Posts Tagged ‘paralyzed dog’
I have had so many people contact me because their special and precious dog has become paralyzed and they are asking for help. What do they do now? How do you handle this? How do you deal with the emotional stress of this huge life changing event? What is the next step? Where can you get help?
I have answered many of these emails personally and tried to help where I could. I must stress that I am not a veterinarian. We must all rely on the expertise of those trained in the care of our beloved animals. But the Veterinarian does not come home with you and your newly paralyzed pet, no one is there to hold your hand and give you guidance or answer your questions. I know this because it all happened to me.
Yes, when my Isabel became paralyzed there were no answers. No one to help. I searched the internet and nothing came from my searching. There simply was nothing out there, that was six years ago. Today there are more choices and more people trying to help. Including myself.
Does this mean there are more paralyzed dogs than their used to be? I don’t think so. I think people are just much more comfortable with using the internet and there are more people comfortable with putting the information they are searching for out there. It is a good marriage. When people need information and ask for it, other people who write online have figured out how to give them what they need.
So I am in the unique position of loving and owning a paralyzed dog. And learning the ins and outs of this through trial and error and have figured out things that work very well, and other things that are just dumb. As I said before I have tried to help a lot of people, but it is on a one to one basis. So now I have created help that anyone can use anytime without waiting for me to respond. It is a site I have created called Care Of A Paralyzed Dog, kind of catchy isn’t it?
Please feel free to bookmark it so you can refer to it often. My Isabel was the Model for the site and she had a great time making videos and posing for photos.I hope you find it helpful and I hope your paralyzed dog is going to benefit and that your lives will improve and become joyful. Just remember, It is not hopeless. It is never hopeless.
A Website with some answers about caring for and loving a paralyzed dog.
The Tainted Chicken Jerky From China Did Not Beat Our Isabel
I shared with you all how our Isabel became very very ill a few weeks ago. And due to her paralysis we made a near fatal mistake in recognizing the symptoms in this dog and we mistakenly blamed her symptoms on a Urinary tract infection. If you missed that post, you can learn here how the tainted chicken jerky affected ourParalyzed Belgian Sheepdog,
It just seemed to take a long time for her to get better. We’d think things were improving and she just never stayed on an even keel for a few weeks. But she finally turned the corner and it was such a relief to see her feeling better, and having some energy and some interest in her life again. I tell you it was frightening.
The new treats we are giving her that are made in America, are great. She loves them and she is doing very well with her health. So I am not at all hesitant to give them to her. I think we have beat it once and for all.
So to lighten the mood to go along with our Isabel’s return to good health, I wanted to share this very cute video. It is hysterical. And makes me laugh every time, something we have really needed after our long spell of worry. Enjoy!
Isabel became acutely ill. The usual dog symptoms of a paralyzed dog and urinary tract infection did not seem to be occurring and she has never been sick with any other symptoms so we were at a loss. We watched her closely for about a week and she just didn’t get any better, The main thing we noticed at this time was lack of interest in her walk. She was still eating and drinking in fact she was drinking a lot, but not enough to worry us. Then she began having diarrhea, of course this is a huge concern because she for sure will get an UTI. A dog in diapers can not tolerate having diarrhea without infecting themselves. So I did my best to keep her clean and gave her Immodium to stop the diarrhea.
Next she developed vomiting several times. Nothing was in the vomit like undigested food or anything, but she stopped eating. She would still drink and a lot, more than usual, The thing to worry about with a dog with excessive thirst and urinating a lot is diabetes. So we were worried but still watching.
We decided she was having too many dog treats. Maybe her partially paralyzed bowel and being ten years old, was just causing her not to be able to cope with the harsh jerky treats. She wouldn’t eat her chow but she still wanted her treats. We gave her the Costco Kingdom Pets Chicken Jerky Treats, in fact she has eaten them for years, long before her paralysis, so we thought nothing of it, in fact we were glad she would eat anything. Well then I saw in her vomit a bit of the jerky undigested and that was that. We stopped the jerky, She could only have her lamb and rice cookie treats from then on.
Well lo and behold she started to improve after a couple of days. No further diarrhea or vomiting and she slowed down on her water and she nibbled her regular chow at last.
Well coincidentally, one of her favorite treats was the Costco Kingdom Pets sweet potato and chicken jerky wrap treats. I thought the sweet potato would be much more gentle to her stomach and bowel. Our Costco stopped carrying it and so I went online to see if I could find them since we decided the other jerky treat was too harsh for her ten-year old paralyzed bowel to handle.
