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Discussion Starter #1
He is an absolute bear of a sweetheart. Something huge, possibly mixed with Rottie. I absolutely fell in love with him the day we first pulled in to our house (right next door to the landlord) and this great big 120lb (or more) beast came running at our car, he stopped, I got out and he just LOVED. Didn't jump up, didn't bark, didn't paw. So polite, and so incredibly loving. Big smile, tail wagging.

The big guy, named "Buddy", was left by a previous tenant on the property and the landlord agreed/was forced into (depending on the day you ask the landlord) taking care of him. Buddy used to often come over to visit, get pets (he can get demanding, if you stop, he nudges his head back under your hand lol), just hang out. We had thought about adopting him from the landlord, but he is incredibly prey driven and always chased our cats, so he would never be safely allowed in the house alone (my best guess is he was about 3-5 years old at the time and the landlord can't seem to give a straight answer on his age), I doubt it could have been trained out of him at all. He would stop chasing the cats instantly if called though (seriously impressive). I looked out one day and saw a HUGE moose on the lawn and he actually went after it!!

Fast forward a couple of years, buddy is now about 7-9 at my best guess, we got Caeda. Buddy snapped and snarled and growled at her, he hated her playfulness. Buddy now appears to be incredibly arthritic, and can't be chasing moose any more. We've had to pretty much banish him from hanging out because he can't take Caeda's play and energy. He can't move fast enough to get away from her if we don't restrain her. He plays very well with other dogs of all sizes who know better when to leave him the heck alone. Of course despite his arthritis, he still managed to deftly roll Caeda onto her back and pin her snarling when she got to him offleash one day. When I got to them all I said was "Buddy" and he let her up and Caeda started circling him again, I managed to grab her and take her away.

This big guy gets fed raw meat. The landlord actually hunts extra and has an extra freezer that he keeps the food in. Thankfully Buddy has been put on a diet so he might loose some of his extra fat, which I hope will help his joints. He has been a free ranging outdoor dog for his entire life, though thankfully the landlord has a doggy door and Buddy is allowed inside their house, where he has spent a large part of the winter. I don't think he has ever been in a crate or attached to a leash. He used to have a collar, but I took it off and replaced it because it was incredibly tight....later the landlord took the new collar off. He didn't know the meaning of "sit" (though, being an incredibly food and praise driven dog, I taught it to him one day in about 5 minutes!).

The crux of the matter. I know the landlord doesn't really want him, has thrown around the idea of giving him away, though I think he's going to just wait until "the time comes" and he has a "good reason" to have him PTS (though I think his version will involve his shotgun). I'm not sure that other than being spayed he has ever been to the vet. Buddy doesn't have much time left, and what time he has he isn't going to be that comfortable with the arthritis, and I know he doesn't get the level of affection from the landlord that he so loves.

So, finally to my questions. Does anybody have any ideas what I can do for this poor guy. I can't afford much, but if there is a good chance some supplements could help him, I'd be happy to buy them, if I did that I know the landlord would give them to him (though I know he wouldn't buy them himself). Should I make the effort to try to get him and Caeda on better terms so he can hang out here a little more like he used to and have some more company? I know it would be a lot of hard work, but it might benefit them both (though I fear he might really bite instead of warning snaps now that he might be in some pain). Any suggestions on how to do this? I would take him to the vet too if I could, but I'm not sure I could even fit him in the car, never mind all of the other things that could happen. The vet has said she would give me vaccinations (except rabies) for him if I wanted to administer them to him myself. Should I just leave well enough alone and just be kind to him whenever he comes by?

Sorry for the long post everybody, and if you read this far congrats and thank you. This has just been praying on my mind for quite some time now and I'm really not sure what, if anything I can or should do. Even if it is "leave it alone" I'm fine with that, but I could at least use some reassurance on that. He is such a beautiful sweet guy and I feel so badly for him. If I knew what I knew now about dealing with dogs I'm sure we could have adopted him years ago, but now, having Caeda I'm not sure it would be as doable.

