I gave my german shepherd to my mom, now he chews himself

I had my german sherpherd for 8 years. When he was four we got another german shepherd. They got along at first, but then they fought.

They hate each other, they would fight until one of them would get really hurt. For 2 years, we had to put one dog in one room and another in the other room. I love them both so much.

Three years ago we moved, I could not continue to have them living like this, so I gave Max, then 8 years old to my mom. He is now 11 and has gone down hill.

He chews his paws until they bleed, he has a hard time walking, he does not even like to go outside much. I don't get to see him alot because of where we moved to.

My mom tells me he is doing awful. Is he chewing and going down hill because he feels as though I abandoned him. I had no choice. I am so upset, I don't know if he is suffering, how do I know if I should put him down.

I have taken him to the vet in the past for the chewing, they give me pills for him, it clears up, and he is back at it. I don't know what to do. Please help.

Total German Shepherd:

At 11 years old your boy probably has arthritis which is why he doesn't want to move much and the chewing could be because of allergies or possibly even a learned behavior he has developed to cope with stress.

I would certainly encourage you to get him checked by a vet asap and to get him on something if he does have arthritis for the pain so he'll feel like moving and perhaps have him checked for allergy problems too.

If you get his medical problems addressed hopefully he'll feel like participating with the family again and want to go on walks and play like he did when he was younger - only at a much slower pace.

At 11 he is definitely a senior citizen but I have personally known several GSDs who lived past 13 or 14 in fairly good spirits right up to the end so don't give up on your old boy yet.

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