help, inheriting a dog!!

(32 Posts)
fiddlemethis Fri 15-Feb-13 11:40:32

Hello everyone, we have had a death in the family and there has been an old 13 year old spaniel left behind. We can't see her go into kennels but I havent got much of a clue about dogs. She seems to be pretty good with children but obviously we will be keeping both the children and the dog under watchful eye.
Mostly my question is what should we do when she arrives? She is overweight and I have no idea about how much we should be feeding her. Its all a bit daunting but I think we will all enjoy having her here once we figure it all out!!

AgathaF Tue 19-Feb-13 08:49:48

Our old dog has arthritis and is on anti-inflammatory pain killers. The vet supplies them for around £40 for 100 - he takes two per day. I've seen them online though for around £1 per 100 - you need to ask your vet for a prescription, then send it off to the company online so that they will sell them to you. We haven't done any more than look into this option, but it might be worth asking about it.

Here

fiddlemethis Mon 18-Feb-13 14:54:11

Well, I have booked her in for her first check up today, we shall see what the vet says. However, they did say the vet has to "ok" her to go on the PDSA scheme, so does that mean if she is too old and knackered and will cost a lot of money they won't cover her? Thinking about it in a clinical way, I guess they only want dogs on the scheme that arent going to take too much out of the pot?They did say they wouldnt cover her if she has pre existing conditions, I don't know of any but I wouldnt have a clue who the previous vet was to find out!

tabulahrasa Sat 16-Feb-13 17:26:58

I'd be wary of human supplements for a springer - just because of the dosage, it'll be way too much.

discobeaver Sat 16-Feb-13 16:17:10

I have my dog registered with the PDSA, you have to go in their website and check if there is a ckinic near you first. Then I am pretty sure you have to be on housing benefit, council tax benefit or pension credit to qualify.
I had to take him in for a health check first, and he had to be up to date with vaccinations.
Then they ask for a minimum donation of £20 per visit.
My two dogs are both older (roughly over 9 not definite as they are rescue) and they happily eat the Wagg dog food (sometimes soaked in gravy, with the odd tin of meat chucked in) for £11 for a 15kg bag. They are v healthy. I know you can spend ten times that but I just don't have the money and they always seem happy.

A wise vet once told me that most human things (within reason and using common sense obviously) are ok for dogs as they've usually been tested on animals anyway and are usually cheaper than special pet ones so I give my German shepherd human glucosamine/chrondroitin supplements they're often on offer in supermarkets so cheaper than most pet formulations and have worked wonders on her hips.

fiddlemethis Sat 16-Feb-13 15:48:46

Oh crap booboostoo, I was worried someone would say that....I'll go up to the vet on monday and see what they can tell me about how it works. On a plus side she has just been out playing in the garden with dd and I've never seen her so sprightly smile Hopefully a bit more of that and a bit less food should help her a bit

Booboostoo Sat 16-Feb-13 15:05:17

I am sorry I don't know how PDSA works, but it might be worth giving them a call on Monday.

Unfortunately I also suspect the dog is too old to insure for vet's fees, although if she is already insured make sure you get the details and keep the plan up to date if you can!

Talk to your local vets about prices, but at a minimum you need annual vaccinations and regular flea and worming treatments. An elderly dog is bound to have health problems of one kind or another so there is no clear answer to what her care might cost.

Arthritis is usually supported with anti-inflammatories to provide relief from pain as and when needed. Metacam is a drug often used for arthritic conditions but the cost depends on the dosage (i.e. size of the dog) and the frequency of use.

It is worth budgeting a sum for vet fees as sadly vet treatment/meds cost a lot and older dogs will need help.

ChoudeBruxelles Sat 16-Feb-13 13:53:14

We pay £11 a month each for our dogs to the vet - that include monthly flea and worming treatment, booster vaccinations each year and one free consultation. Maybe some vets near you offer a similar scheme. We pay insurance on top of that

tabulahrasa Sat 16-Feb-13 12:42:49

Routine care things like vaccinations and worming you pay for, though they're cheaper than other vets.

Medical stuff is whatever donation you can give them.

fiddlemethis Sat 16-Feb-13 12:31:20

I've just had a look and my vet nurse friend says we might be eligible for PDSA, how does that work? I've looked at the website and it says it asks for a donation, is that a set amount or do you just pay what you can afford? And does it cover general things like worming and on going prescriptions?

tabulahrasa Sat 16-Feb-13 12:19:23

A vet's check up is about £25 if there's nothing prescribed at my vets they all charge a bit differently... If you take her back just to get weighed after that that should be free and most vets run a weight loss clinic with a veterinary nurse either for nothing or for very little.

The tablets are just a vitamin and mineral supplement, you want one with glucosamine and chondroitin in - you get lots of different ones at any pet shop or online, I buy high strength ones which cost £15 for a bottle with 3 months worth in. You do get smaller bottles and cheaper brands though. But they work out at pennies a day.

If she is a bit arthritic, getting the weight off her is what will do most good anyway.

fiddlemethis Sat 16-Feb-13 11:45:31

How much is a check up likely to cost? And if she needs tablets for arthritis, is that likely to cost a lot too? I'm a bit worried now that its going to cost us a fortune.....

