What do I do to help this neglected animal? A little long.. but please help!

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Barked: Thu Feb 14, '13 2:41pm PST 
My boyfriend's closest friend lives with his mother and his younger brother. They are in a very bad financial situation first off.. they have 3 dogs and buying dog food for them is a huge struggle.

One of their dogs is Samantha, a 13 year old golden retriever. I first met this dog 5 years ago, and she was a happy, healthy, active dog. The last year has been rough on her though and I didnt realize it until recently. Today we went over there and I started to notice some things:

She is soooo skinny! They claim she eats normally but I just don't believe it. I kind of walked around the house to see what ammenities were out for the dogs.. I saw one food bowl and one water dish for all three dogs, the water dish was caked in grime. I looked at her teeth and gums.. nothing seems to be stopping her from being able to eat. I'm wondering if maybe the younger, more aggressive dog is hogging the food?

Her breathing is stressed when she's laying down. Like every inhale and exhale is a huge struggle. I also noticed little spots of yellow goopy stuff all over the house that clearly came from a dog.. but I can't tell which end! It's very dischargy. It reminded me of my dog's diarrhea when he had pancreatitis.

I would imagine she's never been groomed or even brushed for that matter. There are huge mats all over her and her skin is dry and flakey.. there are some parts on her elbows that I can't tell if its dry skin or matted hair!

I have to do something for her, whenever I pointed these things out to the owner she just didn't seem concerned. She said she's fine.. I was thinking do you not see the look in her eyes?! She's trying to tell you something!!

My question is what is the best thing for me to do at this point? I understand she may only have 1-2 years left but is that any reason to let her quality of life slip? I don't think so..
Dylan aka- Dilly,my- angel

frisbee- s rule
Barked: Thu Feb 14, '13 4:05pm PST 
how often do you go there? could you volenteer to groomer her some? take her some food?

offer to take her for a walk and let her eat?

Barked: Thu Feb 14, '13 4:39pm PST 
I don't go over there as often as my boyfriend does, I don't know how to stress the importance of this dog's health to the owner without offending her. I was considering offering to pay to have her groomed.. I have a 13 year old dog and when he starts feeling down a haircut always makes him giddy!


The Muddy- Princess
Barked: Thu Feb 14, '13 5:36pm PST 
Has this girl been to the vet recently? Unfortunately a 13 y.o. Golden with these symptoms is quite likely to have cancer which takes well over half of all Goldens. Please take this girl in, if they can't afford to, take her in yourself. Letting her go (putting her to sleep) may well be the kindest thing you can do for her. If money is the major sticking point, take her to the local humane society, where they usually do low cost euthanasia.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Thu Feb 14, '13 5:48pm PST 
Maybe if you approach it like "Gee, she is just my favorite dog and it must be hard for you with all three of them and her so old, we were thinking maybe she could be with us, course we'd bring her over to visit". Word it some way so you're not saying they're being negligent or anything...of course they are but...best approach is that you want to make their life easier by taking this dog off their hands.little angel
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
Barked: Thu Feb 14, '13 5:52pm PST 
I agree that maybe you can offer to have her groomed. I would also offer to take food over. Some people just don't understand how to care for dogs properly. My mother-in-law has a rat terrier mix that had no vet care. I took over the care for him and he's happy & healthy now. He was also mauled by the neighbors boxer and she wasn't going to take him to the vet. I flew over there from work and scooped him up and took him in. Sometimes if you want the right thing to be done, you have to do it yourself. I also agree that maybe a vet visit is in order. It could be an illness the Golden has or lack of food. A vet would better be able to determine that. Unfortunately, like me with my In-law, your might have to absorb the cost to care for the dog properly. Good Luck!
Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
Barked: Fri Feb 15, '13 7:42am PST 
I agree with others say...determine what you have the time and $$ for as it might be you doing it all. Hopefully if they saw how much better the dog can look/feel, etc they will step it up. I agree that you should watch your wording but I would have angry verbal diarrhea if I saw that --I am not the best people person.

Getting a brush and brushing once a day a person on the street can afford to do! Really concerned about what you might find under those matts. Fingers crossed it is just a case of not getting her share of food.

If there is no hope the family's situation will change soon, I really wish they would rehome the dogs.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Fri Feb 15, '13 11:42am PST 
I'm gonna have to agree with others. I got Maya from a situation almost similar. Only difference was the dogs were fed separately. But they were also kenneled all the time if they weren't outside, were on the most cheapest food possible out there, and Maya was quite abused and neglected. Why? More from ignorance than anything else. I ended up asking them if I could take her home with me. But I put it in such words that it wasn't accusing them of not looking after her properly. "She and Charlie are really attached, and I'd love to take her home with me and take care of her. You'd see her all the time, since you're family." etc.

I got her on better food - she was originally ten-twenty lbs underweight, but got most of it back by the end. The better food had better quality meat, and I added glucosamine to her diet, and soon she was like a puppy again. I also stopped kenneling her as frequently as they did(in fact, I RARELY kenneled her as she was extremely well behaved to begin with). Her arthritis slowly improved, as did her attitude.

Sometimes, it really is just a matter of taking things into your own hands in whatever ways are possible. Sometimes, you have to do the thing you don't want to do and file a report with Bylaw. It all comes down to what you are able to afford to do for this dog in terms of time, and finances.