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Elderly bitch WWYD? Sorry, long.

(14 Posts)
frantic51 Tue 16-Oct-12 09:10:35

I have an elderly Labrador bitch which used to belong to my ex H really but when we split, he couldn't take her and the children and I were so very fond of her that we took her with us. She is now 13 years old and the vet thinks that she has some kind of uterine infection as she is constantly vomiting going on antibiotics, better for a two or three weeks then starts vomiting again. In between all this, as she is also very arthritic and is on Loxicam which she has to stop taking when she is on the antibiotics, she becomes stiffer then has to go onto tramadol while we get the Loxicam up and running again and so it goes round and round in circles.

Our vet wants to spay her as she is still entire. History behind this is that Ex H got her from a friend and wanted to breed from her but, when it came to it, her hip score wasn't good enough. I know she should have been spayed then but she was, "his dog" and he was too tight unwilling to spend the money. hmm

Now, there is no way that I can afford the operation. Our vet, who knows the situation, has already been very kind and lenient with the bills, which don't always get paid in accordance to their, "payment required at time of treatment" policy. I am on a very low income and just can't afford the operation all the time the other treatments are ongoing as I am always playing, "catch up" with the vets fees and can't save. (There is no question of being able to cough up £500 out of one month's income and the bank won't give me a loan because of my low income)

It seems to me that, for her sake and ours, I will have to look at the vet putting her to sleep but this is a very sad thought as she is such a sweet old thing and very loving and we all love her very much. If she were younger, I would think about trying to re-home her but, 1) Would that be too stressful for her after 13 years with us and, 2) Would anyone take such an old dog needing so much spent on her?

Any advice would be appreciated, or just someone to hold my hand while we go through this.

Thank you.

memphis83 Tue 16-Oct-12 09:13:57

Do you get housing benefit? The PDSA will treat her for whatever donation you can afford if you are?

frantic51 Tue 16-Oct-12 09:15:42

Really? Thank you. Yes I do get housing benefit. I'll find a number and ring them immediately. Thank you so much. smile

frantic51 Tue 16-Oct-12 09:23:46

memphis can't get PDSA site to load. sad Do you have a number for them? If not, could you see if you can look it up for me?

imperialstateknickers Tue 16-Oct-12 09:52:40

frantic the number is....Tel: 0800 731 2502

link www.pdsa.org.uk/contact-us

frantic51 Tue 16-Oct-12 09:55:03

Thanks very much imperial. Your link wouldn't load either. sad Must be something to do with my computer rather than their site if you can get it up. Anyway, will ring them. Thank you so much for the number. smile

imperialstateknickers Tue 16-Oct-12 09:57:11

That's ok frantic, let us know how you get on.

memphis83 Tue 16-Oct-12 10:01:10

Keep us informed I reslly hope they sort your girl.

frantic51 Tue 16-Oct-12 10:18:57

Thank you for all your help. No luck with PDSA as they don't have an animal hospital local to us but they put me onto Dogs Trust and it turns out our vets are part of their scheme and they think they can help grin

I wonder why the vets didn't mention it to me but then, they don't know I'm on housing benefit and probably didn't like to ask.

Thank you again, both of you thanks

MrsZoidberg Tue 16-Oct-12 10:38:24

With the artritis, have you tried Glucosmine? I know it's an extra expense, but if you get it from Vetvits it's quite cheap - they sell it as flexi-joint. It worked absolute wonders for my dog with severe Hip-dysplasia. My vet recommended I give all of mine a maintenance dose (1 tab daily), and give my dog with issues the full dose (3 tabs in her case).

We also got a magnetic collar which also helped - you can probably make one for lots cheaper than we paid.

Good luck with your poorly girl.

frantic51 Tue 16-Oct-12 11:09:45

Thank you very much for that MrsZ will ask the vet when I take her. I have an appointment for tomorrow as have just spoken to them and, yes, they can help. Actually she's pretty much ok joint wise on the Loxicam atm. It's just that we have to keep taking her off it to take the antibiotics for this suspected uterine infection and then the arthritis gets worse and has to be brought under control. It's a vicious circle, iyswim? But the idea of magnetic collar is a very good one. I feel a Christmas present coming on! grin

Everyone has been so very kind and supportive, thank you all again so very much. It's so good to have someone to talk to about all this. The children are as helpless as I am and it's not fair to burden them and the couple of friends I've tried to talk to in RL looked quite uncomfortable and said things like, "I wish I could give/lend you the money but..." and I began to get dreadfully worried that folk would think I was asking for financial help when I just really needed someone to talk to, you see?

Irate Tue 16-Oct-12 13:36:15

Any thoughts in looking into a natural rearing diet like that written about by the late Juliette de bariacli Levy. I say this because we have a getting old rescue dog, who was very unfit and unhealthy and I have changed her diet as much as I can (finances and time allowing) and her health has absolutely been transformed. I have heard tales of dogs conditions improving with advice from these old books.

frantic51 Tue 16-Oct-12 17:02:11

Irate, I am afraid that I do not know what diet you are referring to but I will certainly look it up. I have to reiterate that, her suspected uterine infection (quite common in un-spayed bitches of her age) and her arthritis (again, very common to her breed) aside, she is not in bad shape for her age. Her recent blood tests all came back normal, she is possibly a couple of kilos overweight but no more than that, so not drastic. It is just this problem which the vet is as certain as he can be that spaying her would cure. (I know he cannot be one hundred per cent certain until he has, "opened her up" as it were) This leads to meds being withheld while infection clears and upsurge of joint pain and so on we go like a merry-go-round or a perhaps more like a see-saw! If we can break the cycle by fettling the infection then she should be really quite happy, and healthy, given her age.

A measure of her underlying health is surely the vet's happiness to perform the operation on so elderly an animal? If there were significantly heightened risk of her being too frail to operate on he would surely have raised the issue? Anyway, I will no doubt know more tomorrow, after seeing the vet again, so will report back.

Once again, many many thanks for all your interest and input. You have all got me through today and I'm feeling much more positive and hopeful. thanks

memphis83 Wed 17-Oct-12 17:31:42

How did you get on today?

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