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Author Topic: And now it's the dog...  (Read 2988 times)

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Offline mitch777

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And now it's the dog...
« on: June 12, 2013, 10:44:25 AM »
Geez,
What next?

Could use some advice.
Our 8 year old Miniature Schnauzer has major health problems.
It came as a One-Two punch yesterday and the THIRD punch came today.

Punch #1.
He has bladder stones (just like his former "brother" had) and is in surgery today.
They must be removed due to a small dogs inability to survive passing a stone.
Then he will need to be on a prescription dog food for the rest of his life to prevent further stones from forming.
Ugh. Been there, done that.

Punch #2.
We noticed his eye sight has been getting a little bad.
Well, as it turns out, VERY bad.
He is blind in one eye with limited vision with the other.
Cause unknown.
Going to bring him to a animal eye doc.
The vet says it is highly unlikely vision can be restored.
Not sure if the damage is done or if he will eventually become totally blind.
Maybe the eye doc will help with that question. Ugh.

Punch #3.
Found out today that he is diabetic.
He will need daily (maybe 2?) shots of insulin for life.
Could also make his eyesight worse from cataracts.
(he has no cataracts now)
Ugh.
 
He has been pretty healthy (except a case of Vestibular Disease that was scary) and has been well cared for.
This triple whammy sucks!

We will do our best to handle this these challenges.
If he does go completely blind in the near future I'm not sure what we will do.
I just can't imagine there would be much quality of life for a blind, diabetic dog eating bland prescription food. (our other dog really didn't like the food but also had no choice)

And then there is the question of how to handle it when we go on vacation.
(AMG for example)
Now we need to find a dog sitter that also will be up to giving him shots.
(I know many people use a kennel but both Kenny and I won't do that.)
Any ideas?

Also would like to hear honest comments and suggestions about the whole situation.

Sorry for yet another animal in crisis thread but as Mike said the other day,
it's nice support can be found here for issues not related to hiv.

Thanks.
m.


31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline BT65

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 06:08:10 PM »
Mitch, though I have never personally experienced the issues you posted about, my best friend once had a blind dalmation.  He lived to an old age and got around splendidly. The dog seem to adjust well.

My friend's mother has a dog that has to have "special" dog food due to having chronic allergies to many things, apparently some being found in store dog foods.  He's fine.

I'm sorry your dog, and you, are experiencing these issues; especially right after dealing with your mom's situation.  But, animals adjust to different issues better than humans it seems.  It may not be as horrendous are you're anticipating. But, like I stated, I do not have personal experience with these things.  Good luck.  It does sound like a challenge.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Online Joe K

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 06:33:55 PM »
Hey Mitch,

I'm sorry to hear your little guy is having problems.  I've had dogs all my life, so I have some experience and ideas that may help you.  About the vision, since you guys didn't know he was blind in one eye, and assuming he isn't bumping into furniture, he's using his other sense to compensate for the lack of sight.  If you keep the furniture and his dog bed(s) where they are now, he should be fine.  He'll adapt, plus dogs rely a lot on hearing and smell.

Your guy knows the difference between the two of you, simply based on how you walk, so you could always lead him where he needs to go.  You could also use your voice to guide him, so I don't think the sight is a major problem.

The dog food, not much you can do about that, but a little gravy or added flavouring will keep him happy.  Dogs live in the present and though they do remember things, they don't seem to notice they eat the same dog food forever.  It's also why they never seem to die of boredom, as any little thing, changes their focus.

As to the shots, that's something only you guys can decide.  If I were in your situation, I would gauge how he reacts to the shots.  If you can get it, where he's not too bothered, I'd continue.  If he really freaks, that may be another story.  If you decide to give him shots, ask your vet the best way to introduce the shots and give him lots of love.

As to his quality of life.  I've never met a dog, that would not walk through fire for it's master.  As loving as they are, they are very simple creatures and they rely on the Alpha male to take care of them.  I would think, if you can keep him, without any real trauma, after he gets used to the shots, to go for it.

