Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,

My wife and I have a four month old Golden named Joy who has been partially paralyzed from birth/near-birth. Her back legs hardly function, although she's learned to stand decently and hop around by stiffening. We've been very patient with house-training her, but it doesn't seem that she has any control over her bladder or bowel movements. We're constantly taking her outside our apartment to go to the bathroom, but this doesn't seem to be a timing issue.

As soon as she wakes up (and I mean within seconds), she immediately urinates and defecates, often while I'm cradling her and rushing outside; I'm doing a lot of laundry, which is beginning to be a fortune in quarters. Joy cannot squat, so she usually ends up falling in her waste, frustrating and embarrassing me (everybody in my apartment complex loves her and wants to hold her) and ruining her beautiful coat; I give her a lot of baths.

Right now, she has diarrhea, which has caused many more problems. Today, she has defecated in the apartment three times, all within half an hour or so of taking her out. I really can't have this... The carpets are a wreck, this entire place smells, and we're wasting a lot of money and time in the constant cleaning. As a double-whammy, the stress of this is really putting a damper on our marriage.

We're extremely low income, as both my wife and I are still in school, so a trip to the vet is not an option. We don't have money for medication or special dog food, either. My patience and temper are running thin, and I just don't know what to do. We really love her, and she's a good dog, although she hardly ever goes to the bathroom outside. We would like to keep this member of our family, but I don't see what we can do.

Advice, please?
Sam

PS: I'll be checking back here pretty infrequently; working full-time on a student schedule doesn't leave me many options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,131 Posts
It's pretty common for a paraplegic to have lack of bowel and bladder control. This is really something that should have been expected when taking her on as a special needs dog. I am afraid to say that without real physical therapy she may never have full control, and even if she gets therapy she may not get better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
Sigh. How can your temper be running thin when you knowingly took on a clearly disabled pup? This is probably not a training problem, but a physical problem. The same reason she has limited use of her legs, she probably has incomplete bladder and bowel control. If you can't deal with it, and can't afford a vet, I would suggest that you try to find someone who is looking for a special needs dog who may have this problem permanently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
We're extremely low income, as both my wife and I are still in school, so a trip to the vet is not an option. We don't have money for medication or special dog food, either. My patience and temper are running thin, and I just don't know what to do. We really love her, and she's a good dog, although she hardly ever goes to the bathroom outside. We would like to keep this member of our family, but I don't see what we can do.
Based on this paragraph, I think you should start contacting Golden Retriever rescues and rescues for disabled dogs, looking for a foster that will take her. There might be therapeutic measures that would help her for the rest of her life, that she needs NOW, while she's still growing.

It's not fair to keep a dog that needs veterinary care, and not get that care for her. And it sounds like it's reached a point where your ability to remain compassionate and patient with her physical limitations is compromised. (I can't totally blame you on this, because I don't know how I would be holding up in this situation. But you should at least recognize that she's not any less of a good dog because she can't control her bowels.)

If you can't afford basic veterinary care or even a vet visit, you shouldn't have a dog. If you find a rescue that will take her, please don't immediately run out and get a new dog. You need to wait until a time in life when you can take care of your pets properly.

You may not find a rescue locally that will take her. Please be willing to go the distance and drive her to wherever she will get the care she needs. Taking her to a shelter would be a death sentence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
Please consider seriously the option of re-homing her as others said above, if she doesn't have control of her legs then its most likely the same with her toilet movements. I know you love her, but its just not fair for you as the owners and her as the dog to go through all this. Its not fair on her that you can't take her to the vet, especially with a condition like this. Its not fair on a normal pet if you cant take them to the vet. There could be many options to improve her condition so isn't it better on everyone for her to go to a home who is willing to accept this and pay for her treatment? Makes sense to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,931 Posts
Please contact golden rescue. You're doing a diservice to the pup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
This puppy is a good candidate for euthanasia her quality of life is super low and she has no hope of living a normal life. It is very selfish of a person to want to keep such a dog alive and believe that she is perfectly happy and alright being in the state that she is. Being low income and not having the ability to afford basic vet care for any animal, let alone for a dog who is paralyzed and will develop other heath issues the older she gets.

