Impaired Senses and Mobility
For German Shepherds, this seems to be the most common senior dog health problem of all: impaired mobility at age due to Arthritis, Degenerative Myelopathy, or Hip Dysplasia. And because of age, this at times then goes in line with impaired senses (taste buds, then vision). While the latter are typical signs of old age, the causes for impaired mobility actually are not.
None of the big three would have to come about with old age:
- Arthritis can be postponed if not completely avoided with a healthy homemade diet and regular gentle exercise: The healthy homemade diet avoids the toxic chemicals that are in commercial pet food, and if eaten, accumulate in the dog's body over the course of its life. The regular gentle exercise maintains muscle strength and thus takes the load off the joints.
- Degenerative Myelopathy and Hip Dysplasia both are inherited, and then triggered by accumulating environmental intoxication (foremost from commercial pet food!). Thus make sure that you only get a GSD of parents that have both been tested for these (and other) hereditary defects, or at the very least, avoid all commercial pet food.
Here you see again that 1) healthy homemade food, and 2) regular varied exercise are THE two factors to ensure a healthy and long life for your German Shepherd, and why we repeat these two factors so often on this website. They really are that important!
If only you observe these two points, your GSD will maintain optimal mobility and senses for many years more.
If however your senior dog already shows signs of impaired mobility, then providing healthy homemade food and regular gentle exercise now will not be able to reverse your dog's health status. In such case a quality joint remedy may do wonders though: Countless dog owners have reported that a tablet a day of Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM has returned their old dog's mobility to that of a young puppy.
Not least, a food supplement like this comes much cheaper than say surgery - and surgery isn't indicated at old age anyway. Personally we have also made good experiences with Yumove (it is too early to say which one may be better). If your senior dog's mobility is dwindling, you may want to try out one or both of these remedies.
Note that every key point raised above you can find more comprehensively explained in other places on this website. The menu is your friend. Here, links have been omitted only to keep this decision tree straightforward.
PLEASE NOTE: Posting a fragment of your overall dog problem in the comments below is not going to help. Provide complete details if you really seek the right solution. Of course we have a page for that as well: Dog Problem Consultation.
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