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Just curious on dog lifespans

This is a discussion on Just curious on dog lifespans within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I agree they never live long enough. My current dogs, Sawyer (Australian shepherd) is 2, and Maye (mini American shepherd) is 1 going on 2 ...

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Old 05-01-2016, 10:04 PM
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I agree they never live long enough.
My current dogs, Sawyer (Australian shepherd) is 2, and Maye (mini American shepherd) is 1 going on 2 this month. Hopefully I will get to have many many years with them.
My previous dogs Sandy a possibly lab sheperdy mix of sorts was 14 when she passed away and Clyde a dolmation lab mix was if I remember correctly 12 or 13 when he passed. Both were fed either iams or purina their whole lives, and neither had any major medical issues except for Clyde developing arthritis in his old age.

I agree with what some others have mentioned, there are so many factors that go into how long a dog lives. Diet, exercise, breed, eviroment, weight, genetics (being the biggest factor), and even luck in some respects to name a few. Size also plays a bit of a factor, smaller dogs usually live longer then larger dogs (I cant really remember the science behind it at the moment).

Last edited by Sabina88; 05-01-2016 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:51 AM
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It's funny how far owning a dog has come since I was a child. We had a black lab named Shadow growing up and she lived to be around 13 maybe 14. She was never spayed, had a full litter. Survived being struck by a car. She lived on the lowest rated kibble, stuff I'd die before feeding my dogs with my knowledge of food now: Ol Roy, pedigree..not to mention she was given spaghetti, yes, spaghetti, 3x a week by my parents, along with lunch meats, etc. Was never overweight and after her initial shots was never taken to the vet. She was always so full of life. I cannot believe she lived that long given the circumstances but she did. She probably would have lived longer had my parents been able to pay to have some very large tumor growths removed... the softball size growth started to tear and smell. I broke down and had her put down otherwise my parents were just going to let her deteriorate. It was so hard for me and I was still pretty young so I didn't know what else to do. I was told by the vet it was probably mammary cancer and likely would've been prevented by having her spayed.

So here we are today, spending a small fortune on vet care, food, flea medicine, grooming costs, etc. I vowed that I'd do everything right with my dogs and I hope it translates to a longer happier life but it just goes to show it doesn't always matter, shadow lived a great life despite the circumstances.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:27 AM
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My dog Annie (dachshund) turned 18 in January. She has kidney disease, a mild heart murmur, a chronic sinus infection, arthritis/neck pain, and is fairly senile. The kidney disease is currently pretty well "managed" (values are stable, some have actually decreased since last year!), the sinus infection is gross but unchanged over years, she's asymptomatic for the heart issue, her neck pain is resolved at the moment, and if I had to guess right now, the senility will be what actually leads me to have her put down. She wanders a lot, gets stuck some, and occasionally now, can't get back out. She doesn't seem bothered by it, which is why I'm on the fence- she eats well given foods that she likes, and still enjoys sniffing around the yard and getting rubbed/scratched by anyone (she forgets that she used to be picky I guess ). My parents live right next door and she goes there when I'm not home, so she's rarely alone, or it would be harder. Annie was very active (playing ball, swimming, walking) until she was 14 or 15, and I think that helped keep her healthy, I only stopped walking her within the last year or so.

My other dog, Bus, is 10, and I hope he'll be around as long as Annie. He definitely doesn't act old, and people regularly tell me he "seems younger" because he's wild as a marsh hare. He just started getting grey the last year . Dachshunds tend to be long lived (I know a few that have reached 20!) so genetics may be on our side

Previously I had 2 APBTs that lived to be almost 14, and 11 1/2. The 14 y/o was healthy until old age, when she developed heart failure and then probably hemangiosarcoma. The other was unhealthy all her life (diabetes from 14 m/o, mast cell tumor(s?), arthritis/DJD, and eventually lymphoma, which was what she died from. With every possibly fatal health issue she had, we thought, "this is probably it- end of the road", but she just kept trucking along. Average for that breed is supposedly 10-12 years, but I know many who have been older.

You can definitely stack the odds in your favor by providing good diet and medical care, selecting long lived breeds, and even dogs bred for longevity among a given breed (I know some lines of APBT regularly have dogs that live to be older than 15).
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:21 PM
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Barring an accident or communicable disease, genetics is probably the major determining factor for how long any specific dog will live. Regardless its never going to be long enough. Samantha is now seven, and fortunately healthy, so we are hoping for many more years with her, but the difficult reality is, she is at least halfway, or more though her life journey.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:08 PM
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I raised a Beagle from puppy hood to age 13. Average lifespan for a Beagle is 15 years. I made a very bad mistake by feeding him too much which led to congestive heart failure. The Beagle I have today was adopted from a local shelter and I am watching his weight very carefully. While surfing the internet, I came upon a picture of a Beagle who was 19 years old and looked fairly healthy. So I guess lifespan depends on good care and particularly on keeping their weight in a normal range.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:20 AM
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From when I was a child until the present date my family, parents and sister, have had some 27 dogs, most pedigrees.

Of all these the youngest was only three when pts because of lymphatic cancer, she was a rescue at 18 months. The oldest was 18.5 my working Border Collie, blind, deaf still alpha to all other dogs and not a creak in her joints.

The average age works ot at around 14.7 months. Non are 'kept going' if their quality of life was declining.

Majority of dogs I know that have gone over the bridge at an early age were fed dry foods, ours are all raw fed

My current GSD will be 10 this year, she is sound, runs and hunts and, touch wood has only been to the vet for spaying. At the same time I had her hips X-rayed and although both her parents had excellent hips she has one that is not quite so good though way better than a lot of others.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:48 AM
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My previous dog passed when he was 11 due to heart worm failure.. My dog now is a 4 yr old american stafford and I'm hoping that if she stays healthy.. we have at least another 10 years in her. But dogs are like humans, their health can be so unpredictable and the only thing I can do now is enjoy her company as much as possible.
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