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Pawbly | 9 years ago
I Recently Began Fostering A 15-year-old Blind (and We Think Mostly Deaf) Dog. He Seems…

I recently began fostering a 15-year-old blind (and we think mostly deaf) dog. He seems to get around alright and walks on a leash (though you do have to guide him so he doesn’t collide with walls and things), but how can I get him to get to know the layout of my house? When he walked in for the first time, he took a few steps, nudged a wall, then plopped down where he was and doesn’t seen to want to move from there. Obviously we’d like him to be able to get around to some extent on his own (at least enough to drink/eat and not run into furniture), but he doesn’t seem to want to move. When I went to the next room and I wanted to keep an eye on him, I just picked him up and moved him with me. Is there a good way to be doing this? Should I keep him leashed at first to bring/show him around? Help!

2 Responses

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Anna,

    Thank You for the question, and more importantly, A BIG GIANT THANK-YOU for fostering a pet. Especially for fostering an older pet. Without people like you many rescues, and many rescued animals would never have a second chance at finding a loving home. It takes a very special person with a very big and generous heart to take a pup in need of so much assistance. I applaud you for not only being courageous enough to foster him, but also for seeking help in understanding how to best care for him.

    Because I am a veterinarian I would recommend that you first address and understand all of his medical and health issues. Your veterinarian can help you assess the degree and cause of blindness (sometimes it is due to a treatable disease and therefore the blindness can be corrected), and the ears should be examined also. In an older dog I would check for glaucoma, infection, retinal damage, and any other age related changes like osteoarthritis, joint disease, etc. A thorough examination will help you understand his needs both now and in the future.

    Next I would recommend that you think about his world from his perspective. He is likely unsure and a bit afraid of his new environment so it is logical for him to just sit still when he encounters an obstacle. Can you imagine being blind in a new place? I know I would be afraid of falling, and bumping into things. So I would first set him up in a small area of a very safe place. I would make that place a place where you intend him to spend most of his time. Be very careful of any sharp edges, like chair or table legs, and I would spend as much time with him in this place as possible. So that he can build a mental picture of the layout of his new environment with your encouragement, support, and guidance.

    Once he is comfortable there I would very calmly, slowly, and gradually open him up to other very small areas of the house. But remember once he is comfortable navigating around one area you can’t change the floor plan. So the furniture should stay in its original location to keep him from getting lost and confused again.

    Most blind pets are very quick learners once they are comfortable on their environment. If your dog has been through many households he may just be so confused that he has given up trying to learn his territory. Or maybe he has other impairments that make him reluctant to be adventurous?

    My best piece of advice is to be very calm, gentle, and patient.

    I wish you the very best of luck!

    Sincerely,
    Krista

  2. Jana

    Hi Anna.

    Blind dogs are able to use other sense to make their way around. This includes the sense of touch (their paw pads are actually very sensitive and "read" the terrain for them, as well as their whiskers), their sense of smell and even their hearing.

    What you can do is to "map out" the place for him using different textures, smells and sounds. For example, if you had different texture flooring in each room, he’ll know by that which room is which. It might also help to "line" the walls and doors with different textured strip, which would indicate obstacles or dangers, similarly to the rumble strips on some roads.

    According to Dr. Coren, they can use the sounds of a clock, for example, to also know where they are, as well as different smells, such as different potpourri.

    Of course, you do want to block stairs where he might fall down, though with some practice, a texture change would make this possible for him too.

    To further assist him from bumping into things, you could consider something like the Halo Vest
    http://www.globalanimal.org/2012/11/13/dog-cone-alternative-halo-vest-guides-blind-pets/85350/

    http://dawgbusiness.blogspot.com

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Pawbly | 9 years ago
I Have Two Cats And We Had An Issue With Fleas And I’ve Been Giving…

I have two cats and we had an issue with fleas and I’ve been giving them flea baths every week because I’m not allowed to give them a bath within seven days of each other they have flea callers I even gave them a droplet solution on the back of their necks now one of my cats I found three pustules yesterday on her stomach should I bring her to the vet and what could it be

2 Responses

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  1. Eleanor Wood

    Hi Chelsea,

    First of all, if you’ve had a problem with fleas it is well worth getting your house treated as well as the cats – you can buy household sprays fairly cheaply over the counter at most vets, and this will stop the fleas breeding. Also, make sure that the collars and drops you’re using will work if you are also bathing your cats, as most of these products work by spreading through the natural oils in the skin, which bathing strips out.

