i think some people like their dogs chronically sick

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Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 9:46am PST 
I know this is a weird topic and I'm not definitely talking about anyone here since I never saw it here. But on other dog groups with several owners I get the feeling they enjoy the sympathy they get from having a sick dog plus these same people never take advice (I don't mean mine!) Or seems like they purposely give wrong medication or forget. They write every day about how awful it is having a suffering dog but not anything to help the dog. I think there's a disease like this with humans and their human child. And it honestly seems like it happens in people with their dogs
too. Has anyone ever witnessed something like that?

More Food! More,- more, more- please!
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 10:01am PST 
Munchausen by Proxy is what its called. And I dont doubt that its possible for this to be between human "parent" and canine "child". The sympathy garnered is often the same. Its sad, but I see people like on Facebook all the time. Always posting their so sad stories to get attention and sympathy. Granted, an occasional comment about a sick loved one is no big deal - I'm talking about the people who day in day out post their misery.

I'm king of the- world!
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 10:04am PST 
Yep, there's a human syndrome for this phenomena: Munchausen by proxy. It's characterized by fabricated and parentally-induced illnesses. It's most often the mother who is the perpetrator. It's a pretty disturbing disorder. I could easily see its pathological and attention-seeking tendencies spilling over into the pet "parental" role.

I've never witnessed it, though. I can't imagine anyone wanting to see their pet (or child) sick. It's beyond my comprehension.


No, I'm not a- wolf.
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 10:06am PST 
I can't believe this - We have a client like this at our hospital. She insists her dog is seriously ill (she says 'dying'). We have run every single test she has come up with over and over always with completely normal results. The dog is happy, playful, eats well, friendly. Seems confused to constantly be hanging out at the vet. The owner sits in the waiting room and cries her eyes out and tells the other clients her dog is terminally ill. We can't seem to convince her otherwise. I had no idea there were other people like this! Wow.

More Bored- Collies
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 10:16am PST 
This has been discussed a few times on Dogster that I remember. It absolutely can be translated onto pets, like children.

Munchausen syndrome by proxy Although that one was later closed for referring to another member (let's try to avoid that in this topic), there is some information in the earlier posts about the disorder.

And here is an article written by several veterinary colleges over 10 years ago: 'Battered pets': Munchausen syndrome by proxy (factitious illness by proxy)

Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 10:48am PST 
I've never heard such a thing. I looked it up and it said it's a devastating form of animal cruelty. On one website it said,
"The answer is to become more aware of MBPS and speak up when something doesn’t seem right. Animal cruelty is a crime no matter how much or how little a person is aware of their actions. In the case of a defenseless dog or cat, it’s always best to err on the side of caution."

"Call your local SPCA, Humane Society or Animal Rescue. Put yourself in your best friend’s position. If the person you depend on is also the person who hurts you the most, wouldn’t you want somebody to speak up for you?"

I think vets should have to report somebody if they suspect a person
has Munchausen by proxy but I wonder if they would because they're probably making money off these kind of people. I expect that a good vet would report it though. You would think that people would want their dogs to be healthy and not purposely injure them or make them sick just to get sympathy. I hope this is not a common condition.

Edited by author Sun Jan 8, '12 11:04am PST


Ball?! Did- someone say- BALL?!!!!!
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 11:04am PST 
I absolutely agree that this is the case. I don't necessarily think that they "like" it per say but are addicted to it. For those who do not understand addiction, you can be addicted to something but not like it. In the case of Munchhausen, they would be addicted to the attention that one retrieves from having an injured pet or child. Munchhausen is particularly dangerous as if they are made to feel like they are not getting adequate attention from non-illnesses, they are much more likely to actually create problems. And besides, who do you talk to if you suspect someone doing it to their pets anyway? Obviously, AC can step in in cases of actual injury but what about the ones that aren't actually causing damage yet.

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 12:00pm PST 
Thank you I didn't know the name. It's made me a little sick to read the links about it speaking of sick... I promise I was definately not talking about any dogster here.

Ok so this is like a person who hoards? That they don't know they're doing wrong - or that they do know? I read on dogster that a person who hoards dogs actually believes the dogs are better off with them even if they live in filth and disease or injuries. Does a person with Munchausen by proxy know they're harming their dog really? And how do we help then since I agree with Tyson about AC. It's the right thing to report it Beauregard but AC has a hard enough time I think even convicting obvious cases nevermind this.

Tyson thanks also for explaining they don't like it that helps shed light on this disease.

It's surprised me how common it is though that even I see it on dog groups.

Work? What's- that?
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 12:25pm PST 
I know someone, from another forum, who I am almost certain has this - Munchausen by Proxy. It's heartbreaking to see the dog suffer under her "care." She pretty much keeps an up-to-date public journal of everything she does to this dog, and if you follow the timeline, it's pretty clear that all the dog's symptoms stem from way back at the beginning with the introduction of dangerous cocktails of medicines she is introducing into this dog's system in a completely off-label manner.

Of note too is that she has had other dogs, all of whom develop massive inexplicable systemic ailments that nobody can diagnose.

She shouldn't be allowed to own animals. It's sad - but cases like this, you can't report to a local SPCA or anything like that, because it looks like caring of the utmost kind - how can you say a dog owner is abusive, when they've spent thousands to care for a sick dog! Still, I would at least try, if I knew *which* SPCA to call. But the internet creates anonymity (and don't get me wrong, that is a good thing), so, meanwhile, her dog suffers frown.

Edited by author Sun Jan 8, '12 12:27pm PST

Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Sun Jan 8, '12 12:31pm PST 
Adam, this disease is a mental illness.

Generally, they do it for some sort of intrinsic need to get sympathy from others (like the medical professionals) or the need to lie and get away with it. But, like hoarding, they don't see their actions as wrong or harmful in the way a mentally healthy person would.
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