I know you love her but honestly euthanasia is the kindest most unselfish thing you can do for your dog right now. Sure you might be able to find a rescue to take her but face it she has a super low chance of being adopted with her incontinence issues as well as her lack of body function. Being low income sucks, but you should have thought about all her issues before you adopted her and knew that taking proper care of her would cost a thousands a year in vet bills and other necessities. Your marriage is more important then attaching human thoughts and emotions onto this pup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Selah, even if you're a veterinarian, you couldn't possibly diagnose this dog on an internet forum. It sounds like her paralysis is only partial, and maybe with rehab (swim therapy?) and incontinence medication she could regain a lot of her functioning. We have no way of knowing, so I think it's irresponsible to tell someone to put her down. (Without even seeing a vet!)

Even if it doesn't get better, there are probably better ways to manage this, and people who would be willing to do it. And you can't know that it's so horrible to be her -- dogs aren't as bothered by a little mess as people, and they don't have to worry about their dignity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
I am sorry you disagree with my opinion. My thoughts are why pour resources into a dog who is going to have a poor quality of life face it the dog as of right now can not control her bowels, can not run, jump, play or get the exercise she needs to be mentally healthy when there are hundreds of other dogs who only need a few bags off good food to become a healthy dog. The money and time spent on this one dogs could save thousands of others. I am sure some bleeding heart will pick her up and "save her" but I don't think that is the right thing to do in this situation.

My views may be "harsh" but I stand by them and think that euthanasia is not the worst option in this situation, IMO letting this dog keep living like she is is the worst, with a family that has come to resent her and who's marriage she is putting a strain on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
This puppy is a good candidate for euthanasia her quality of life is super low and she has no hope of living a normal life. It is very selfish of a person to want to keep such a dog alive and believe that she is perfectly happy and alright being in the state that she is. Being low income and not having the ability to afford basic vet care for any animal, let alone for a dog who is paralyzed and will develop other heath issues the older she gets.

I know you love her but honestly euthanasia is the kindest most unselfish thing you can do for your dog right now. Sure you might be able to find a rescue to take her but face it she has a super low chance of being adopted with her incontinence issues as well as her lack of body function. Being low income sucks, but you should have thought about all her issues before you adopted her and knew that taking proper care of her would cost a thousands a year in vet bills and other necessities. Your marriage is more important then attaching human thoughts and emotions onto this pup.
This^^^. I know it's hard, and your heart is in the right place, but this dog has no quality of life, and since they can live up to 15 yrs, you are condemning this dog to a life of suffering. Eventually, as the dog gets larger, it will develop bed sores. They can get infected. The dog has very little chance of ever being adopted and getting the specialized care it would need. It would be even more horrific for a rescue to take it in, and spend valuable funds that could have helped a lot of animals, rather than just one. And the dog would have a horrible life in a cage/run, laying in it's own feces, because most rescues don't have the manpower to care for a special needs dog full time.

In the future if you want a dog, but are low income, and unable to afford vet care, consider fostering for a rescue. They pay the vet bills, but you have a pet to love. Fosters are really needed and appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
I can't believe what I'm reading. You guys have NO qualifications to say that this dog's condition couldn't be drastically improved.

And bed sores? This is a dog that is only partially paralyzed and has some mobility!

I think it's extremely unethical to tell someone with an already at-risk dog to euthanize her, sight unseen, because of your feelings about how a disability might affect her quality of life.

Dogs are remarkably resilient, and can bounce back from disabilities and have excellent, fulfilled lives. If she was a total quadriplegic and qualified vets (which she hasn't even seen!) said that there was no hope of improvement, I might see your point. As it is, I think your advice is irresponsible and incredibly heartless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
She hasn't seen them because the owner can not afford them. I am sorry you disagree with me but euthanasia is a valid and reasonable outcome for this dog. The fact that the owner came onto a dog forum with widely varying degrees experience to ask a medical question instead of calling a vet or talking to a professional shows me that they are in no condition to properly care for this dog. I would rather see a dog euthanized then live with people who can not afford no properly care for the animal. Period. Just because she is a happy dog does not mean she is worth the resources to "save"her.

Really this is a dog who should have been culled at birth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
I can't believe what I'm reading. You guys have NO qualifications to say that this dog's condition couldn't be drastically improved.

And bed sores? This is a dog that is only partially paralyzed and has some mobility!

