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Puppy training thread.

Which Tyler

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TBF, anything with antibiotics helps the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Human medicine has started acting on that (but still prescribes too many IMO) vetinary medicine hasn't even started, whilst farming has barely started, and only really in the EU (and the UK are in the process of reversing those starts).

Humanity is its own worst enemy
 

Which Tyler

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First, the good news. Beli Mawr is settling in well; he's not shown any home-sickness; and only a little abandonment problems - is concerningly intelligent, but a touch too rambunctious for the older dogs - especially the 5 year old who wants him to get off her lawn...


For the older dog though... the last couple of weeks have not been kind.
17 days ago she was suffering from some pain - which we put down to being the elbow, which we'd had the osteopath look at a couple of days previously - which had put her through her paces, and we assumed had overdone things. Pain came on in the morning, and eased over a couple of hours.
15 days ago she was suffering from some gut-rot, and we put her on chicken and rice diet - we compared notes, and neither of us remembered a bowel movement in the past 2 days. We now assumed that her pain had been more bowel related than elbow.
After a week of chicken and rice, we took her the vet, who diagnosed gastroenteritis (gut rot) and put it down to thieving from the food bins). Gave us some medication for that, and another to boost the gut microbiome; we also wormed her just-in-case.
Her guts have not improved a bit, and the med.s ran out over the weekend. We've got an appointment with the vet again today.

But she's gradually less interested in food, has vomited a couple of times, including this morning; and there's been nothing but liquid emissions for 3 days now.


She's 11 years old, part giant breed, part large breed; so a life expectancy of around 8-12 (and her weight has been 40-42kg throughout life until last year's vaccination when she was 38kg - with wasting at the hips); she's increasingly frail, especially the last few weeks; and must have lost a good 10% of body weight recently - spine, ribs and shoulders are all now easily visible.

It's obviously not gut-rot; and almost certainly an obstruction - the question is what.
The obvious option is that she's eaten something too big - something like a corn cob - but I'd expect a lot more pain, and more rapid worstening - not to mention, the vet to have found... something last week).
The other thought is tumour - especially with coming on at the same time as the elbow that we're calling arthritis - not to mention the weakness we first really noticed back in May.

I think I'd actually prefer it to be cancer - given that she's not in pain. That way, there's no real decision to be made, just give her the best last few days / weeks / months that we can, and put her out of her misery the moment she stars being miserable.

But if it's an obstruction... would a frail 11 year old survive such an operation? (hell, would she survive the sedation to X-ray?)
 

BiggusLaddus

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We were in a similar situation with our ridgeback last year. She became unable to keep food down and steadily lost weight. She was 39 kg when in perfect condition, but dropped to 32 kg towards the end.

We never found out what was causing it because she wasn't strong enough to be put through any more investigations. Guessing either cancer or liver disease, as she'd had a sarcoma and they saw some liver nodules on an ultrasound.

It's a horrible time when you have to decide whether to keep investigating and treating or not.
 

Which Tyler

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34kg yesterday - so a 4 kg loss, which visibly has been the last month or so.
Blood tests show a complete lack of proteins or cholesterols, along with some anaemia.
It's now been 48 hours since she ate... anything at all.

Vet wants to do an ultrasound and a camera-up-the-backside biopsy - to get a diagnosis... that wouldn't change the treatment plan.
Treatment options are:
High dose steroids - which may calm IBS, and may make her more comfortable if cancer - speed of reaction would be indicative of diagnosis.
Chemotherapy (if cancer) - that wouldn't add much life, but would take away some quality
Surgery (if cancer) - that she probably wouldn't recover from

If she doesn't start eating, then she's only got days, regardless of the diagnosis (it's cancer - no way is this IBS, her body is eating itself and stealing protein from the muscles in order to feed the brain and tumour). If we can get her eating, then weeks, maybe into months.
 

Which Tyler

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Guinness crosses the Rainbow Bridge tomorrow.
I'm a complete wreck


Oh, and Tal's got gut-rot now as well - but [email protected] pretty sure that's a mixture of heat and anxiety
 
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Which Tyler

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Top tip for anyone else going through this, with an old dog off her food, and younger dogs in the household:

Our instinct had been to try feeding her, even little treats, on her own and not being hassled by the youngsters.
We discovered yesterday that we can get a bit more food into her by doing a "training" session.

So we have all 3 dogs around, Tal and Beli do Sit, Down, Stand, Leave It etc; and the treats go around from one to the other. Older dog obviously gets much bigger treats for just being there. But that habit and competition meant that she'd take food she was otherwise refusing.

Over a couple of sessions this morning, I managed to get an extra 3 slices of ham, and 2 schmakos into her.
 

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Really sad news
 

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He’s priming himself for a belly rub. :).
 

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Stopped a dog from killing a squirrel in the park today. It had it on the ground several times and was gonna kill it. Didn’t touch the dog, just shouted at it to stop to give the squirrel enough time to escape. Thankfully didn’t attack me.

Surprised how fast the dog was at getting the squirrel. Squirrel managed to make it back up the tree, but dog was still wanting to get back at it.

So stayed wait for the owner to arrive as to tell him. He was alright about it, but told him he needed to put his dog on a lead. If it had been his other dog, which was a GS then no chance. But don’t think it would have caught a squirrel that fast.
 

Which Tyler

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Lurcher type?
Dog was obviously well trained if it stopped when told by a random human; but there's only so much can be done about the "chase small thing" instinct - whether squirrel, cat or yapper-dog. In which case, dog should on lead, or muzzled when out and about. It's hard, but so much less hard than having to look another pet owner in the face and explain the brutal murder you could have prevented.
 

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Wasn’t a lurcher type breed. It was a small medium sized dog. May have been a mix. But yep, only so much I could do. Try and step in and the dog could have attacked me. Owner was quite far away. He was shouting after it, but he took a good 5 minutes to get to us. He was a bit shocked when I told him.

Not as shocked as the little squirrel getting attacked and mauled. it made it up the tree, but whether it subsequently survives?
 

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