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Everything posted by simba

  1. Rem'smom, I know you know all this, but it might be helpful for other people, and good luck with your new dog! My dog used to vary from occasionally attempting to play, to often growling, barking, or having a hysterical fit when she saw other dogs. We used to have to walk down the street away from them, dragging her, and she got into more fights... She's an old dog now, and she has calmed down a lot. One thing I found really helped was when I was willing not just to pull her away or scold her, but also to stick up for her as I was advised to do on these boards. Once she knows that I can also see the crazy dog up ahead and I will move her out of the way in advance, or that I will stomp my feet at the bigger dog trying to stand over and intimidate her, it really helps her stay calm. She knows I'm paying attention, 'scanning the horizon', and so she doesn't have to, she just has to listen to me and I'll tell her when it's okay and I'll tell her when we have to go get out of the way. Now instead of barking she's more likely to tap me on the leg to alert me. You wouldn't have thought it, but there you go. I searched through a load of old threads reading about it, there's some really useful stuff. Okay, it's mostly probably because she's old etc. But I brought her to the park off-lead for the first time ever without needing to leash her when another dog approached. I got her to sit off the path if the other dog was one she'd be worried about. She didn't growl, she didn't snarl, she didn't snap, she didn't bother anyone. Because she knew no-one would bother her. Keep an eye out for teenage dogs, dogs who stare and strain at the leash, dogs who are a bit 'pushy' or off-lead dogs who run up to other dogs. The more of these you can keep her away from, or reassure her you can deal with, the less likely she is to feel she needs to defend herself. Yeah, yeah, it is completely just because she is older and calmer. But don't tell me that, I am so proud, I'd like to keep my bubble un-burst!
  2. Between those recommendations, the big dog bowls, the huge 'treat containers', and the giant 'treats' (I was reading a treat package the other day that recommended a maximum of five treats per week for a large dog- how many people do you think are giving them daily, or giving other treats as well?), it's no wonder most people have a skewed idea of what a dog should eat. I have had people giving out to me for filling my small dog bowl just under a quarter full- because that's how much the dog needs to eat (according to the package no less.) But you're supposed to fill a bowl otherwise it looks too little, and most of the bowls are too big, and then you buy more dog food, and on it goes. And the dog gets rounder and rounder. Spayed dogs can need 20% less calories or so, so you might have to cut the food down by a fifth compared to what it was, and then check regularly and see how she goes. I found broccoli, apples, green beans, and cauliflower, were well appreciated by the dog I got the weight off. They make the dog feel like it's eaten something or got a treat. This has led to unfortunate incidents where she stole carrots from the shopping or robbed broccoli off someone having a picnic.
  3. I sometimes wonder if the package recommendations are for unspayed young dogs, or for dogs who get a LOT of exercise. Even when there's a range it's often too much at the low end for my spayed elderly dogs. And people, if they read the bag in the first place, will often skew towards the higher end or be afraid to feed less than what it says in case they starve the dog.
  4. Trick training. Walks in new places. Games of any kind. Just going on little adventures together where you go to a new place or do a new thing, go on a picnic together and eat food out on the grass. Anything so long as both of you are doing it, though something that the dog has to pay attention to you for really helps. My vet had a few things to say about that, one of them was 'you get the dog you deserve.' what you can get out of any one dog, while limited by personality, is greatly influenced by things like how much time you spend interacting and training. Humans take a while to form their friendships, dogs often need the same. It took my dog what, 13 years to get this close to me? And every year we got closer, hence why old dogs are great. A few weeks is no time at all.
  5. Thank you, guys. Yes, Urge to Herd, it's been really useful having these boards, I've been trawling through the old threads just reading everything. I'll have to hit the 'knowing when to euthanize' threads now, I suppose, just to be prepared. Thank you everyone for contributing to such a useful resource. Sue R- that's the good thing, at least, she doesn't know. Up until recently she was still trying to run, and she still toddles around checking out everything and putting her nose in everywhere. I'm planning on giving her as good a time as I can. She recently got her first kong, now that she's learned to fetch and decided to interact with toys.