I think it's extremely unethical to tell someone with an already at-risk dog to euthanize her, sight unseen, because of your feelings about how a disability might affect her quality of life.

Dogs are remarkably resilient, and can bounce back from disabilities and have excellent, fulfilled lives. If she was a total quadriplegic and qualified vets (which she hasn't even seen!) said that there was no hope of improvement, I might see your point. As it is, I think your advice is irresponsible and incredibly heartless.
Good grief. Somewhere in Hell it is snowing. I agree with Begemot. I don't think non-experts on an internet list should be suggesting "kill the dog." There are, of course, some people who feel fulfilled by taking on special needs animals and have the resources to do rehab and PT. Who am I to say they are wrong? Or that they should be spending their money on a different dog. There are rescues which take in special needs dogs, and often make more money in donations on that dog than on a healthy one. And who am I to say that this option shouldn't be explored. The dog can walk, with therapy her mobility may improve, and her control. I'm not a neurological specialist who has evaluated the dog. I couldn't say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
The dog has been this way since brith, she has never walked correctly or has the muscle memory to walk. She has been incontinent since birth, this is not an injury this is a birth defect and who ever bred this dog did it and its future owners a disservice by allowing it to be adopted out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
Pawz and begamont-Did you see that the puppy is only 4 months old? That means it's still small/lighweight. As the dog matures and gains weight, pressure sores are very likely for a dog that falls over into their feces/urine when they try to go to the bathroom. Heck, healthy dogs can get them on their elbows just from laying down.
Euth is not the worst thing for a dog that can't even stand up to urinate/poop. And it certainly isn't the worst thing, if the owners don't have the resources to pay for vet care, physical therapy, etc.
Do you have any idea how many dogs are in shelters that can't find homes, and are euthed every day, that are perfectly healthy? And you honestly think it is smart to ask a rescue to use their limited funds on a dog with a poor quality of life? Sorry. I'd rather they use their money to save several dogs that can go on to have a good quality of life, instead of spending unlimited funds on one that most likely won't, and might end up living it's life in a cage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
The dog has been this way since brith, she has never walked correctly or has the muscle memory to walk. She has been incontinent since birth, this is not an injury this is a birth defect and who ever bred this dog did it and its future owners a disservice by allowing it to be adopted out.
I agree that a responsible breeder probably would have put the pup down. But she's here now. Since you can't do a neuro exam on her (and probably aren't qualified to do so, anyway) you can't really say what her condition is. Nobody is suggesting that the current owner is the best option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
Do you have any idea how many dogs are in shelters that can't find homes, and are euthed every day, that are perfectly healthy? And you honestly think it is smart to ask a rescue to use their limited funds on a dog with a poor quality of life? Sorry. I'd rather they use their money to save several dogs that can go on to have a good quality of life, instead of spending unlimited funds on one that most likely won't, and might end up living it's life in a cage.
Some rescues have credit card options on their websites to donate to special needs dogs. And sometimes there is more demand for the heartbreak cases (and a lot more donations) than for those perfectly healthy dogs. And, you have no idea what this pup's potential may or may not be. You and I are not vets, and we haven't evaluated the dog. Apparently nobody has. Personally, I would like to know that the pup was examined by someone who has the training and experience to know if she has the possibility of a good quality of life, and allow that in-person expert to choose whether or not euthanasia is the best option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
He asked for personal opinions, if he had wanted a professional opinion he would have gone to a vet :)
Just because someone is too cheap to go to a vet doesn't give one the right to make uninformed and extreme suggestions. Euthanasia may be the best option. Or there may be other, better options for the pup. Hopefully he will either get that evaluation made by a vet, or surrender the puppy to a rescue who can get the evalutation done. You haven't seen the dog, and unless you've been PMing with the OP, and have qualifications I don't know about, you don't have enough information to know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
You are right, I don't know everything I know what he has told us and I know what I would do if this were my dog or if I was asked face to face. I am not going to sugar coat my answer because life is hard and being gentle about this dog is not doing it or her owners any service. Giving them hope that they can cope with this dog, when it is already at 4 months putting strain on home life is showering them with rainbows and butterflies and that is not something I am going to do. Believe it or not I am saying what I think is best in this case.
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top