Behaviour issues and chronic conditions

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Black dogs rock!
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 2:28pm PST 
I had a little scare with Bunny this week that turned out to be nothing, thankfullysmile It did , however, make me think about something I had never considered. I have pretty much made my decisions regarding terminal illnesses in my dogs. I had never thought about what I would do about a chronic condition. As he seemed to be drinking a lot of water , diabetes was my first thought, so I brought him for tests. He is amazingly healthy according to his test results, which I attribute mainly to lucky genetics and perhaps a bit of my good carewink Anyway, when the vet called with the results, I told her I was very thankful he was not diabetic because I didn't know how he would handle twice daily insulin injections and frequent blood tests. Her response to that was that he would not be a good candidate for treatment due to his behavior issues. I had been thinking along those same lines. I just wondered if anyone else would take behavior under consideration when it came to a chronic illness and treatment.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sun Feb 17, '13 4:41pm PST 
I think one always has to consider a dogs personality and issues when debating courses of treatment.
Months ago someone told me that Sabi could use a doggy wheelchair if her backend got too weak. Now I know dogs who use these and are perfectly happy with them. Sabi would not be. This is a dog who won't pee if I watch laugh out loud She dislikes being fussed with. She may tolerate it for my sake but she would be embarassed and irritated.
I know it isn't exactly the same thing but my point is that I think it is important to consider your dogs wishes as well as yours.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Sun Feb 17, '13 10:38pm PST 
My thoughts are very similar to Sabi's.

I have a cat that is in the beginning stages of kidney disease. While he has been holding his own and the disease hasn't been progressing, there will likely come a point where I will have to decide whether or not I am able to administer subQ fluids at home to make him more comfortable.

I have already decided that he will be the one to tell me if he can handle that sort of intervention.
If he objects and starts to stress out about it, then it's my view that it's just going to make things worse to fight with him about it. Same thing for supplements and non-vital meds. We'll do what we reasonably can to keep him comfortable and pain-free without stressing him out and decreasing his quality of life.

Bunny, I know that it would be very tough for Rexy were she to develop a chronic issue that required frequent vet visits and invasive poking and prodding. We had a long and unpleasant bout with UTIs and dermatitis of her back end and that was tough on everyone involved...

ETA: I'll also add that it's neat what you can train your dog to do to make a chronic condition easier to treat and medicate...Rexy has a relaxed down on cue (with hip rolled out) and well as laying flat on the floor on her side on cue so that we could clean and medicate more easily.

Edited by author Sun Feb 17, '13 10:44pm PST



I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Mon Feb 18, '13 9:26am PST 
That's something I've honestly never considered. Despite her issues with strangers, Lupi's always been very docile with any vet she's seen. Something to be thankful for I guess.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Mon Feb 18, '13 9:55am PST 
The bf and I had "the talk" about Hobbes, the cat, last week. So far he is only deaf, but our last cat developed cat 'dementia.' It was pretty severe before she died. I don't think she was ever happy but was frightened, anxious, and confused. She didn't want to be petted any more, and stayed away from us. I wouldn't want Hobbes to go through unhappiness. He still enjoys petting, playing, harassing the dogs, etc. He's content. He's not as inquisitive now, but he seems happy enough. I know I have no guarantee he will leave the world this way, but I don't want him to spend years confused and anxious, as the last cat did.thinking

As far as all the animals go, they're pretty docile, and I think we could handle multiple meds, sub-q fluids, injections, etc. At least 2 of the dogs would handle wheel chairs/carts very poorly, if not 3 of them. I have actually spend a couple of months giving subQ fluids to a lamb, believe it or not (crazy me!) so that's no big deal, they aren't horrible painful if broken down all over the body.

With a human aggressive or very fearful dog who can't be behaviorally conditioned to the treatment, now that's not something I would put them through.

As far as something such as cancer it would be a hard decision. I don't have a problem with amputation, as I think the dog gets a long fine with 3 limbs generally. But most chemo and radiation are only palliative and gain a few years at what cost to the dog. If their aim is curative, as it is most often in people, that's a different ball of wax.

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 6:50pm PST 
Thanks for everyone's inputsmile I did work for a lady who had a very cooperative diabetic dog. It was pretty cool how she would come to her for her injections and her treat aftersmile I dont think Buuny would be so cooperativeconfused
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 5:47am PST 
We recently went thru this with a kennel cat. She was elderly, and while she finally (after 8 years!), allowed us to pat her there was no way she would ever accept ANY handling or daily treatment.
She became very thin and had a bloated belly. We had the vet come down and observe her but anything she surmised it might be was ultimately going to be the end so we just let her go on until she finally told us it was time, at which time we did have her euthanized. In her case, we fed her tranquilizers until she was able to be held for the euthaniza.
I have another wild cat who is now 19. We now trap her and keep her in a kennel during the cold weather but she still bites with ANY attempt at physical contact. She is happy, apparently healthy and so we continue, but obviously, no treatment would ever be considered should she need it. It is difficult to know she is outside alone all Summer but that is the only life she has ever known.