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Friend thinking of putting down her dog - help!

(17 Posts)
Woodifer Thu 23-May-13 10:38:21

My friend has a 9 year old german shepherd cross

He has really sensitive guts (breed issue anyway - but also from obstruciton as a puppy).

He has bouts of extreme diarhea (which as a single mum to a toddler, working outside the home) she is finding incerasingly difficult to cope with.

She has been to the vets a few times and tried different foods (including probiotics) but it comes and goes, but always comes back.

He aggravates it too by eating rubbish/ balls/ poo in the park.

What can i do - my husband won't take this dog on (we have own dog and toddler and number 2 on way, and have knocked through downstairs) meaning would be hard to contain dog to non-carpeted area.

My friend also thinks dog would not be happy rehomed away from her (i.e. he is a one woman dog who pines when he stays at her mums).

I think she has made up her mind :-( so sad - this dog in generally happy enjoys walks and frisbee.

Imsosorryalan Thu 23-May-13 13:30:57

It's sad if this is what it comes to hmm after nine years, its definitely a member of the family.
She needs to carefully research foods for a sensitive stomach. Not sure if Raw diets help with this.

She also needs to muzzle train it so it can't eat rubbish. I have a few friends with labs who do this.

Woodifer Thu 23-May-13 14:11:58

Can you tell me more about muzzle training?

Booboostoo Thu 23-May-13 14:28:46

Has she seen a specialist vet? Local vets are perfectly fine for most common problems but faced with a difficult issue I would always consult a specialist before making such a drastic decision.

Has she tried an exclusion diet? Or RAW? Or some of the specially formulated diets for dogs with allergies or gastro-intestinal problems?

As for eating other rubbish she needs to either work on the dog's 'leave it' command, or keep him on a lead, or muzzle him - all perfectly workable solutions.

HotPanda Thu 23-May-13 14:38:04

Spottydog has terrible stomach issues, and by feeding raw we pretty much eradicated the loose movements.
Advise her to try feeding Prize choice blocks and nothing else for a week.
YY to the muzzle if he eats when out, I used to have to do this with SD, we had a soft fabric one.

Woodifer Thu 23-May-13 14:45:11

This has all come to a head where we think he has eaten a ball and flared up the issue. She got in from work and kitchen was awash with watery poo dripping between floor boards into cellar, which she had to try clearing up, unable to collect toddler and make toddler tea.

I have offered to pay for xray to check tummy for ball fragments. suggesting lino for floor and muzzle for park. she has vet appointment for 5:45 - oh god please let her not do it tonight...

i don't know if its always related to eating stuff (dog is currently on expensive vet recommended food) - i am thinking with a demanding toddler (which i have too so understand - and I have DH to help me) maybe there is only so much poo cleaning you can take :-( :-(

- she feels like she has tried lots of things and doesn't believe she will find a solution any more.

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 23-May-13 14:48:11

A barf (raw) diet has completely stopped my pups stomach problems. It really is worth trying and is no more expensive than the premium foods.

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 23-May-13 14:51:41

Also, without wanting to make judgements, when you say she came in from work to find he had eaten a ball...is he being left for long periods whilst she is working? If so he could be eating inappropriate things through boredom. Addressing that could also be worth a try.

Woodifer Thu 23-May-13 14:54:37

No he had found it in the park (out of line of sight) - she only realised when he passed some ball.

He gets walked on the way to childminder then in the evening after tea - he has 3 work days at home, she has 2 days at home 1 WFH one off.

Whatalotofpiffle Thu 23-May-13 14:55:18

He would get used to a new home. My mum rehomed hers through a specialist German shepherd charity.

Woodifer Thu 23-May-13 15:08:29

I knew he had stomach problems but I hadn't realised how stressed my mate was getting or that she was thinking on these lines - feel such a rubbish friend. I can't quite fathom it - my dog is like my first baby (in a lot of ways) - though i know she sometimes gets a little short changed on walks these days (going at toddler pace and stopping off at the playground).

i am trying to help my friend with practical suggestions - but i think she has spent a while talking herself into this sad

thanks for all the responses!!

i talked to local dog rescue - who said they were full to busting and didn't htink they could rehome a dog with tummy issues.

OwlLady Thu 23-May-13 15:09:46

how is he eating large amounts of rubbish?

I have a dog who is a sensitive and she just has tinned chappie all the time. She is not allowed to have anything else (treats etc) and if she has a flare we have to have the Hills tinned sensitive stuff.

The problems with poo and rubbish are your friends problems really. Rubbish in a sealed bin, poo picked up off the back garden etc. Lead him whilst at the park if necessary. All common sense surely and better than having the dog PTS

Woodifer Thu 23-May-13 15:15:26

He was on chappie for ages but then started to get really skinny - Yes I can see there are things to be done - i will just do my best at convincing/ supporting.

I don't think its large amounts - I don't think it takes much.

Bin is outside back door, poo from park not garden - yes leading him/muzzling him options to consider.

OwlLady Thu 23-May-13 15:37:34

why was he getting skinny on the tinned food ? Was she feeding him enough of it or was it quickly making its way through? I am not necessarily suggesting chappie btw, it's just what our dog eats!

Woodifer Thu 23-May-13 15:44:17

I'm not sure owllady I hope i get chance to help her find out (I think she said she wasn't sure she was getting everything he needs from it).

idirdog Thu 23-May-13 18:29:05

Please please get her to tell her vet how difficult this is for her.

Also do not let her listen to anecdotal evidence people say about my dogs stomach was cleared up by raw, chappies burns etc.

Some dogs have more than sensitive stomachs and can actually be made very very ill by owners changing foods to see if it makes a difference (and after 9 years I am sure she has tried all of them!)

I am a raw feeder BUT I have a dog who has major stomach issues and he can only eat hypoallergenic food anything else will cause him issues for months on end. Raw food would kill him!

If the GSD is already on this type of food the vet can recommend other food that can help. I guess he has been tested for epi and also gardia. Do get her to discuss this.

It is incredibly hard to live with and having a toddler will obviously make things seem so much harder.

If the vet is aware of the issues they should be able to help her manage flair ups.

Muzzling would be a good idea and need not take too long for the dog to get used to it.

You sound like a great friend and hopefully just you supporting her will get her over this bad patch.

Woodifer Thu 23-May-13 19:10:53

OK update - dog still alive!

mate is visiting her mum for weekend and dog is going to stay there a few weeks to give her a break.

Vet says food he is on is best there is and that it is like doggie crohns - she has some medicine (they've had before) for this current flare up.

I will find out what the actual food is. She says she will try muzzling but that she not optimistic. Hope i can convince her on rehoming if she can't sort it.

I haven't spoken to her just text - i don't know about epi or gardia testing.

Thanks again for the responses. The thing is I am sometimes so worn down by my toddler - and there are two of us - that although I can't imagine putting my dog to sleep - I have a lot of sympathy for her - low on money, time energy - it seems a mammoth task researching stuff and trying different stuff, and constant clearing up while waiting to see if it works.

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