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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where are you guys?

Boo and I are so happy that there is a special section on the Forum for older Havanese. However, sadly, it has seen few recent posts. Boo and I would love to discuss the aging process with other older Havanese. I know that, within the last two months, there were introductory posts by two individuals, one with a 17 year old and the other with an 18 year old. However, both individuals seem to have disappeared. I also remember reading a post by an individual with a healthy Havanese over 20. So, we can't be the only older Havanese, who reads the forum.

If you or anyone else with a Havanese, who is 16+, is out there, join us for a conversation about the aging process. I'm sure it would be very helpful for members with younger Havanese, who will, eventually, have to deal with this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
This morning, I was thinking about the aging process and Boo. I must admit that I only noticed subtle changes around age 16. Then, his vets noted a cataract in the right eye and some nuclear sclerosis in both eyes. Also, Boo seemed less responsive with voice commands. However, he still was willing to take walks with his brother, and go on outings. He always had issues with eating and digestion. So, those are chronic problems.

More profound changes appeared after age 17. Warty growths started to pop up. Boo started having difficulty jumping and navigating stairs, eventually refusing to do either of these things. Except for wandering for short periods in the back yard, he showed no interest in taking walks or going away from home. He began to experience more muscle loss, affecting his gait. He had an episode of vestibular disease, a few days after he turned 19. Stiill, even at 19, he is able to walk outside and potty on his own (and even run when he is in a hurry).

Some days are better than others, and he definitely needs close veterinary monitoring. However, he still tolerates the groomer every two weeks, and plays his puzzle games twice a day. Currently, he seems to have a slower but good quality of life.

I assume that genes play an important role in his longevity, as he has had later onset of more profound aging changes. Nevertheless, I do believe that environmental components, including high quality food, regular veterinary care, and frequent grooming, have contributed to a better aging process. As such, I am glad that I invested in these areas. I also think that the months of professional training (because I was too lazy to take on the task myself. Kudos to those who do) helped keep his mind more intact.
 

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Hi, Jasmine (Jazz for short) is 18 years, (nearly) 3 months old. She is very sweet and still looks like a puppy to most people. And the vet says she is in remarkably good health, considering. I was wondering if there were any +18 year olds out there, so I was glad to see this forum. If any parents of old, OLD Havanese are out there, I would like to hear about how you are navigating this stage of life.

I am interested learning more about how others deal with the challenges of the aging process. Jazz is fairly deaf and has limited vision, but she still is able to walk, climb a few stairs, etc. Our biggest issue is she seems to have fecal incontinence. It isn't all the time, but despite a prescription diet she still has regular accidents, sometimes right after being outside for a considerable period of time.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Oh look up Boo!!! He is our oldest member! His 20th birthday will be on Halloween, and we are counting down!!! I'm sure his daad will see this and respond. I have a mere "whipper snapper" of 13 1/2! ;) (plus several young 'uns!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Hi, Jasmine (Jazz for short) is 18 years, (nearly) 3 months old. She is very sweet and still looks like a puppy to most people. And the vet says she is in remarkably good health, considering. I was wondering if there were any +18 year olds out there, so I was glad to see this forum. If any parents of old, OLD Havanese are out there, I would like to hear about how you are navigating this stage of life.

I am interested learning more about how others deal with the challenges of the aging process. Jazz is fairly deaf and has limited vision, but she still is able to walk, climb a few stairs, etc. Our biggest issue is she seems to have fecal incontinence. It isn't all the time, but despite a prescription diet she still has regular accidents, sometimes right after being outside for a considerable period of time.
Hi Jazzmom -

Glad to hear that Jazz is doing so well. That is terrific.

As Krandall mentioned, Boo will be 20 on Halloween. In the past year, he has had a few new problems develop (i.e. clotting issues and hypothyroidism). However, these conditions are controlled with meds. His hypertension is stable and his heart murmur remains at Grade 2. Labs in September were completely normal. So, he is stable for now.

Boo sees a specialist every month or two months. He also gets Adequan injections to help with hind leg weakness. He can still rise on his own and walk on grass and carpet without difficulty. He still goes to the groomer every two weeks, plays his puzzle games, and walks in the backyard.

Occasionally, Boo does lose control of his bowels, when he is feeling stressed. When he is not with me, I keep him in a fenced room with his bedding, water. and pee pads all over the floor. This helps contain any unexpected bowel movements (That may be all you can do or a diaper) Fortunately, he does not have any urinary incontinence.

Boo usually sleeps/rests about 17-18 hours a day. He does wake at night, once or twice, to go to the bathroom, but does not wonder at night. I am retired, so I have adapted to his schedule. I have a baby monitor in his room, so I can always keep tabs on him. I also have put soft blankets throughout the room in case he is unable to get into his bed (due to hind leg weakness).

Boo does best with a regular routine and with limited stresses. His groomer is great, and always has him in and out in less than one hour (no waiting for him which reduces the stress of a groom).

I just view caring for a geriatric dog like carrying for a newborn puppy.
 