    Regarding the pustules, if there are only three, and your cat isn’t scratching or licking at them, you shouldn’t need to take her to a vet yet, try keeping them clean and putting a tiny amount of antiseptic cream on. Remember you will need to stop her licking the cream off so you may need a lampshade collar for a few days, most pet shops should sell these.

    If she is itchy or sore with the pustules, or they don’t clear up within three or four days, then take her to the vet.

    Good luck!
    Eleanor Wood

  2. Eleanor Wood

    Hi Chelsea,

    First of all, if you’ve had a problem with fleas it is well worth getting your house treated as well as the cats – you can buy household sprays fairly cheaply over the counter at most vets, and this will stop the fleas breeding. Also, make sure that the collars and drops you’re using will work if you are also bathing your cats, as most of these products work by spreading through the natural oils in the skin, which bathing strips out.

    Regarding the pustules, if there are only three, and your cat isn’t scratching or licking at them, you shouldn’t need to take her to a vet yet, try keeping them clean and putting a tiny amount of antiseptic cream on. Remember you will need to stop her licking the cream off so you may need a lampshade collar for a few days, most pet shops should sell these.

    If she is itchy or sore with the pustules, or they don’t clear up within three or four days, then take her to the vet.

    Good luck!
    Eleanor Wood

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Pawbly | 9 years ago
I Have A 4 Month Old Pug Who Suddenly Stopped Eating And Drinking Now She…

I have a 4 month old pug who suddenly stopped eating and drinking now she is just lying around sleeping

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  1. Kasey Litt

    Hi Carrie —

    The best bet always is to take your pug to the vet. Has you pug’s potty habits changed too? Will the pup eat any treats? Has it eaten anything odd that you know of? Is it’s belly distended?

    I am not a vet but if any of my dogs stopped eating and drinking suddenly, I would go see a professional. Good luck!

    Kasey Litt
    Kritter Keepers
    http://www.kritterkeepers.wordpress.com
    http://www.kritterkeepers.com

  2. Jana

    Hi Carrie,

    not eating and drinking is a concern enough in itself. Just lying around and sleeping would be a concern enough in itself also.

    Dogs LOVE to eat. When a dog doesn’t eat, there is a serious problem.

    All I can advise you here is to visit your vet as soon as possible. How long has this gone on? Did you check for dehydration? Are the gums good a pink? Or are they pale or dark? Any vomiting or diarrhea?

    In any case, please do call your veterinarian right away.

    http://dawgbusiness.blogspot.com

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Pawbly | 9 years ago
Ok So My Mom Passed Away Almost 3 Months Ago And I Now Take Care…

Ok so my mom passed away almost 3 months ago and I now take care FULL TIME of her 14 year old shin tzu who knows me very well. He is completely blind and deaf. My issue is that I cannot leave his side for more then 10 minutes or he will start panting and crying like really crying, witch I’ve never heard him do in his entire life. I don’t know what to do ???? I can’t go anywhere or even clean the house because he starts to freak out. I’ve though about maybe having him put down but I don’t because he still does what I call his happy mode, after he eats he does this thing where he rubs his head into the bed kinda under the pillow and I engage with him using my hand. It only lasts for a couple minutes or so but he does this about 2 or 3 times a day. And I feel like that shows some signs of still having a good quality of life. But oh my god he is driving me crazy with not being able to be alone. HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT SHOULD I DO ????????

1 Response

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  1. Anonymous

    Hi Angie,

    I am sorry to hear that you and the dog are having a tough time.

    If you think the dog is still having a good quality of life then there are some things you could try.

    -Treat puzzles such as Kong. The dog can still smell so get something like a Kong and fill it with treats the dog enjoys. You can even fill it with his food. Let him smell it and see if that takes his attention off of you. They make these toys for senior pets too so it won’t be to hard on his teeth.

    -Dirty laundry. Leave a shirt or something that you have worn that has your scent on it near the dog
    and see if that calms his nerves

    -All natural calming aides. You can find these at almost any pet shop. They are drug free and usually contain chamomile.

    It is important to remember that dogs mourn the loss of loved ones in a similar way that we do. This has been shown time and time again. Maybe the dog is really missing your mom?

    Also, because he is blind and deaf he is probably even more confused. Continue to be patient.

    If you think the dog’s quality of life is suffering due to his health then of course consult with your vet. Additionally, it maybe a good idea to have your vet check him out as he could be in pain.

    Best of luck!

    Margot Ahlquist (http://www.pawstotalk.com)

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Dawn Gillispie | 9 years ago
Hello. My 5 Year Old Male, Neutered Cat Has Had Diarrhea For A Little…

Hello. My 5 year old male, neutered cat has had diarrhea for a little over 24 hours. I am going to call my vet in the morning. Until then, is there anything I can do to stop it or slow it down? I have canned, pure pumpkin on hand. I also have a diarrhea medicine, in tablet form, that my vet gave me for my dog.