Booboostoo Sat 16-Feb-13 09:02:06

Good on you for taking her on!

If you can take her to a vet's for a check-up sooner rather than later. Struggling to get up is not normal behaviour and she may be suffering from arthritis which is something the vet can help her with. The weight gain can be associated with medical conditions as well so it might be worth taking some bloods to check.

If everything is fine physically (or as fine as it can be for an elderly dog) little and often is the key to exercise with very gradual increases in the duration of the walks/activities.

mistlethrush Sat 16-Feb-13 08:46:16

Our last dog had arthritis and we used to give her 'flexi paws' pills which helped a lot - they have glucosamine chondroitin in... We got them on-line.

kitsmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 08:04:26

Oh the poor thing! I would definitely suggest a quick vets visit for weigh in and also to check her out - at her age it could be arthritis as well as the weight if she's having trouble getting up.

Hopefully it'll just be the weight though and i'm sure the pounds will start to fall off with less treats and more exercise. Good luck, you're doing a really great thing, it would have been terrible for a dog that age to go into kennels sad

fiddlemethis Sat 16-Feb-13 07:50:22

Poor thing, struggled to get up on her legs this morning sad she couldnt even get to the end of the road. Its going to be a long road trying to get her to lose some weight.

fiddlemethis Fri 15-Feb-13 22:09:08

ok, the dog has arrived and she is massive!

fiddlemethis Fri 15-Feb-13 21:05:00

Thank you Uterus, its very sad and I do worry that the dog may be a little traumatised, hopefully though with lots of love and walks she will adjust ok. I'm quite excited about it though and looking forward to having a pooch around to keep me company smile I think there is something that resembles a "dog park" where people tie their dogs off the main road and in a quiet bit away from the play ground so I'll see how she goes there. I'd better figure out if she likes other dogs too!

ChoudeBruxelles Fri 15-Feb-13 20:52:57

We inherited my mums springer last march - he's now 9. We have a 2 year old springer of our own. Our biggest problem was letting them work out who was top dog - which involved a few scraps.

Register with a vet and they will advise you about weight. We just feed both dogs the same food but the older one gets less as he is a bit fat and not as active.

Lots of walks and fusses and I'm sure you will be fine x

UterusUterusGhali Fri 15-Feb-13 20:49:33

So sorry for your loss sad

Do make sure she doesn't get too overwhelmed at the school gates! Let Dds friends know she is older & may be cranky.

Very exciting though! I always thought a dog finds you, rather than the other way round.

mistlethrush Fri 15-Feb-13 13:21:40

We recently rescued an un-housetrained dog, so we know all about puddles (not that little) and presents (also large) being left around the house.... Its worth it though! ;)

fiddlemethis Fri 15-Feb-13 13:16:47

Thank you mistlethrush, going out for the toilet was something I hadnt really thought about and you have probably saved me lots of little puddles around the house!
Yes, there is going to be a certain amount of training the children so they don't bother her when she doesnt want to be bothered!

mistlethrush Fri 15-Feb-13 12:54:42

The corner sounds ideal. Make sure that your dcs understand that they are not allowed to go there, and are not allowed to touch her when she is there. I would also suggest that they learn not to touch her if she's asleep - its just sensible - she might be fine, but some dogs certainly wouldn't be.

The walk sounds good - as a start - but you should find that she can soon work up from that.

I've found the recommended guidelines a good place to start - you can always increase the food if she's losing weight too quickly or reduce it if she's not losing or indeed gaining weight.

Make sure that you get into the routine of letting her out in the garden first thing and last thing at night too... and watch for signals during the day to see if she's wanting to go out, particularly at first - but I would also be making sure that she goes out at least twice between the walks for the moment, just in case.

fiddlemethis Fri 15-Feb-13 12:39:01

Thanks all for your advice, its made me feel a lot less panicky. I was planning on taking her out in the morning to my daughters school and back which is about 10 mins each way and then taking her again at pick up, do you think that would be ok to start with? I also have a lovely corner which currently has loads of crap in, its out of the way so we could teach the children that when she is in her space to leave her alone. So a general check at the vets would be a good place to start.
I'm rather looking forward to it, I think it will be good for all of us in terms of getting out and about and the children are very excited and it would be horrible if she had to go into kennels at her age.

tabulahrasa Fri 15-Feb-13 12:23:06

Diet food is for people really, not the dogs, it's to make people feel happier about it all, really all you need to do is feed less normal food.

Her food will have a reccomendation for different size dogs, get her weighed (so you can keep track) feed her the amount fr the weight she should be not what she is now ( you can of course cut it down gradually if there's a massive difference) give her some gentle exercise and she should soon slim down. Don't give her rich tea biscuits, lol.

I'd assume you'd be taking her bed anyway, put it somewhere close but out of the way, a corner near the couch is ideal... So she can go there when she wants to be left alone, but isn't isolated.

If your DC aren't used to dogs... They usually like to sniff before they're stroked, some dogs aren't keen on being stroked on the face ( I find children seem to do this anyway, yours might not) they prefer the top of the head and down their backs, some dogs can be a bit funny about paws and tails being touched and some aren't so keen on hugs - the chances are none of those will be an issue or at worst she'll just move away because she doesn't like it, but thought I'd mention it just in case smile

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