If it turns out that something just isn't working, then that's a discussion for another thread.

Joe

Offline Basquo

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 10:30:57 PM »
I bet all of this will be more traumatic for you than for your pooch. He just wants your love. You'll be able to tell when his quality of life goes down. He's only going to run into things once or twice and then he'll remember where they are. And I never hear about pets losing their sense of smell--so even if he's deaf and blind and has no taste buds he's going to smell you and love you just as much.

I had to give one of my cats daily shots. She was fine with it. I gave her the shot while she was having a treat and she never even flinched. I also got my neighbor to give her the shots while sitting her. Really, all that stuff was such a small part of our day.

Offline wolfter

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 11:32:03 PM »
So sorry for the doggie issues.  I can totally relate as I'm still struggling with these difficult decisions.

My last littlle fella lived to be 17 and was both death and blind his last couple of years.  He adjusted perfectly and it was difficult to tell he had those issues. 

As you said to me, you'll ultimately know when the difficult decisions need to be made.  Just continue to give him all your love and he'll appreciate it.

luvs
wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline bocker3

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 07:39:37 AM »
I have nothing to add to all the good advice here.  Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and your little furry family member.  It is amazing how adaptable pets are --- so long as they well loved.  You know him best, so I am sure that you will know what is best for him and when.  In the meantime -- enjoy him and love him, just like he does back to you.

Hugs,
Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
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Offline Ann

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 09:09:22 AM »
A friend of mine had an elderly dog who ended up diabetic. His vet was very forth-coming with advice about food - and he didn't believe in over-charging his clients for "special", prescription diabetic dog food. (He was an "old-school" vet and cared more that his patients were having a quality of life than lining the pharmaceutical or dog food companies' pockets.)

He advised my friend to start buying frozen chicken portions and roasting them for the dog. All he had to do was remove the skin after roasting, remove from the bone and cut the meat up into a size that suited the dog.

It was FAR cheaper than the "prescription" dog food and she loved it. The vet also claimed that the roasted chicken was actually better for her than the ready-made dog food. She lived for another few years on that diet, along with her daily shots.

BTW, she also started going blind, but she adjusted. She was fine in her own backyard or on a leash for walks. The only time she had problems in the house was if the furniture got rearranged, but she soon adjusted to the new lay-out.


edited to add....

I forgot to mention that the vet also recommended including a few veggies in the roasting pan. Root veg (carrots, parsnips, spuds - but not too many spuds) work well, but you can also throw some broccoli or whatever in there too. You'll soon figure out which veggies your dog likes and which she doesn't.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 09:16:30 AM by Ann »
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Offline wolfter

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 09:29:32 AM »

He advised my friend to start buying frozen chicken portions and roasting them for the dog. All he had to do was remove the skin after roasting, remove from the bone and cut the meat up into a size that suited the dog.


My little gal has lost 25% of her total body weight and wouldn't eat her regular food.  I decided to buy her chicken breasts and I boil them and she's eating it like crazy.  A bit expensive, but I'm sure cheaper than trying to find a prescription food that she'll eat.

Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 12:12:56 PM »
Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. :)

Guess I was in panic mode when I posted this. (I tend to do that at times :-[.)
It was just SO much hitting at once.

I think we will manage our way through this challenge.
He will be coming home shortly from yesterdays surgery.

The thing about bladder stones is that the prescription dog food is designed to keep the proper PH in order to prevent more stones from forming.
No treats, no human food or additives allowed.  :(
He will adjust.
The vet said that this diet will also work for his diabetes. :)
While the cost is significantly more than over the counter chow, he only weighs about 23 lbs. so it isn't all that big of a deal.

The cost of insulin and related blood and urine tests will probably be about $1500-$2000. PER YEAR..
His operation I think will be about $1500.
If he gets cataracts due to diabetes, surgery is between $1500-$3000.