Thank you very much.

Dawn

3 Responses

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Dawn,

    Thank you for your question.

    I am sorry to hear about your kitties tummy upset.

    There is no magic anything that stops diarrhea. Especially of it acute (last day or so).

    The best thing to do is to keep your cat calm and quiet and go to the vet in the morning.

    I would bring a fecal sample when you go (even if your cat stays inside). If you collect it now place it in a double secured baggie and refrigerate, (sorry, gross, I know).

    If your kitty has not had severe episodes then it is unlikely that he has become dehydrated.

    I would never give medicine that has been prescribed for another pet without your vets ok (especially if it was for another species). Cats have a very sensitive liver and difficulty with some drugs that are safe for both us humans and dogs. So as a rule never give anything to a cat without knowing it is safe by asking your vet.

    If the diarrhea is severe or your cat is acting like he is not feeling well I would recommend you go to an emergency room tonight.

    I wish you and your kitty the best.

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

  2. Dawn Gillispie Post author

    Thank you very much Dr. Magnifico. The diarrhea has become worse in the last 12 or so hours so, I am concerned about dehydration. I did see him drink some water a few minutes ago, which is good. And I actually just heard him urinate in his litter box which is good too.

    I am actually a client at Jarrettsville Veterinary Center. I was the person with the silly hound mix dog in the waiting room last Thursday. ; ) I will call when the office opens in the morning for an appointment.

    Thank you again,

    Dawn

  3. Krista Magnifico

    Hello!!

    No food for the rest of the night. If he is acting normally he is prob not dehydrated.

    We are open at 8. The doctors arrive at 8:30. But the techs are there at 7:30. The techs can help you if you feel you need to be there ASAP.

    See you tomorrow.

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Pawbly | 9 years ago
I Found A 4 Day Old Kitten It Wont Hardly Poop Cant See And Has…

I found a 4 day old kitten it wont hardly poop cant see and has seisers what can I do I,m bottle feeding it kitten formula

1 Response

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Ann,

    Thanks for the question, and for caring for the kitten.

    Seizures and inability to defecate are not normal and likely signify a serious health problem.

    I would advise that you seek professional assistance from a veterinarian or a cat rescue, or animal rescue group who are experienced in caring for newborns.

    In general kittens need to be kept warm, be fed about every 3-4 hours, and be stimulated to urinate and defecate.

    But seizures are indicative of a sugar imbalance (you need to be using a high quality kitten formula and not a grocery store product), or a central nervous system disorder, infectious disease, and unfortunately even rabies, (which is fatal to everyone it touches, you are at risk also).

    I’m sorry that your kitten is sick, but it is time to seek some professional and in person help.

    I wish you the best of luck,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Pawbly | 9 years ago
I Have A GSD And I Believe She May Have A Urinary Tract Infection, Is…

I have a GSD and I believe she may have a urinary tract infection, is there anything I can do for her at home?

1 Response

Comments

  1. Jana

    You mean apart from seeing a vet, getting it diagnosed and treated? Because you absolutely need to do that. Urinalysis, and I’d do culture as well.

    Apart from that, cranberry extract indeed IS helpful, as it contains a substance that helps prevent bacteria from attaching to bladder walls.

    Plenty of liquids and particularly plenty of opportunities to potty is important. It’s important the bladder gets emptied frequently.

    http://dawgbusiness.blogspot.com

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Steve Hatchett | 10 years ago
After Having Our AC In Our House Stop Working Last Night, I Am Wondering What…

After having our AC in our house stop working last night, I am wondering what temperatures cats can tolerate before a health hazard exists. I see plenty of information out there on dogs but little on cats

1 Response

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Steve,

    Thank-You for the very important question!!

    And for reminding us all, once again, that our kitties (which still far outnumber dogs), always have to play second fiddle to their bigger, slower, domestic partners, dogs.

    The good news is that cats are incredibly smart, instinctive creatures. They intuitively know to sleep during the hottest part of the day and to stay low and hide in a dark moist spot..outdoor cats will hide under a shelter on the cool moist soil, or deep in heavily shaded foliage. They are calm, quiet, and slow their metabolism by sleeping or relaxing as a bear does in winter.

    Inside cats will often find a cool floor spot, like tile (think tub, shower, sink, or bathroom floor), or wood, in the shade, and sleep.

    A fan provides cooling but many cats are initially scared of the noise and the movement, so only a seasoned learned cat will use one, (but try anyway).