  6. All I can think of is the 'board covered in sandpaper' approach. I've only read about it, but some people have planks with sandpaper covers which they train the dogs to scratch their nails off vigorously. It's like a nightly ritual, keeps the nails worn down so you don't have to cut them in the first place.
  7. Looks like she has inoperable cancer. On further testing they had hopes of being able to remove part of the liver, and the spleen, so we were optimistic, but during the surgery they realized it was not possible because there was not enough not-affected liver- it's not just the changes they could see on the tests. They've done a biopsy. He doesn't reckon it's hemangiosarcoma, and thinks she has a chance of some good months with reasonable quality of life given proper care- of course, it's just a chance, not a guarantee. She was so darn affectionate the day of the surgery too, following me around to shove her head into my lap and supervise my shower and chores. I may likely be getting all of this arseways. It's funny, I'm actually good at understanding this stuff normally, but when it comes to for my own dog I just suddenly get brain-fog.
  8. I dunno, I hug and grin and tell people how glad I am to see them because I really am- even my acquaintances, sometimes. I might look like a tit to some, but it's how I was raised and it's at least an honest expression of gladness. Otherwise yeah, I agree totally. I have no problem with my dog getting excited to see their friends, if they remain polite, but it's needless to do so for strangers.
  9. How safe are frozen chicken wings? I mean bone-wise, obviously they'd be pretty high in salt anyway.
  10. Unless you combine rice with those peas, I suppose. I don't tend to trust dog food with (probably harmless) colours because it makes me worry about whether the manufacturer's more focused on what seems good to the human rather than what's necessary or shown to work. I feel the same way about organic, holistic, or foods that have low-plausibility supplements like glucosamine. Marketing plays a huge role in all this. Edit: though on the topic of mostly-vegetable-matter dog food, I've recently found dog chews which are basically corn starch, flour, and soybeans. They are cheap as chips, and more importantly my sensitive dog can eat them without having diarrhoea everywhere, like she does for beef bones or chews that have chicken/beef/lamb in them.
  11. Separate them when you're not there, at least. I don't know your situation, always easier said than done, but have a look and see if you can do it.
  12. Yes, I am reasonably sure that was so.
  13. Forgot to add she's already got an abdominal x-ray, that's why they saw the spleen was enlarged.
  14. I don't think they do ultrasound- can't find anything about it on their website. I suppose I'll go to their walk-in clinic and wait to go into the vet and ask? Or would it be better to write them an email asking so they can reply to me and I don't have to queue with the dog, and they don't have to pull the info up on the spot? Or maybe ask at the desk? I am at the 'asking stupid questions because my brain is not going to make a sensible decision' stage, sorry .
  15. What's recovery time after a big surgery like this? The other thing friends are telling me is that it'll be cruelty to prolong a dog's life by a small bit by having it in recovery from major surgery for most or all of it. Or that I should wait a few weeks and then make the decision- but would that make sense, given some of these cancers can develop very quickly? If it's something nasty and treatable now (small chance I know), that chance won't be there in a couple of weeks. I'm also getting lots of 'don't read about it, don't look up anything, it'll only upset you'. I don't understand that. I mean, how can I make a decision based off no information? The dog isn't going to go look this up herself.
  16. I am getting more and more confused on what to do. Friends are telling me ""She's an old dog, leave it" and "Stop fretting. It's a waste of Daisy's energy to give her surgery that might not prolong her life. Just leave it for a couple of weeks." But she's a happy bouncy little dog- I'm having trouble keeping her calm and not-running. She's eating with a good appetite, begging for the most incongruous scraps, stealing asparagus, having no trouble telling off the other dogs if they try to take her toy. She's just got started on fetch this year, she's learning how to close a door, she's got the first toy she's really liked in years... I know, logically, that none of these are reasons for believing surgery is still an option or the best option, or that she has any chance of cure or of prolonged survival. But, but, illogical-and-emotional-yet-compelling thought processes! Edit: they don't know any better than I do about this stuff. And the vet thinks she should have it. On the other hand you'd expect the vet to think so- not necessarily out of money-making, but simply because doctors etc tend to be pretty ready to accept or reccommend treatment, 'trying something', they don't like to have a patient die either and they like to be able to DO something, figure it out, find the problem.