He has been bonking into walls and furniture a bit for quite a while but he can still see well enough to bark at someone walking on "his" sidewalk.
He was always kinda clumsy from birth and his monster eyebrows need to be clipped more often now that we know about is problem.
Hope he retains his sight as limited as it is!

Finding someone to take care of him AND be willing to give him injections might be difficult when we go away.
We may have no choice but use a reputable kennel. :(

He has always been one of the happiest dogs. He is like a little kid. His "brother" was a "thinker".
Love(ed) them both.

Anyway, guess it's time for the learning curve to begin about canine diabetes.
I've started checking a few websites.
It sounds like the shots are going to be pretty painless to him.
I, on the other hand look the other way when I get my blood work done. (wimp)

Can't wait to see him with kisses and hugs.

Thanks again!
m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 07:01:48 AM »
Just thought I would share a pic of my 2 boys. :)
Pretty big incision for a little guy.  :(
He loves his papa Kenny.
Oliver is recovering after his operation.
Still drinking water to excess.
Need to make an appointment with the vet to start working on the diabetes issue.

31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 09:22:29 PM »
first bath after surgery.
NOT a happy camper.
(he is blind in his right eye. in reality the pic makes it look scary but in person both eyes look the same)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 09:25:27 PM »
Sweet pic ... I got lucky and with a dog that tolerates a bath and rather enjoys the shampoo scratching massage action . 

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 09:37:07 PM »
Sweet pic ... I got lucky and with a dog that tolerates a bath and rather enjoys the shampoo scratching massage action .
well, Oliver is pretty good until it comes to getting his face wet.
he always has the expression, "woe is me".
then, on to brushing and detangling the matts that seem to form overnight.
when all is done he knows he has been spoiled.
drama. :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 10:07:24 PM »
first bath after surgery.
NOT a happy camper.
(he is blind in his right eye. in reality the pic makes it look scary but in person both eyes look the same)


Oh  poor thang! He looks so sad over the bath!

I hope Lil Ollie heals up quickly.

-W
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline BT65

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2013, 05:32:31 AM »
He looks very forelorn lol.  You're such a good daddy!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline wolfter

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2013, 08:41:39 AM »
Poor sweet fella, hope he's doing well.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2013, 11:35:33 AM »
Just got back from the vet to learn more about his diabetes. Kenny gave him his first injection. Very thin and short needle. He didn't feel a thing. :)
I did a bit of research online and found out he can take human insulin. We bought it at Walmart for $24.88 for 100 units. A box of 100 syringes was $12.88.
Total annual cost will be less than $150.00 plus periodic blood work. Not nearly as expensive as I was anticipating. :)
(many people online were saying they spend $1500-$2000 per year. guess they have much larger dogs and also use canine insulin which is much more expensive)

Unfortunately, his prescription dog food is the only thing he is allowed to eat. It makes him thirsty as well as having diabetes so he most likely will be drinking lots of water from here on in. (He is the sloppiest drinker! ::).)
He also recently decided that his "potty" area is not a good place to pee. (it's easy access through a doggy door so he can go out whenever he wants.)(it's fenced)
Hope this changes soon.

He is scheduled in another couple of weeks to check his stability with insulin and get his stitches removed.
Then we will begin our new normal.
Thanks everyone! :)

Anyway, this will all work out. Hope he retains what is left of his eyesight for years to come.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2013, 08:37:15 PM »
Good job with all this Mitch.

-W
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2013, 09:04:36 PM »
Good job with all this Mitch.

-W
Thanks Will. :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline BT65

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2013, 05:08:03 AM »
Well done, daddy.  I know he'll get good care.

When his blood sugar stabilizes the constant thirst (caused by the diabetes) should even out. 

Syringes have really improved over the years.  The needle on my syringes is only like 1/4 in long.  I'm glad your "kid" tolerates it.  Good luck!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2013, 07:12:29 AM »
Well done, daddy.  I know he'll get good care.

When his blood sugar stabilizes the constant thirst (caused by the diabetes) should even out. 