Wow, what a surprise I found! Do a search on Google for Kingdom Pets Chicken jerky dog treats. You are going to find post after post of concerned pet owners that have fed their pets these treats and they have sick dogs and some have dead dogs. It was shocking to us. I couldn’t believe it. I was killing my beloved pet by giving her tainted chicken from China. Are you kidding me? Who can you trust?
My Isabel had every dog symptom listed on the websites, many many websites. Diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, increased urination, lack of appetite, and lethargy. The next step for her would have been kidney failure and then death.
I actually believe her dog paralysis is what saved her because I blamed her partially paralyzed bowel on not being able to handle the treats. Not the treats causing the problem.
Here is an excerpt of the ABC’s report on this subject:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about chicken jerky for dogs, saying some products imported from China may be associated with 70 reports of dogs who became ill or died. That number is up from 54 reports last year, the agency indicated.
Finish reading this ABC News Post Chicken Jerky Treats Linked to Illnesses in Dogs
I am happy to say she is healthy and completely back to normal. We caught it in time and for whatever reason paralysis or dumb luck the events of this story are having a happy ending. I do hope any of you reading this will save your dogs too.
Needless to say we went on an all out search for dog treats made in the USA. At first not such an easy task, but we did find a couple that Isabel likes. One is Steak House Treat Company’s Lamb Cuts, treats for dogs, carried by Costco. The other is
Yummy Chummies, Wild Alaska Salman, Soft N Chewy that Costco also sells. Also cookies made with chicken, steak, peanut butter and lamb, lots of choices. She seems to like them all. She will never eat anything from China ever again. Neither will we!
Incoming search terms:
My Isabel, the paralyzed Belgium sheepdog mix that I have spoken of on this blog is ten years old now. She is doing remarkably well for a paralyzed dog in diapers. And I am happy to say that I am doing well too.
We have all well-adjusted to life with a paralyzed dog. It isn’t as difficult as you might think. After the initial shock and learning curve were behind us, we have sailed right through with about the same number of problems you might have with a dog with all four walking.
But the main problem we continue to have is Urinary tract infections. Which I am happy to report is better controlled now than they were in the beginning. But a dog in diapers is bound to have these issues. Well a few of you have been interested in what it is I have done to improve on this situation.
As you know, I am a nurse, and I have taken care of many paralyzed patients. Whether by spinal injury or Multiple Sclerosis or whatever the cause. All these people must have bowel and bladder routines. We actually train their bowel and bladder to empty on command, by habit almost. Well it occurred to me, why wouldn’t this work for Isabel? Well it does.
When you bring your paralyzed dog home from the vet, after surgery or after healing from whatever injury caused the paralysis, they will have taught you how to express the bladder. It is always good to do this after your dog has been incontinent of urine, making sure the bladder is empty. This helps cut down on UTI’s. But instead of waiting until after the incontinence, I empress her bladder two or three times a day, before she is incontinent. Completely emptying her bladder and also keeping her dry. Of course, there will be accidents, but the goal is to dramatically cut down on urinary incontinence.
Now let me tell you another secret. As your dog continues to wear diapers. The hair around her bottom end will recede, making it much easier to keep her clean. You may even consider giving her a trim to help with the cleaning issues. But no matter, when the area is free of hair, you will notice that the bladder is easily stimulated by a rubbing pressure right next to the anus. Repeated effort at each session will completely empty the bladder without any problem. Also I learned that gentle pressure right on the anus, (I use the baby wipes or rubber gloves to keep me separated from her skin and clean from her urine and feces) will stimulate a bowel movement. Repeated pressure after each elimination will assure you have emptied the vault of her colon, thus keeping her clean until the next time you help her eliminate. I do this twice a day, morning and night.
So by emptying her bladder and bowel before she is incontinent, I make my life easier and cleaner and her life with less frequent urinary tract infections. I know this is not a preferred topic. But it is essential to a healthy and long life for your loved pet. It is not their fault they are paralyzed and it is better for you both if someone has control of the situation.
So you can see why I say it takes a special person to take care of a paralyzed dog. I have known people who simply couldn’t face this “disgusting” task and they just allowed their animal to be incontinent and felt cleaning up afterwards was more appealing. Hmmmm. I disagree. Or they had their pet euthanized because it was simply too difficult for them to deal with. This very much saddens me. I’ll admit a medical background did certainly help me. But my powerful love of animals would have gotten me over the hurdles, and anyone motivated can learn all this care. I hope you will have an easier road with your beloved paralyzed animal with this new knowledge.