A: I have two younger siblings who have smaller feet so they wear smaller socks than an adult. Riley would sneak into their rooms and eat them as they would be laying all over the floor.
After a few days we would notice his health declining (panting heavily, couldn’t lay down, constipation).
We took him to the vet and they would do some sort of X-ray on him and diagnosed him as being a chronic sock eater.
He has been eating socks his whole life, but around age 11 they would start getting stuck. It was a monthly occurrence for us to take him to the vet, hoping not to have to have another surgery.
And how was the recovery time?
He was given heavy drugs for the pain, so during the recovery time he was a little loopy. He recovered in a matter of a few days.
Yikes, we are assuming the expense was extreme. Can you give us a ballpark figure?
The expense was in the thousands, but morally we felt we had to have the surgeries because we couldn’t let him suffer.
After the first time, what measures were taken to stop him from doing this again? And has his sock eating habit stopped as of now?
After getting tired of Riley’s addiction, we all decided to better ourselves to help Riley. This meant we making sure there was nothing laying out for Riley to eat. This included socks, wallets, cardboard, gloves, towels, wrappers, anything he could find was food to him. Since then we have not had any problems with him eating socks (knock on wood).
Q: At what age did Riley start to show signs of being a senior?
Riley started showing signs of being a senior at about 11 years old. He is one of the best looking dogs we have ever seen. He has a beautiful fur color, tall and muscular body and a sleek snout. However around age 11 his snout started to turn grey. This is when we knew Riley was getting to be an old man.
Q: What changes have you noticed in personality (likes, dislikes, etc.) over the years as he's gotten older?
A: When Riley was younger, we would always find squirrels in the backyard and tell him to chase after them. Now, he just looks at us like we're crazy when we tell him to do so. We think he has learned that he really doesn't have a chance at catching them. One thing he has come around to enjoy is sleeping all day long. With his old age, if he isn't hanging out with us, he is sleeping soundly on his dog bed.
Q: What would your advice be to Boxer owners to help extend their dog's life span?
A: To give a boxer a long and healthy life, the best thing to do is show him that you love him. Play with him everyday, petting and treating him to "people food" just to get to get him so excited that his day is made. Instead of just ignoring him when getting home, play with him when he's most excited because it's a rare occurrence when they get older. Treating him like a brother instead of just a pet is the best way to promote a long, very happy life for your Boxer.
ABI: That's great advice, Destin, and so true; we hope all owners take the time to do this. Thanks so much for introducing us to Riley and letting us all learn about your awesome Boxer dog!