Author Topic: Concerned about my Father's dog.  (Read 5197 times)

Lyn

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Concerned about my Father's dog.
« on: November 10, 2008, 05:07:31 am »
I need some opinions/suggestions.. anything really.

My Father has an elderly Toy Poodle named Candy. I believe she's 13. She's grossly overweight (25 pounds) and has heart problems. She tires easily and hack and coughs. She's also blind and because of that fell off the couch last summer and torn both ACL's in her rear legs. They went to the vet, did x-rays and the vet said she is not a candidate for surgery due to her age, heart problems and weight. My father was practically begging him to do the surgery but the vet said with her heart problems she most likely wouldn't survive the surgery and if she did her age and weight would work against her recovery. They were given pain meds for her instead since my Father absolutely refused to even 'think' about euthanizing her. I understand.. he loves her and can't fathom the thought of her not being here.

Fast-forward to now and her legs have healed. If you can call it that. She walks stiff legged but isn't in any pain currently. So my Father thinks she's fine.. a bit less mobile but fine. But for me watching her day to day... her quality of life is just not there. If I bring it up he gets upset and angry. I think he knows her time is coming but he doesn't want to deal with it.  :(

I'm not sure I've mentioned it here or not.. but my Father is deaf and has limited speech. At times explaining things to him is difficult. With it being such a sensitive subject I don't know how to talk to him about it.  :-\ My mother can't even get through to him.

What should I do? Should I just leave it be and let him decide when it's time? I don't know what to do.  :'(

jesday

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Re: Concerned about my Father's dog.
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 05:36:51 am »
Why can't our bubbers ever just pass peacefully in their sleep?  :-[:'(

I think you and your mom have done all that can be done. He is aware of his options, but I don't believe anyone will be able to talk him into what is obvious to others.

My sister-in-law had a cat who lived to be 20 years old! I had to keep doing the math to believe it but it was true. Unfortunately the last 5 years of its life could not by any stretch be called quality. We tried everything to convince my SIL the animal was suffering but she felt as long as she could still purr she wanted to be alive. It was heartbreaking to watch but we were helpless.

I believe you can only pray the dear heart will slip away soon sparing everyone the agony of her decline and just be there for your dad. :'( :'(

Lyn

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Re: Concerned about my Father's dog.
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 06:11:54 am »
Thanks guys. ;) As sad as it sounds I honestly wish she would pass in her sleep.

Clear decisions? It depends really but if he's unsure he asks for input. He's a stubborn 70 year old man that's set in his ways. LOL

I do think he's just not ready, but at the same time I wonder if he's avoiding the decision for himself and not for her, and her quality of life because he can't let her go?

As for her weight issue I've talked to him time and time again. He says she's not fat.. The poor thing is shaped like a twinkie. Ribs.. can't feel them period. She has NO tuck up at all. After pestering him I got him to reduce the amount he's feeding her down to 1/4 cup, but she's still gained weight. She's on Orijen Senior and has been for the past couple years.

She's not active at all, no interest in toys or playing. I've tried.  :( Walking on leash.. forget it.

Viking Lady

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Re: Concerned about my Father's dog.
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 06:27:29 am »
What a terrible time this is for all of you.

To me, since she's 13 years old, the big deal would be the pain issue. I would think it would be hard to make her lose weight at this point. Same thing with exercise..

 We had a chihuahua that was about that age, and she had a number of health problems, heart and lung. She was overweight even though we kept her on the lowest calories we could. She just laid around. We debated about whether to have her put to sleep and the vet told us she wasn't in pain so we just couldn't make ourselves do it.

One night while we were all watching tv she just sighed and was gone. If she's not in pain, and your dad isn't ready, I would wait it out.

Lyn

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Re: Concerned about my Father's dog.
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 06:38:58 am »
Hmmm, do you think you could talk him into less kibble, more food...as in green beans, veggies? That way, she's still getting lots to eat but it's really low cal?

This is a horrible thing but what if she just HAD to go for a walk?  I mean, I don't like working out but once I get into a routine, it's easier. 

The green beans are a good idea.. I'll definitely suggest it.

As for walking she was never leash trained...  :( We live in the middle of nowhere so I guess he never felt the need to walk her. Instead she'd follow him around outside. When we moved in I tried the leash on her many times. She plants her butt down and won't move. Before the ACL tears I used to gently tug her along in an attempt to get her moving. I never had any luck. :( I also tried a harness on her and still the same response. I'm not sure how else to go about getting her active. She's litterally become a lump since the ACL tears.  :(

Lyn

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Re: Concerned about my Father's dog.
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 06:44:25 am »
What a terrible time this is for all of you.

To me, since she's 13 years old, the big deal would be the pain issue. I would think it would be hard to make her lose weight at this point. Same thing with exercise..

 We had a chihuahua that was about that age, and she had a number of health problems, heart and lung. She was overweight even though we kept her on the lowest calories we could. She just laid around. We debated about whether to have her put to sleep and the vet told us she wasn't in pain so we just couldn't make ourselves do it.

One night while we were all watching tv she just sighed and was gone. If she's not in pain, and your dad isn't ready, I would wait it out.

She definitely doesn't appear to be in pain now. Which is a good thing.

Thanks everyone for the help. I'll leave it be and let him decide. In the meantime a diet wouldn't hurt.

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Re: Concerned about my Father's dog.
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 06:49:55 am »
Since your father clearly isn't ready to give up on her offer wholeheartedly to help him help her. Thirteen isn't all that old for a poodle and by putting her on a diet and heart meds you might be able to buy them some more quality time together. Blind and now possibly arthritic from the acl damage, excercise probably isn't feasible. But weight loss and cardio support is. If it doesn't work out for her at least he will be able to feel that he tried his best and everyone supported his decision. It won't lessen his grief but he wont be angry and resentful that he had to fight for her alone. Feel guilty that he waited too long? Yes, that could happen. As owners, I think that is a responsibility we must take. Unless he asks for your help, you can't and shouldn't make that decision for him. He will suffer himself hard enough if he really does let her go on too long, don't let him blame and resent you for forcing him to do what he isn't ready for. JMHO YMV
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Lyn

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Re: Concerned about my Father's dog.
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 06:56:27 am »
Your right. I just wish he would see what I see when I look at her.

I didn't think 13 was really that old either. But she's a genetic nightmare (BYB) and also has serious temperment issues. They brought her home at 5 weeks old. :o

Her heart condition is no doubt worse due to her weight. I'm going to write up a good diet plan with feeding amounts and hope I get him on board.

I also had her swimming after the ACL tears. That was interesting but it worked and got her legs moving. Maybe if I get that started again it will help with her weight? She's a shorty so even filling the bathtub to the brim works. LOL
« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 07:06:39 am by Lyn »