Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Facing Reality: Old Dog Problems

Update: I had a chat with them. I had forgotten about another accidental death. Ebon is the last one left. I'm going to go give him a big hug now. 

Happy boy. Tag by Aggie's Anvil

Ebon, my field-bred Labrador, turned ten years old this January. He's arthritic is both hips and one knee, making him have a hitch in his stride. He's developing cataracts. He tires easily, so he's playing less. However, this isn't what has bothered me the most. After all, for his age and size he's still doing rather well. It's been the loss of his brothers.

Ebon's brother Roscoe, lost this month
As long-term readers may remember, Ebon is part of a litter of five black boys from a chocolate mother and a yellow father. One pup died in an accident, but the others lived to adulthood. In the past six months, two brothers had to be euthanized. The reason? The big c-word: cancer.

Of course, this wasn't entirely unexpected, with the average life expectancy of the breed being ten to twelve years. But even so, finding out last October that one of the brothers hadn't made it to his tenth birthday saddened me. This month I was informed of the loss of another, and I really started to worry.

Cancer is distressingly common in retrievers, though Labradors as a whole have a lower incidence than other retriever breeds. Ebon's litter was blessedly free from those ever-common hip, elbow, knee, and eye problems, though they all wound up being epileptic. I still suspect this was due to maternal stress, however, as the breeder was robbed and the dogs were drugged while Hellon (the mother) was pregnant. Ebon hasn't had a seizure in over two years, and the ones he has had were comparatively very minor.

Since Ebon is from field lines, breed statistics, due to the sheer popularity of non-field Labs, are probably a bit misleading. It's difficult to say how well those statistics apply to field lines specifically. I know Ebon's father came from lines that didn't have the best longevity, but it was mostly due to hunting accidents, so there's no way of saying how long those dogs would have lived or what they would have died of otherwise. Since Ebon was a gift, I got what I got, but I do wish I knew more. I have never seen his pedigree because I never registered him, so I don't know anything about his COI. Since his mother was from Texas and his father was from Georgia, it's very possible that the litter was born of a highly unrelated pairing, but for all I know the parents were half-siblings. I don't know what happened to his father. I know his mother had cancer, but she was almost fifteen when she was euthanized. Just looking at her, he probably inherited some really good genes. But that's only one part of the picture.

If Ebon winds up being the last one standing, I really don't know how I'll feel. But I do know I'm going to cherish every moment we have left.

My old man


  1. Khoa học Nhật Bản đã phát hiện ra một hợp chất phòng ngừa và điều trị ung thư hiệu quả nhất thế giới hiện nay là Fucoidan. Fucoidan umi no shizuku Phát hiện này đã từng làm chấn động ngành y học thế giới. Supreme Fucoidan Fucoidan có tác dụng kiểm soát sự phát triển của tế bào ung thư, buộc chúng quay về hành trình “tự chết” và tăng cường hệ miễn dịch, Fucoidan Umino Shizuku có tốt không ?, nó còn giúp chống lão hóa, giảm thiểu tác hại từ hóa trị, xạ trị… và bảo vệ cơ thể. Thuốc Supreme Fucoidan có tốt không ?, nó đã được đưa vào thành phần thuốc hỗ trợ điều trị ung thư Fucoidan Umi No Shizuku với hàm lượng thích hợp nhất, Fucoidan Umi No Shizuku có công dụng gì ? giúp tối ưu hóa khả năng hỗ trợ bệnh nhân ung thư chống lại bệnh tật, đồng thời tăng cường sức khỏe cho người bình thường.

  2. Very Useful information Thank you!!
    Rakesh Shukla is a speaker on motivation. #Rakesh #Shukla #Founder of #VOSD. Rakesh Shukla's founded the Voice of Stray Dogs (VOSD) in 2013, world's largest citywide dog rescue. He also started VOSD for People, VOSD Dog Care, Barking Mad and Howling Mad. Founder VOSD | 750+ stray dogs| Dog Rescue | Dog Sanctuary

  3. Fantastic and useful we blog thanks for publishing this.it's useful and informative.keep up the great.
    Fortis Stud Dogs

  4. Andis Provide the best dog clippers for home use proudly made in USA products. They manufacture genuine quality high precision pet grooming products like hair Trimmer, nail clipper, deshedding and dematting tool.