09-18-2017, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boston metro-area, USA
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
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| | Confused.
Originally Posted by loreuhann
I have a 13-YO chocolate Lab... Molly. She's always been a great dog, but in the last year, she's become a [lot of work].
She [can't] walk up & down the steps on her own. If she [tries], she usually loses her footing & would fall if we weren't there to help her.
She [voids] in-house because she's unable to get to the pen in time.
She refuses to to stay downstairs, & will knock down gates if we try [to block her upstairs access].
___________________________________________ I'm confused by the part in BOLD color - if she cannot get upstairs solo, why can't she be kept on the lower / lowest floor of the house?
If she stays on the lowest floor, can she get to the "pen" to void? // Why must she poop / pee "in the pen"? - isn't there somewhere more accessible for a disabled dog to toilet?
Why can't U put a narrow ramp over one side of the stairs, like the cleated ramps used on chicken coops, that provide something for traction? -- Dogs don't need a 3-ft wide staircase, 12 to 15-inches is adequate width, so long as there's a vertical edge to prevent her stepping off into midair.
How is her vision? - can she SEE the edge of a ramp / edge of a step?
re "she can't be confined downstairs", How does she get up the steps, if no one helps her? // Why can't U install gates that screw to the wall, not the cheap spring-loaded ones that are only held in place by friction?
I'm not being critical - i know the screw-mounted gates are a bit more expensive, but surely if it saves the cost & mess of carpet ruined by urine & feces, it's worth the extra $$?
Plus, if U look on FreeCycle or CraigsList, U can find local *used* gates - kids outgrow them, & parents get rid of them. *shrug* Or look in consignment shops, Goodwill, & other used clothing / furniture outlets.
Unfortunately, diarrhea is a welfare issue - U can't put off treating it, she needs a vet, & can't wait till there's money to spare.
Originally Posted by loreuhann
She's destroyed every carpet in the house. She still has an appetite... she isn't as energetic or playful as she used to be, [but] she's still "with it" & enjoys spending time with us.
...the vet [says] she has arthritis... her problem is just old age. They did blood tests & she does not have cancer. She's started to lose some weight... part of that is her refusal to go downstairs more than once a day, [she] sometimes misses a meal.
In the past few weeks she's [had constant] diarrhea. She rarely just does solid poop anymore. When I have the money I will take her back to the vet to see what the specific problem is. I've been working from home and I spend a lot of time with her. Just today she [had] diarrhea 3 times.
She doesn't seem to be in pain... she expresses discomfort [only] when we force her to come downstairs & out to the pen. She takes a very long time but once... down the stairs, she [can] walk on her own (albeit very very slowly).
We've never been the type of family to put a dog down just because they've [begin toileting] in the house... [other past dogs] either had cancer or were unable to walk at all/had little to no appetite [, when we out them down].
This is a unique experience for us. [Some say] they think it is time for her to be put down. I'm just not sure.
Please give your advice on how to deal with this situation.
Won't Ur usual vet allow U to at least get a stool specimen under the 'scope? - parasites could cause her problems, & a cheap Rx might eliminate her distress.
Diarrhea means lost electrolytes - E-lytes run our bodies, we cannot survive without them, & they must be in specific balance. She can die of heart failure if she loses too much calcium, or lacks sodium.
It's not "JUST" nutrition [amino acids, vits, minerals... ] she loses in the fluid stool - it's essential stuff to run the body systems.
Dehydration, especially when it's chronic, is also potentially fatal.
I'm unsure about the "blood tests" - a full blood panel is def a good practice with elderly dogs, who should be seen every 6-mos for a wellness check. // But even a full blood-panel won't reveal "cancer", which can be in any organ.
25% of all U-S dogs who die of advanced age HAVE one or more cancers on autopsy - the cancers did not -cause- their deaths; they are simply present, b/c cancer is increasingly likely with age.
I'd ask my vet if they can't see her, & U can make payments, if need be - or they might be willing to charge costs only for meds, etc, plus the office visit.
It can't hurt to ask, & she needs help ASAP.
Could a friend or relative lend the money?
Is there a local rescue or animal-welfare org that can provide funds?
If not, GO FUND ME is an option - she needs help *now*.
Is she overweight? - her walking & stair issues might be greatly helped by losing wt; obesity contributes to arthritis.