Chow Life changes

General discussions about Chow Chows.

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby Zhuyos mom » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:10 pm

kingalls wrote:... One of the things she would always do is go upstairs and check out the bedrooms and hallway. :( This time she only stood and stared at the staircase. It is difficult for her to just go up the 2 porch steps and I am sure the stairs now look impossible to her. I had to rescue my big baby, Nahkohe, when he went up stairs and was afraid to go back down. I suppose if I could carry him downstairs, I could carry Shiloh up and down when she wants to check it out.


Dear sweet Shiloh. Karen, I remember the day you posted you found a little chowling hiding in your backyard like it was yesterday! Now she is a graceful senior chow gal. How are her eyes? Maybe she has some cataracts and it's affecting her depth perception. Have you tried giving her Sea Jerky with MSM as a supplement. It's readily available now (versus when I special ordered it for Zhuyo back in the day). I swear by it. From Zhu to Miss PB to Indigo, it worked wonders. Also, instead of thinking of carrying Shiloh up the stairs, consider doing what I have done and still do with slow poke, Poe, and that is walk behind them and use their tail as a rudder. I hold their tails and give them a stable boost to walk up. I have a couple of stair ways in my home and have never had to carry any of my senior chows. Give it a try and a BIG hug to my lovely Shiloh!

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:44 pm

Sea Jerky with MSM as a supplement - yes, I will look for that this weekend. I am not sure about her eyes. I need to have her vet checked and will discuss with the vet.
I don't think I should risk carrying her up the stairs :roll: ...two senior girls going up the stairs sounds like trouble.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Sat May 02, 2015 6:55 pm

Our girl Shiloh continues to hang in there and let the puppy GSD know when he's out of line. She still loves her walks around the block. Some days she is a little slow and other days she prances like she's 5 years old. Shiloh doesn't do well with changes. This past week I went on a trip to visit my mom and took the puppy. She barely ate food and would lay down facing the door - like she is waiting for him to come home. Sadly, it was a reminder when she did that - waiting for Nahkohe to come home - for so many weeks. During that time we had to take turns sleeping downstairs with her :cry:.
Once we got back from our trip, Shiloh's tail was constantly wagging & she started to eat again \:D/ . So lesson learned, we need to be very mindful of significant changes to her environment.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Sat May 30, 2015 4:37 pm

It has been a few stressful weeks for us and Shiloh. We noticed her right eye was tearing a lot. A trip to the vet resulted in having to apply ointment because of an "ulcer" - follow-up visit at the same place with her regular vet revealed that she has entropion and suggested an ophthalmologist which we did visit. Her right eye cornea was 90% damaged. If entropion was not resolved, she could suffer another eye ulcer. Knowing that Shiloh doesn't handle changes well, I knew an e-collar would be a huge issue. Someone suggested laser treatment to fix the entropion - no stitches, no e-collar. It took a lot of phone calls before I could find a local clinic. I have to mention that my local Chow Chow friends were of immense help and support. :x . Unfortunately, the appointment with the clinic that could do laser treatment said that Shiloh was not a candidate for a laser treatment :cry: . After discussing the procedure with Shiloh's regular vet, we decided to let him do the procedure versus the ophthalmologist which would be triple the cost. Shiloh's vet is aware of the Chow Chow's low tolerance to anesthesia plus he agreed to suture the area so that the sutures were less exposed. We bought a soft e-collar on amazon. The vet issued plastic collar would not be comfortable.
Shiloh's surgery was yesterday. Of course, she was so ready to go home but the e-collar is a source of distress for her. We had the foresight to block off the deck so that she could not crawl under and hid...which is the first thing she tried to do when we got home. The collar has made it difficult for her to figure out how to go up the deck stairs so we had to install ramps. The water and food bowl presented issues because she couldn't reach the food or water because of the cone length but we got that resolved.
Today she was "out of sorts" and making strange grunting noises and basically "freakin out" if we tried to help her up the deck steps. I removed her e-collar at one point but caught her trying to rub her eyes so that ended right away. We put our GSD puppy into doggy day care for a few days so that Shiloh will not have to deal with his puppy-ness.
Today we also were sad to find out that a Chow Chow support person lost her Chowboy :cry: She has been so concerned about our Shiloh yet suffered a sudden loss of her beautiful young Chowboy. We are sending our love and prayers to her and her Chowboy and grateful that our Shiloh (at 12 years of age) made it through her entropion surgery.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:04 am

Day 8 of the cone...Shiloh is doing really well and is navigating great. So glad we got the soft cone. We remove it when she goes out for her walks twice a day...didn't want her to be embarassed :oops: . It's been so quiet without Kohana at home. We miss him a lot but we get to remove Shiloh's cone on Monday and then we bring Kohana home from doggie day care Tuesday afternoon :lol: . I was so tempted to stop by the doggie day care to give him a hug but knew it would be awful for him to be left behind.
Shiloh will get her stitches removed on day 12 - this coming Friday. \:D/ .
The whole entropion thing can be nasty - especially after seeing the opthamalogist's close up pictures. Because Chow Chows are known for this problem be sure to have their eyes checked at least once a year. I think Shiloh's entropion developed late but it wasn't caught until her cornea was 90% ulcerated. Basically, the vet said it was healed but if her entropion was not fixed, she would get another ulcer. The risk of anesthisa at her age was higher but there wasn't another option. We are so grateful that she is doing well.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:00 pm

