advice as mine are still youngsters, but I wish you all the best with Pipster and I am storing up all the information in this thread in case my boys need it later.
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My Ginger(about 10-11) is having the same problems. I started her on Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM 1/2 tsp once a day in her food. I think it's helping. She also loved her walks, but now could care less. I will walk her though, just up the street & across to the grassy area & around the corner for a few feet, & then we come back home. With arthritis they need the exercise when you can get it in so they don't lock up.
Wow! I am just blown away by the warm welcome all the great advice! Thank you so much for helping me out! I feel much better about Pipster's situation. Fourteen Legs, Rosiepug, and everyone else who suggested Pipster might be in pain from arthritis -- I had not considered that! She's had arthritis for so long I forgot it probably gets worse and more painful with time. I will definitely talk to my veterinarian about that. Pipster is already on glucosamine, but maybe some chondroitin, kelp, MSM, and baby aspirin will turn her around! Lisamak -- I will definitely try the picking up and carrying to the end point of the walk, and then putting her down! That is a GREAT idea! I'm amazed you have a very similar problem to me. Stubborn ancient pugs are something, aren't they! :) And the foam puzzle pieces at Target -- I will definitely go and buy one tomorrow and see if it provides more traction than the rubber mats I've currently got -- I imagine since it has a little more cushion maybe it might provide more stability. Puggerz -- that's very interesting to me that your pug Ginger is also experiencing a similar phenomenon to Pipster -- I will definitely try adding chondroitin and MSM to see if that works. Tall Grass Pugs -- I will definitely check out the baby aspirin. Don't worry, Pipster's "walk" is down to the end of the driveway and back -- that's all it takes to tire her out! Sixteenpaws -- I'm so sorry to hear about your loss! And the hydrotherapy interests me greatly -- I will check to see if there's anyone around here who does pet hydrotherapy. Also, the cart sounds intriguing -- I can see how it might allow Pipster to warm up her muscles a bit without being in danger of falling down, which would be a good thing. And a house full of senior pugs! I wish you lived around here -- I've been having trouble finding elderly-pug-friends for Pipster -- she's a little too old to roughhouse with the younger pugs. Snifter -- I'm SOO jealous! A house full of young pugs!
Anyway, thanks again everyone for the warm welcome and helpful advice! I'm so glad to have met so many pug people!