Syringes have really improved over the years.  The needle on my syringes is only like 1/4 in long.  I'm glad your "kid" tolerates it.  Good luck!
Thanks Betty!
The vet said he was be drinking less water than he is now but will most likely always drink more than he used to. We will see where he lands. (keeping fingers crossed)
Sounds like the needles might be the same.
He doesn't seem to even have a clue that he is getting an injection. :)
Also, he is only getting 5 units per injection. :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2013, 06:11:33 PM »
Update on Oliver.
The past few days his sight has taken a nosedive in his only good eye. He is almost completely blind. Can't even see enough to know where a doorway is and is walking into everything. And here we are about to leave him for AMG.  :P

His spirits seem to be OK, not great but OK. We've been reassuring him that we understand as best we can.

We had hoped he wouldn't have to face this but it seems this is the road he is on.
I'm sure he has the ability to adjust and we need to do the same.

His tail still wags a million miles an hour.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2013, 06:24:38 PM »


  Poor little guy.  He's been through a lot.  I know it's got to be tough on you as well.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2013, 07:30:18 PM »

His tail still wags a million miles an hour.

Through it all as long as that tail is still waggin' you're doing something right :)
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline BT65

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2013, 08:04:58 PM »
I agree with Wumpy on the tail thing.  If it's wagging, then he's happy, and that's the important thing.  You can tell the mood an animal is in, often times by their tails.  So, you guys are still #1 in the doggy's life and are doing all the right things. 

I know this is trying emotionally, but just hang in there.  It's worth it.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2013, 08:15:12 PM »
Thank you. :)
We were already somewhat prepared but this came along much sooner than expected. We're in in for the long haul.
I've been doing a bit of research (not enough yet) and I know he will be happy.
"They say" it's harder on us humans than the dog most of the time.
The timing sucks as usual. (guilt) :P
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline wolfter

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2013, 11:05:03 AM »
Feel so bad for the little guy.  I think I've shared with you before, but my Little Butchy was blind and deaf for the last 2 years of his life.  He adjusted quite well and I believe I had a harder time dealing with it than he did.

He lived to be 17 and I never thought I'd have another pet until Miss Lily came along.  Gives big hugs to him!

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2013, 04:13:55 PM »
Yikes and double Yikes!

We brought Oliver into the vet today to get another glucose testing done. Our usual vet wasn't in but the vet on duty called to tell us he has cataracts. This came as quite a surprise as our usual vet had told us that he didn't have cataracts!
Ugh!
So, I called the canine eye doc in Rhode Island (nearest one) to get an idea of the cost. It was an eye-opener (pun not intended). $4000. for one eye or $5000. for both!
Ugh!
He needs to be stabilized with his insulin first before we can even consider surgery.
In a bit of sticker shock at the moment. :(
On a positive note... if he is a candidate for surgery it would be a life altering thing for both Oliver and us. :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2013, 05:33:34 PM »

Ugh!
So, I called the canine eye doc in Rhode Island (nearest one) to get an idea of the cost. It was an eye-opener (pun not intended). $4000. for one eye or $5000. for both!
Ugh!

On a positive note... if he is a candidate for surgery it would be a life altering thing for both Oliver and us. :)

My cousin had his poodles cataracts taken out with surgery about 2 years ago. The dog is doing amazingly well!  I think 2 years later he still has to put drops in his eyes every day and there was alot of post surgery after care for a couple months. But it was worth it for him.

Good luck, and good health to lil Ollie

-W
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline mitch777

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Re: And now it's the dog...
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2013, 06:04:05 PM »
Thanks Will,
Just got home from the vet. Now they are looking at possible Cushings Disease and/or Pancreatitus (sp?).
What a nightmare.
His glucose is still very high. New dose 10 units. ::) And on we go.
HIV almost seems like a breeze. ???

He was SO happy to "see" me. Smiled with his tongue hanging out all of the way home.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 06:06:06 PM by mitch777 »
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

 


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