    Running water, like a fountain, or hose also provides a source of cooling, or cool ground to relax on.

    In general cats have a very high tolerance to heat IF they can get access to a cool shaded spot.

    Here’s where my concerns come from:

    Indoor cats; Have less places to hide, or can’t find soil, or water, or moving air. And they tend to be bigger (fatter) which significantly reduces their ability to dissipate heat (same holds true for bulldogs and thick, heavily muscled dogs). Or they are otherwise immuno-compromised so they do not thermoregulate as efficiently, or have trouble breathing making panting significantly harder to do.

    Outdoor cats; these guys are smart, they just need to not be contained. Outdoor cats die if they get stuck in a trap, a box, a something, or if they are otherwise injured or compromised. In essence the sick, the young, the old.

    As a last note, I would guess that just about everything written for dogs holds true for dogs. Except I would not try to immerse them in water (will cause stress and exacerbate heat problems) and I don’t know many cats who like fans, at least initially.

    I hope this helps..

    Please let me know if you have any other questions or things to add.

    Stay cool! And if you ever need a cool place to visit, or keep the kitties come say hello!!

    Or you can board your cats in an air conditioned facility while the A/C is waiting to be fixed.

    Take Care,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Steve Hatchett | 10 years ago
I Read Your Blog Concerning The Wrenching Decisions To Be Made When A Dog Bites…

I read your blog concerning the wrenching decisions to be made when a dog bites someone. I am curious if "malpractice" or a similar insurance is available to a Veternarian in the event of a civil suit?

1 Response

Comments

  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Steve,

    Veterinarians have malpractice insurance to use if a suit is filed against our license. But even with insurance there is a very high burden placed upon us because we are expected and treated as experts. So, if we know, or believe a pet will bite we are required to notify the owners and document it in the patient file.

    This posses a terrible dilemma. Do we tell people and worry that they may give up on their pet? Or do we just cover our butts and place the burden on the owner to deal with.

    I am sure that in reality there is a bit of each going on.

    For me, I try very hard to notify and address each potential behavior issue with optimism in each pet. Every puppy that I meet gets unknowingly run through a list of behavioral challenges to elicit responses that help me advise owners on what to start doing now to prevent future issues. Because ALL behavioral issues magnify with time if not addressed early and correctly.

    From my personal experience files I will add that I have participated in euthanizing two vicious dogs. Both were brought to me by their very devoted and loving parents. Both dogs had caused serious injury and could have killed someone is there had not been outside intervention.

    It was incredibly difficult to put down a healthy young dog, but I had seen the damage they inflicted and like any other person or animal that could cause harm to the point of death, I take the responsibility to protect each other as paramount. If I had seen these pets trying to kill my family I would have also insisted that they humanely put them down. We have an obligation to protect each other, but long before that we have an obligation to train, educate, and take every single measure to avoid these behaviors from ever developing or being elicited.

    A pet is a responsibility. A responsibility to them and the public.

    Thank you for your question,

    Take care,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Pawbly | 10 years ago
My Dog, Buttons Is A 12 Year Old Sheltie. She Is Is In Good Health…

My Dog, Buttons is a 12 year old Sheltie. She is is in good health with no ailments. Recently we discovered a small tumor like projection from her right leg, it is pink and about the size of a penny. Upon going to the local Farm Vet we learned that it is a "hemangioma" of some sort. He gave her prednisone to see if it would shrink it down. She has now taken the last of her prednisone and it has not shrunk but has not gotten larger, but has a small hole in the side of it. I am attaching a picture of it, for advice as to what you all may think this could be and what I can do for her. I cleaned it with peroxide and put Triple Antibiotic Ointment on it. Any advice or comments are appreciated. Thanks and May God fill your lives with Blessings!

2 Responses

Comments

  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello,

    I think it is best to have it removed and biopsied.

    It is almost impossible to know what a mass is without a biopsy. An impression smear can help but a biopsy is more definitive.

    There is unlikely anything that will remove it without knowing what it is, especially if it has not responded to prednisone ( a steroid).

    If you need any help from us at the clinic if you are close enough we would be happy to help.

    Sincerely.
    Krista.

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

  2. Krista Magnifico

    Hello,

    I think it is best to have it removed and biopsied.

    It is almost impossible to know what a mass is without a biopsy. An impression smear can help but a biopsy is more definitive.

    There is unlikely anything that will remove it without knowing what it is, especially if it has not responded to prednisone ( a steroid).

    If you need any help from us at the clinic if you are close enough we would be happy to help.

    Sincerely.
    Krista.

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com