Wednesday, May 19, 2010

12 Years Young

Katie turned 12 years young on Monday. Older dogs often get shaky hind legs if they do not work on maintaining strength. Walks around the block are often not enough especially if they lack challenging hills and natural terrain. Katie works extra hard at it because she has some neurological weakness in the left hind leg. Strengthening exercises are important so her leg remains functional. We had a very wet winter so I had to be creative indoors, but I'm so pleased that our backyard has finally dried out and is usable again. Here are some of the exercises I do with Katie.
Lastly, keeping weight off your dogs is another important factor to maintaining health and function. We all know that staying slim is healthier for everyone, but each unnecessary pound makes achy joints all the more painful. Adding 5 pounds of fat to Katie's frame may look more pleasing, hide those arthritic ribs, and fill in areas of muscle tone loss, but it would do nothing to aid her in staying strong.

Katie had a chest x-ray about 2.5 years ago and it was interesting to see the bony changes in her ribs. They are very pointed and jagged so they are more prominent than they used to be. The picture above was taken about 8 years ago when her sides were smoother. Happy Birthday, Katie!

17 comments:

Laura of the Kudzu said...

Happy Birthday, Katie, you youthful girl! So glad you mentioned the changes in appearance with aging. It is hard to have a ribby senior & not want to fatten him up a little to fill that out. Though I know his arthritis could not handle that. If anyone comments on Katie's ribs just remind them that ribs are always visible on supermodels. :)

houndstooth said...

Happy Birthday, Katie! I agree so strongly with you about keeping weight off them, too! My dogs don't look anorexic, but I don't want them to be heavy at all!

Malika said...

It's great to see Katie looking so great, and in great health! She seems like such a happy worker. :)

Sam said...

Happy Birthday, Katie. I totally agree with you about keeping dogs slim.. heck, Marge is only 3 but I still keep her on the slim side. Don't want to tax her joints, especially since she does agility.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Katie. You look wonderful. I am glad you are still able to stay active. You are lucky to have Jen to give you all those kongs to clean every day and to take time to keep you in shape. Pass on your wisdom and work ethic to those youngters - Riley and Reagan. I know your mom would appreciate that!

Lisa S.

Sandy ~~~ said...

First...Happy B-day Birthday girl. Thanks also for letting me know about the need for exercise, even later in life. Makes perfect sense!

Hiking Hounds said...

Wow, she looks great! Happy Birthday Katie!

gyeong said...

Happy Birthday Katie. Reminds me of that Kaiser commercial where they sing 'when I grow up, I wanta be an old woman'.

IHateToast said...

happiest birthday, young Katie.

From old Katy.

Aragon greyhounds said...

She looks great!

Carrie said...

Happy Birthday, Katie! It is really good to see you staying active and happy...you are beautiful, ribs and all!

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday Katie! You're still such an impressive dog!

jcp said...

Happy Birthday Katie. You look fantastic :)

Maria Peters said...

Happy Birthday beautiful girl!!

xo, Canoe and June

Paul said...

Happy birthday, katie!! you look great.

Katie said...

She looks great. It makes me so sad to see old dogs with arthritis dragging around pounds and pounds of extra weight.

Happy birthday Katie!

Jemma said...

Just catching up on blog posts now...

Happy Belated Birthday, Katie! You look great!