  17. One of the advantages of a class is that you work around other dogs. A lot of dogs have the impression that whenever they see the other dog they should go and try to sniff it, not heed their owner, etc. and some dogs only really see other dogs when they're let off and allowed to go play like maniacs with each other. Teaching your dog, that, yes, there are other dogs, but you need to do something other than strain at the lead, has to be a good thing.
  18. This is not very helpful because it's second hand but a friend of mine had a dog develop diabetes. I don't know any of the fine points of how they cared for him, but I know that that dog lived for many years albeit with much effort put into diabetic control. He lived a happy and full life with the disease, well able to run and play and enjoy himself as much as possible. So just to reassure you, there is hope!
  19. I will ask again but I gathered during the visit that they thought it was likely unrelated, hence the antibiotics? Like I said, my memory of this discussion is a bit fuzzy. Next visit I am going to bring a notebook, maybe even explain and ask if I can record it on my phone if possible.
  20. The vet seems to be pushing for surgery so presumably they think she will likely be all right? They were strongly advising she go in for surgery in the next week, because of the rupture risk. There was no mention of ultrasound, I am not sure if they have the facilities there having just checked their website. I will call them Monday and ask. Edit: I asked about relative risk and likely outcomes but they said they couldn't really say before they actually saw what was going on, so until after the surgery. At the moment I am trying to feed her up and keep her happy. She is cleared for walks, at least, and she's gained weight since last week.
  21. The spleen is enlarged, they're reckoning it's likely a spleen tumor combined with hepatitis. They didn't mention a specific likely cause- although honestly they could well have, and just I've forgotten it- but they are advising that she gets surgery within the next week because of the possibility of "blood-filled cysts" inside her rupturing. I'm also supposed to keep her on-lead, no running about the place etc and she's on antibiotics and pain killers. I would tell you more but I've forgotten it- I knew I should have brought a notebook in. It's not even lack of interest and not paying attention, it's more that I heard 'needs immediate surgery' and 'tumor' and that blotted out all the other information. Does that sound like they think she has hemangiosarcoma (given it's one of the more common causes of spleen tumors- 2/3 of spleen tumors are malignant and 2/3 of those are hemangiosarcoma) or am I imagining that since I read about it here recently? I desperately hope not, because apparently if a dog gets that in the spleen it's likely metastasized by the time it's detected. Am I doing the right thing by thinking of surgery? I am afraid I'm falling victim to my own 'cut it out and get rid of it' mentality. On the one hand she is 13 and quite sick at the moment, so perhaps surgery would be more harm than good- a painful recovery or the risks of sedation for her, and it could turn out to be for no benefit. On the other hand she is happy in herself, and if I can keep her alive and keep the quality-of-life worthwhile for a bit longer it'd be worth it. It's a hard call to make simply because I can't keep my head straight enough for it, I'm too emotionally involved. Please, any advice you can give is welcome. I just don't want to do the wrong thing by my dog, even if it is for 'the right' reasons.
  22. What's the problem with 'hard enough'? Just too colloquial? It's a bit weird to see a phrase written which is usually spoken, I'll agree.
  23. Thank you Carolync, that really reassures me! Edit: did he show any other symptoms?
  24. I mean purely as a trick. Knife, fork, dog bowl, all onto a low table. Edit: if you got really elaborate you could then put food in the bowl and have the dog wait, or 'say grace' (bow their head) etc.
  25. I've a terrier with that retrieve chip, it's wonderful when they have it built in. I dropped my phone out on a hike, started to panic, looked down and she was trotting along behind me carrying it. Saved me having to retrace my steps for three or four miles to look for it. For me the post-it and the metal objects (knife and fork) were the most impressive things. Hmmm. Wonder if you could teach a dog to set the table?
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