A year ago today, Nahkohe crossed the bridge... This is one of my favorite pictures of him: Image...sure do miss that Chowboy! I miss his special Chow Chow smell. I hug & smell Shiloh but her scent is a little different but close enough to bring back the memories of Nahkohe's Chow smell.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby Laura » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:33 pm

Wow I can't believe it has been a year already. You never really get over the loss. July 31st was 8 years since I lost Kody and I still miss him. Each one that comes into our lives is unique and leaves their very own lasting impression and spot in our hearts and they take a little piece when they go.
I missed your posts about Shilohs surgery somehow. I am glad she is recovered.
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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:00 pm

Our sweet Shiloh is getting a little slower but still loves her walkies. She is getting really picky about food but we give her what she wants because she doesn't eat very much. Her incontinence is becoming more of a problem. We are putting pee pads out in the indoor areas that she likes to sleep. The "boys" (Anatolion/chow mix and GSD) keep themselves entertained so that gives Shiloh reprieve. Shiloh has been such a trooper with all of the changes in her life. Sometimes I really miss the brother-sister relationship with her and Nahkohe. I think she still misses Nahkohe a lot. She lays down facing the front door like she expects him to come back anytime. I know how she feels...there is a song that reminds me of Nahkohe and every time it play on the radio, I drift off thinking about out last days together.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:12 pm

Shiloh had what was probably a "hot spot" - first ever. The vet shaved her tail - very much like a lion's cut tail. I had to apply an ointment a couple of times a day. She is such a trooper! The hot spot is gone and there tail fur is slowly coming back. I don't know how she puts up with the "boys" but she is pretty smart - when they get wild with their playing, she goes under the deck or someplace far away from their antics. Shiloh is getting on towards 13. She seems dealing with her years pretty good. We hug her every day and thank God she continues to be with us.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby Zhuyos mom » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:56 pm

Sweet Shiloh is a blessing!!

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:22 pm

Shiloh's balance is becoming less stable and often goes down. This morning she went to do a little body shake and ended up going down...Jeff had to pick her back up so she could continue her walk. She loves her walks so much. She does a bouncing up and down on her front legs when she knows we are getting ready for her walk. We are having to put pee pads out every where. Her incontinence is becoming a bigger issue. The vet says there is something stronger to give her but he sounded guarded about going down that road - me, too. Love our Chowgirl!
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:53 pm

Last night Shiloh was in a "mood". We went to bed and she got me up with barking and pawing at the baby gate. This is her normal signal to let her out to go potty. She did her business and came back in...so I went back to bed...then 30 minutes later, more barking. I let her out and she went out but just looked around. She came in after about 5 minutes so I went to bed...45-60 minutes later she was barking again...this time she just laid down outside. So I grabbed a couple of blankets and made a bed on the couch. After a bit she wanted back in. She eventually settled down and seemed to sleep soundly until 4 in the morning where she wanted out and lay down outside. She went for her morning walk and went "down" once. Jeff had to pick her up. She turned up her nose to her favorite chicken dinner. Last night I watched how much her back legs would shake and how she can't lay down with her back legs straight out behind her. I was able to take her to the vet this afternoon...basically, her arthritis is so bad - vet said it's like bone on bone...he also suspects her spinal cord is degenerating which might explain her back legs shaking. Surprisingly, her blood work is really good for a dog nearing 13 years. He put her on tramadol besides the deramax she is already on. Shiloh has lost a couple of pounds. I was able to get her to eat some food this evening. One day at a time for our special Chowgirl.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:20 pm

I haven't continued the extra tramadol meds for Shiloh. It's bad enough that I have to force two pills down her throat each day. At first we shortened Shiloh's walks but after some discussion we decided that Shiloh will let us know when the walks need to be shortened. She loves her walks so much so we have decided to let her tell us when the walks are too difficult for her to complete. It's hard to watch her back legs shake so much. The "Boys" (GSD and ASD) are not very smart about not passing by her without bumping her and causing her to tip over. On the other hand, Shiloh has adjusted how much she will shake her head to keep from tipping over - she is so smart.
Shiloh went into the vets for a few check-ups the past couple of weeks and she still gets compliments on how beautiful she is...I have to agree! She is so sweet and beautiful!
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby Laura » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:04 pm

My Chloe is on Tramadol and I squish it in cheese or pop them in a piece of sandwich meat or hotdog and she takes them like a champ. Just a suggestion. I'm sorry that she is struggling.
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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby ski » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:47 pm

Loki takes four tramadol a day without any problem. We use liverwurst. That is the only way to get him to take them

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:42 pm

Are Chloe and Loki only taking tramadol? Shiloh has been on deramax for a long time. That was supposed to help her arthritis. I'm concerned about taking another pain med on top of another pain med. I guess I should ask her vet...I don't want to over medicate her with pills that are doing the same thing.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:41 pm