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Hi Jazzmom -

Glad to hear that Jazz is doing so well. That is terrific.

As Krandall mentioned, Boo will be 20 on Halloween. In the past year, he has had a few new problems develop (i.e. clotting issues and hypothyroidism). However, these conditions are controlled with meds. His hypertension is stable and his heart murmur remains at Grade 2. Labs in September were completely normal. So, he is stable for now.

Boo sees a specialist every month or two months. He also gets Adequan injections to help with hind leg weakness. He can still rise on his own and walk on grass and carpet without difficulty. He still goes to the groomer every two weeks, plays his puzzle games, and walks in the backyard.

Occasionally, Boo does lose control of his bowels, when he is feeling stressed. When he is not with me, I keep him in a fenced room with his bedding, water. and pee pads all over the floor. This helps contain any unexpected bowel movements (That may be all you can do or a diaper) Fortunately, he does not have any urinary incontinence.

Boo usually sleeps/rests about 17-18 hours a day. He does wake at night, once or twice, to go to the bathroom, but does not wonder at night. I am retired, so I have adapted to his schedule. I have a baby monitor in his room, so I can always keep tabs on him. I also have put soft blankets throughout the room in case he is unable to get into his bed (due to hind leg weakness).

Boo does best with a regular routine and with limited stresses. His groomer is great, and always has him in and out in less than one hour (no waiting for him which reduces the stress of a groom).

I just view caring for a geriatric dog like carrying for a newborn puppy.
Hi BoosDad, So happy to know there are other older dogs out there. Boo sounds like he has a wonderful life and a dad who dotes on him, which is why he is doing so well. Congratulations on Boos upcoming birthday!

Like Boo, Jazz is sleeping/resting about 16 or more hours per day. I agree that it is like having a newborn in the house. We have blankets, beach towels and dog beds scattered around so she can rest as needed. Because her vision and hearing are quite limited, we try to have someone always nearby so she doesnt get disoriented We've put baby gates on the stairs so she doesnt accidently fall down the stairs. Jazz has had a heart murmer since she was about 1 or 2. Its a bit worse, but not overly concerning. She's on a prescription diet supplemented with boiled chicken. She misses a more varied diet, but this seems to keep the bile and pee accidents to a minimum. And she has an eye autoimmune condition that is well managed with Optimmune drops So really, she is doing great, except for some joint stiffness at night and the bowel movements in the house.

You make an excellent point about reducing her stress by having a predictable routine. I need to give some thought as to how to give her life more structure.

Your note also reminded me that bathroom breaks will become more frequently at night as she ages. I haven't had success with pee pads previously, but maybe I need to try that again. Is there a particular brand to use? Or was Boo always able to use them? Not sure how hard it is to teach this old dog new tricks. But certainly willing to try!

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with a Senior Dog, its nice to know that its possible our Havanese can live as long as Boo. Right now, I am just taking things as they come. We hope to celebrate her 18 1/2 in mid January.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi BoosDad,
Your note also reminded me that bathroom breaks will become more frequently at night as she ages. I haven't had success with pee pads previously, but maybe I need to try that again. Is there a particular brand to use? Or was Boo always able to use them? Not sure how hard it is to teach this old dog new tricks. But certainly willing to try!
I buy the washable pads on Amazon, and place them all over the floor. I don’t use disposable cause Boo slips on them. Since they are all over, the flooring is always protected. At most, he will have 3-4 accidents a month , because of his IBD. So not a big deal to wash. If the pad is too messy, I just throw it awsy

Boo was trained to use a terrace indoor potty with real grass. However, it is hard for him to climb into it now.
 

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Kodi needs to go potty during the night also. He is trained to use potty box with pine pellets indoors, so it was just a matter of giving him access to that at night, so I didn't have to keep getting up with him at 3AM. I made him a little "patio" outside his kennel, with Iris pen panels, and put a potty tray in it, with pellets in the tray. He doesn't use it every single night, but I'd say at least 5 nights a week. It certainly saves me a LOT of getting up at night!!!

It is very thin, no more than 1 1/2" tall, so he would have to get very feeble not to be able to get onto it. As long as he can get in and out of his kennel (the lip is about the same height) the potty tray won't be an issue for him.
Stairs Rectangle Carnivore Tints and shades Comfort

Composite material Mesh Rectangle Gas Natural material
 

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Ellie is only 14 - is she too young? Sadly, she's suddenly had a lot of medical problems this year which are medically manageable but require some lifestyle changes. This has been hard for both of us.
 