Suggestions or thoughts anyone? It breaks my heart seeing that poor guy just wandering knowing his days are getting shorter, I wish there was something I could do to make those days just a little better for him.
 

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How kind of you to want to help. Try adding some Glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM pills to his food. You can get the pills that contain all 3 ingredients in the people vitamin/supplement section of grocery/drug stores. A month supply is under 20.00.

Adequan might really help, but the cost is around 250.00. You give it as a shot every 4 days for a month, then don't need to do it again for 6 mo to a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm definitely going to grab some glucosamine for the poor ol guy next time I go into town to the drug store. I so wish I could do the injections, but that'll strap us a little bit much right now, and possibly a little imposing since he isn't actually ours.
We did however just get told by the landlord that the entire property (4 houses) is up for sale and there are interested parties (though I doubt its going to sell). If by chance it does sell and we're able to stay I'm going to try to talk my DH into seeing if some kind of arrangement can be made for us to take care of Buddy for his last couple of years since I know the landlord would be most likely to put him down rather than take him to live elsewhere. We do have a room separate from the house he could live in if it came down to it, away from Caeda and the cats. Not ideal, but better than the alternative.
I just saw a strange vehicle pull into the landlord's house, and there was Buddy, stiffly hobbling his way over with his big grin and wagging tail.
 

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You can also try to find Missing Link Plus, which is a powder that you can sprinkle on his food for joint issues. You might also ask the local Vet about over the counter pain meds.... (I just bought 300 pills of generic Claritin allergy at Costco for $8 for my dog, not sure if there are similar generics for pain.)

Rotts are the classic big dog with big dog problems. If you could walk him every day, the exercise might help his arthritis, but I'd venture that his health will continue to decline. Also, I agree about keeping the pup away from the adult, because just moving quickly to watch the pup may be painful ...
 

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I wonder if the pain from his joints is what causes him to not want to hang with Caeda. That being said, glucosamine sure can't hurt, same goes for salmon oil. Dropping the weight is a definite plus. Good luck.
 

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Old dogs should be allowed (within reason of course) to repell young dogs, of course if she is hopelessly tormenting him then you should stop her, but if he tells her off & she listens & displays appeasing behaviors, then I would leave them be (if you feel comfortable doing so)

But that is one laymen's opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm sure his joints are part of the reason he doesn't tolerate Caeda well...she can be pushy. I'd be fine with him reprimanding her (and he has in the past!) but I'm scared that the pain he has might cause him some day to reprimand her harsher than would be appropriate....if he wanted to he could probably kill her with a bite.
I might try a careful re-introduction this spring, sort of a desensitization thing with Caeda on leash, treats for being calm and see if we can accomplish a polite greeting between them. She's fine with younger dogs, who will play at least a little, but I want to respect the fact the poor guy is in pain and keep her safe!
I got some glucosamine, and I'm going to have to go to the vet pretty soon anyway for some prescription cat food.....they'll probably be able to give me some information on appropriate pain killers for him. The only big hurdle I'm seeing is getting the landlord to keep on top of giving him the pills. Well... I'll feel better if I at least try. If I can ever find the pic I had of him when we moved in I should post it....such a sweet bear of a dog!
 

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This would definitely have to be vet approved (at some level) but you could see if your vet would prescribe him (without a visit) some Rimadyl. If you gave him a low dose when Caeda was around, it might be enough to placate him a little, and possibly give you time to work with Caeda around him. It'd be nice if they could lay in the yard together, or play gently.

Thank you for doing this for the dog! (s)he? sounds so sweet!

And to my knowledge Rimadyl is "instant release" and will start making his joints feel better within 30 minutes. We give it 2x a day to our really old arthritic dog on his bad days. This way you could just dose him when convenient, and not worry about if the owner is giving them.

Also OTC Asprin can be used to help arthritis and joints in dogs. You could look into that if the vet isn't comfortable writing you a prescription.
 
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