We were looking to adopt another Chow Chow and came across a Chow mix. We found a mix at a rescue within a couple of hours driving distance. He had the spotted blue/black tongue.
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We named him Takoda (Sioux Indian for "good with people"). He fit into our family immediately. While he does have Chow Chow, Takoda is mostly Anatolion Shepard. He will respond to commands if it suits him. He is gentle with taking a treat. He must be in the same room with us and preferably touching us with some part of his body. He does total eye contact but won't give a kiss. He does the Chow Chow hooked paw but will do the Anatolion crossed paw a lot. Takoda is mostly ASD versus Chow Chow. Our GSD and ASD are "brothers" and have a blast together. Shiloh puts up with their antics :-). Shiloh will try to manipulate them by getting them to go outside and if successful, come back in and keep them shut outside. Takoda is a full-time guardian ASD which is a challenge when taking him out for a walk. Our (RIP) Chowboy, Nahkohe, required a lot of maintenance since he didn't like most people, dogs, cats, etc. The bigger challenge with Takoda is that he is around 120 lbs versus 55 lbs! As much as we were looking for another Chow Chow, we are happy with our ASD/Chow mix even if it's a 80/20 mix - lol!
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby Laura » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:49 pm

Congrats on the new addition! He is a cutie!
To answer your med question Chloe takes rimadyl and Tramadol . We tried rimadyl alone and I didn't see much, if any difference so we discussed changing or adding meds. Like you I was worried about combining meds but her lab work is perfect and we will keep it checked. My vet assured me that you can combine meds and try different combinations. We considered gabapentin but I chose Tramadol for now. Deramaxx and rimadyl are NSAIDs whereas Tramadol is a narcotic pain reliever. She is doing well. Chloe is only 8 so I worry about labs (liver/kidney) more than I did with my Kody who started on Deramaxx when he was 12 or 13. No pain meds are good for them but at some point you just have to weigh the benefits over the risks. If you can find a combination and dosage that makes her feel better along with a less traumatic way to get them in her I think you both will feel better. I have crushed meds in a bit of can food in the past along with the cheese/hotdog/sandwich meat routine.
Shiloh is and always has been a beauty.
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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:37 pm

Shiloh continues to love her walks. She has figured out that if she holds a wide stance she won't topple over when she shakes her head. Her appetite is marginal and often we have to hand feed her with her favorite baked chicken pieces. We are starting to plan out our Chow Chow Fest later this year and - god forgive me - I hope that she will be well enough to be there. Her back legs are very compromised but she is determined to do her walks. Our vet said to limit her walks but we are going to let her tell us when it's too much. I took Takoda to the vets today. He has developed a front leg limp. It is so different with him. Nahkohe was such a terror with the vet whereas Takoda is a "love bug" and has no issues with being handled by the vet or vet tech. Takoda is a Chow mix so between being an Anatolian and a Chow, the issue could be a big problem. We will have him on some anti-inflammatory meds along with giving him joint meds.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:57 pm

I took Shiloh for a morning walk before going to work. Her walk was slow and she would sometimes stop as though thinking about what to do next. We made it a short walk and she did not mind. She a little chicken this morning and now she is sound asleep...she should take her meds but won't wake up even though I call her name. I am feeling "choked up" thinking about how much time we have left.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:30 pm

This morning Shiloh and I went for a walk around the block. I was surprised with the pace she kept. When we got home the porch steps looked to be a challenge for her but she hopped up each step. Her appetite is so minimal and at times she appears to be confused. Last night she chose to be outside in the rain versus coming indoors for a long time. Shiloh has big time issues with arthritis, hearing, and (I think) vision. It is very hard - especially remembering how my Nahkohe stopped eating - to see Shiloh regress. Shiloh's "gotcha day" is in early June...I hope we can celebrate it together. These past few evenings I go to bed crying for our pretty Shiloh girl...we love her so much!
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby kingalls » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:02 pm

I took Shiloh to the vet yesterday...just to check if there was anything that a factor in her decreased eating. The vet checked her mouth and neck flexibility but all looked okay. It is a some relief that it doesn't look like there is a physical issue restricting her appetite. One day at a time...
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby ski » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:14 am

Your situation sounds so similar to what we are going through with Loki, who is also 13. Ask your vet about injections of adequan. Loki gets it every few weeks and I think it helps. This, along with the gabapentin and tramadol have helped. Unfortunately, he has other issues associated with his age. His hearing has suffered and it is to the point that climbing stairs is a challenge. His favorite spot is on our screened in porch. I was so happy that the weather is warm enough for him to spend time out there. He likes to snuggle up to the screen door. Yesterday he walked into the house with the molding from the bottom of the screen attached to his back and didn't even notice he was dragging around door molding!!!!! My poor boy!!! We are just grateful for each good day he has and will continue to help him in any way we can.

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby rmb » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:07 pm

Hugs to you all with older dogs. It is so hard watching them struggle with pain and so hard to know when they need to be released. They are lucky to have you. Sending kisses to Shiloh and Loki from Buddy2.

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Re: Chow Life changes

Postby ski » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:51 pm

Many thanks!


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