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Hi mlg, I don't think 14 is too young for old age issues. Our oldest guy (the avatar) passed away last year at 15. He started wearing belly bands at 14. We thought we were going to loose him at 13 since he already had canine dementi and was almost blind and deaf. We too made a number of lifestyle, and house, changes which helped him function for an extra 2 years. Having 2 other Havanese around helped but it took time to get them adjusted to the changes as well.
It can get stressful and exhausting at times.
As some are already aware, I did a great deal of research after we brought Jodie home, when JoJo was 13. I researched how deaf and blind toddlers learned to become mobile and interact with other children around them. It was quite helpful in working with JoJo and teaching Jodie, even as a puppy, how to act around JoJo. It helped Ed and I understand how he was viewing and reacting to the world around him. We also have 20 years of experience with 2 parents who had dementia. Our vet told me to keep doing exactly what we were and a year later asked if she could refer one of her dog parents to me for support.
That's our old dog story and we're hoping to follow in Boo's footsteps with Jodie and Lacie down the road. Cotton is a Havanese rescue so we don't know his linage. He's doing quite well at this point for a 13 year old but has definitely slowed down over the last 18 months. Hence the delightful addition of Lacie.
I'm not sure who your question was directed to but I'm on west coast time so we're still awake. I wish Ellie the best life possible for both of you💙
 

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Hi BoosDad, So happy to know there are other older dogs out there. Boo sounds like he has a wonderful life and a dad who dotes on him, which is why he is doing so well. Congratulations on Boos upcoming birthday!

Like Boo, Jazz is sleeping/resting about 16 or more hours per day. I agree that it is like having a newborn in the house. We have blankets, beach towels and dog beds scattered around so she can rest as needed. Because her vision and hearing are quite limited, we try to have someone always nearby so she doesnt get disoriented We've put baby gates on the stairs so she doesnt accidently fall down the stairs. Jazz has had a heart murmer since she was about 1 or 2. Its a bit worse, but not overly concerning. She's on a prescription diet supplemented with boiled chicken. She misses a more varied diet, but this seems to keep the bile and pee accidents to a minimum. And she has an eye autoimmune condition that is well managed with Optimmune drops So really, she is doing great, except for some joint stiffness at night and the bowel movements in the house.

You make an excellent point about reducing her stress by having a predictable routine. I need to give some thought as to how to give her life more structure.

Your note also reminded me that bathroom breaks will become more frequently at night as she ages. I haven't had success with pee pads previously, but maybe I need to try that again. Is there a particular brand to use? Or was Boo always able to use them? Not sure how hard it is to teach this old dog new tricks. But certainly willing to try!

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with a Senior Dog, its nice to know that its possible our Havanese can live as long as Boo. Right now, I am just taking things as they come. We hope to celebrate her 18 1/2 in mid January.
Thank you for sharing all that info about Boo! Ed and I also compared taking care of JoJo to having a 2nd puppy with Jodie at the time. We still have loads of washable pads and I purchased several 6' x 6' additional pads before we brought Lacie home. We're set for Cotton! Happy birthday in 3 hours Boo😋🎈🎂🎉
 

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Where are you guys?

Boo and I are so happy that there is a special section on the Forum for older Havanese. However, sadly, it has seen few recent posts. Boo and I would love to discuss the aging process with other older Havanese. I know that, within the last two months, there were introductory posts by two individuals, one with a 17 year old and the other with an 18 year old. However, both individuals seem to have disappeared. I also remember reading a post by an individual with a healthy Havanese over 20. So, we can't be the only older Havanese, who reads the forum.

If you or anyone else with a Havanese, who is 16+, is out there, join us for a conversation about the aging process. I'm sure it would be very helpful for members with younger Havanese, who will, eventually, have to deal with this issue.
We have a female Havanese that will be 18 on February 21st. She is mobile and doing great. I saw the oldest on record is 18 years and 2 months. As of right now I think our Lily will pass that record. She has lost her hearing for the most part, we can see some cataracts in her eyes but still seems to see fine. She has had quite a few teeth pulled and has bumps on her we have removed but still loves to run around the couch for a couple laps to play each day. She sleeps most of the day until it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner time and doing surprisingly well.
 

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We have a female Havanese that will be 18 on February 21st. She is mobile and doing great. I saw the oldest on record is 18 years and 2 months. As of right now I think our Lily will pass that record. She has lost her hearing for the most part, we can see some cataracts in her eyes but still seems to see fine. She has had quite a few teeth pulled and has bumps on her we have removed but still loves to run around the couch for a couple laps to play each day. She sleeps most of the day until it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner time and doing surprisingly well.

Great to hear about her! She certainly is a grand old girl! But "our" Boo, here on the Forum has her beat by over 2 years!!! He turned 20 on Halloween, and he is going strong!!! (if slowly ;) )
 

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We have a female Havanese that will be 18 on February 21st. She is mobile and doing great. I saw the oldest on record is 18 years and 2 months. As of right now I think our Lily will pass that record. She has lost her hearing for the most part, we can see some cataracts in her eyes but still seems to see fine. She has had quite a few teeth pulled and has bumps on her we have removed but still loves to run around the couch for a couple laps to play each day. She sleeps most of the day until it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner time and doing surprisingly well.
It is great to hear about another senior! Like Lily, Jazz ( who is 18 and 4mos. today) is mostly deaf, has limited vision and is missing a few teeth, but otherwise doing pretty well. I hope you continue to enjoy each day together.
 
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