Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

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Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:33 pm

I would like to ask the advice of the forum concerning a dilemma. My partner and I have an 11 year old Dachshund who was diagnosed this morning with detached retinas in both eyes, causing permanent and total blindness. It was obvious a few days ago that he was having trouble seeing, which is what prompted the vet visit. For the past few days, BooBoo (the dog) has been completely lethargic, seemingly depressed, and apparently miserable.

He's alone in the house all day long since we both work, and it's a brand new house we just built and closed on in late August. I don't believe he's had enough time between moving in the new home and losing his sight to get a good feel for his new surroundings. Further, he was always an extremely tame dog, never biting anyone, and always loved meeting new people - usually greeting them with several licks the to the face, if you'd let him. In the past week, however, he's bitten a small child (not a serious bite, just a nip - and the kid wasn't a stranger to him), and growled and snapped at a very close friend of ours who the dog knows well.

I'm at a loss for what to do. My gut feeling says that we should have him put to sleep. But my selfishness contradicts the gut feelings.

What would you guys do?
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby ElectricPuppy » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:48 pm

Awww man, dilemma indeed. I'm sorry your poor puppy is having trouble, SI. Sad or sick critters make sad people. :(

At 11 years, and being a small dog, he probably has a few years left in him if he doesn't have other troubles. But, it sounds to me like he's depressed, at least. How has he been with you guys? Does he seem comforted, or just grouchy with even just yourself?

We had a doberman (fantastic dog, Brina), who we had for 12 years that had a degenerative spinal problem, making it harder and harder for her to walk. Eventually she just didn't want to get up, and her best friend in the world, our cat, couldn't make her happy, either. She actually growled and nipped at her, and she had NEVER done that before. That was when we knew it was time.

I don't know, man. If it were me, I might give him a few days more, and if it looks like he's not gonna get better, then I would consider a last vet trip. :cry:

My sympathies, sir.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:51 pm

Thanks, EP.

His eyes won't get better, according to the vet. His attitude might though? Yes, he is acting WAY different towards other people, AND us. He is exceptionally needy right now, he just sits there looking confused, and he wants to be touched/petted by Ben and me constantly. If I'm standing up, he'll just find his way to my leg and rest his head against my leg in what I'm guessing is an attempt to steady or "right" himself. It's the most pitiful thing and it breaks my heart to pieces.

I don't know what to do.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby MetroSonus » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:07 pm

I had an abusive ex that I broke up with once and I took her cat with me. Once I got her home, see peed on everything. My work was close enough that I could home on lunch breaks just to play with her and stuff. After a while the weird behavior went away.

I personally would find it very hard to blame an animal after a large shake up like that (I'm not saying your'e doing that). I dont' know what the answer is, but I would definitely give it some time, unless the vet diagnoses dementia or something, if dogs get that. I just mean though that pets are more dependent on people that we realize.

Be patient would be my guess and try to get the dog into understanding / on board with your routine. That will help a lot. We usually give our cats treats before bed. Animals are largely dependent on routines so anything you can do to help him get into the swing of would help things.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby christianrock » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:13 pm

I agree with EP... as much as we love our pets, when their life becomes a life of suffering, I think the last visit is a necessity... unless, of course, he adapts and becomes his happy self again.

(of course the disclaimer is that I think different ethics apply to humans and animals. some people will think differently)
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:14 pm

I just don't want my fur child to suffer - whether it's misery, depression, blindness, or whatever else. He's so different now personality-wise from even just a few days ago.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:15 pm

christianrock wrote:I agree with EP... as much as we love our pets, when their life becomes a life of suffering, I think the last visit is a necessity... unless, of course, he adapts and becomes his happy self again.

(of course the disclaimer is that I think different ethics apply to humans and animals. some people will think differently)


I think so, too, CR, on the ethics bit. I feel like I *should* put him down, but I don't want to because then he'll be gone.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby ClavAnother » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:28 pm

Hire a midget as a seeing eye person
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby ClavAnother » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:28 pm

P.S. doesn't have to be a midget I guess, don't know why I said that.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby MetroSonus » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:29 pm

That was kind of my suggestion. If you give yourself sometime, you'll feel better about your decision. It just depends on your dog's ability to adjust really, I guess.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:49 pm

I jokingly told Ben that we need a seeing eye dog for our blind dog. But that was before his diagnosis was made.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby Purity_Control » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:56 pm

Give it a bit of time and see if he settles down.

I was really worried when Eugene was diagnosed with diabetes that having to inject him twice a day would be too much for me, or that he might turn bitter... actually it's worked out quite well and he's settled down and is incredibly forgiving, even if I do sometimes have to chase him round with his injection.

I'd say give it a bit longer, even if it's just another week to see if things start to settle down. If it comes to the worst, you'll feel better knowing you took as long as you needed to make the decision.
"To be honest with you, I just assumed it was another symptom of Taren Capel being as mad as a bicycle."
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby Purity_Control » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:59 pm

Can you get dog toys that make a noise? Or that have a bell in them?

My sometime lodger had a cat that went blind, she got this toy that was like a bell and a feather thing on some string that she loved to play with.

Would he go for maybe like a noisy ball you could throw for him?
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:03 pm

He can "chase" (term used extremely loosely) the ball if I throw it on the hardwood flooring parts of our house because he can hear it bounce... not so much on the carpet. So, this is potentially great advice. We will try that. We will also give him a week or two to see if his mental condition improves, I think.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby BonsoWonderDog » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:10 pm

Yup I agree with EP, CR and PC......give it some time and see if it improves. If not, then end it. I don't envy you. When I had to get Bonso put down, I cried like a baby. Pretty embarrassing trying to pay the vet whilst weeping.

Serious question - if anti-depressants work for humans, why wouldn't they work for depressed dogs?
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby Plink Floyd » Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:30 am

Sorry, man. It's tough to know what to do in a situation like this. I think everyone else's advice is good: just give it some time & you'll make the right decision.
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby selfinflikted » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:37 am

BonsoWonderDog wrote:Serious question - if anti-depressants work for humans, why wouldn't they work for depressed dogs?


They do. And vets prescribe them for dogs, cats, and who knows what else. :thu:
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby MetroSonus » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:43 am

That's interesting...
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby Plink Floyd » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:43 pm

Yes, I've found irrefutable scientific proof on the internets:

Image
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Re: Personal Dilemma: Advice Needed

Postby christianrock » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:35 am

It works so well, it even changes the color of the fur between your eyes :lol:
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