My poor little Chulita...so sad.

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Doberluv, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I’ve been carrying this around with me… haven’t posted about it until now because I just didn’t know where we stood with Chulita and her cataract. It's been well over a year since I first started noticing her behavior becoming weird sporadically when on a walk. It became increasingly more consistent as time went on. She would just stop walking and kind of shrink back like she was afraid to go on…plant her feet and refuse to move. I tried working with her, giving treats often as she’d come along. It was mostly noticeable when I was at my daughter’s. Here, she went on a few walks, but insisted she stay on the sidewalk where it was easy and smooth. She enjoyed walks at our new neighborhood for a while. But she has come to dislike walks almost entirely.

    She did see a regular vet and because of some irritation and pressure in her eye, (suspect glaucoma) she went on eye drops to relieve that. She had her pressure checked regularly and had her eye drop med refilled. This was back in Idaho and then here too. I moved here last Sept.

    Skip ahead a few months: I noticed a cataract become worse and worse, so she went to an ophthalmologist, one of just a few in this part of the state… and sure enough, she was, by this time, virtually blind in her left eye. The other eye is fine. She had all kinds of tests and it turned out it would be fixable because other structures are fine. (sometimes it’s not effective to do the surgery) It would cost about $2,500. So, I hemmed and hawed over that one. She is a 12 year old dog with a heart murmur. It‘s been many months since those couple appointments.

    Meanwhile, she developed more fearful responses to things like shadows of grass blades or anything moving anywhere near her. Her depth perception is way off because of the blindness in one eye, so it looks like things are coming right at her and are going to hit her. (apparently) She will shrink back, flutter her eyes, and startle at so many things outside.

    She will act like she’d like to go for a walk when I get out the leashes, but then once on the driveway, that’s as far as she’ll go, planting her feet and looking afraid. It’s really pathetic. The vet also said that if I don’t fix it, she will get use to it and adapt. It could take time, but they usually learn to compensate and that depth perception thing will not bother her anymore. So far, I see no improvement other than she recovers quickly. She will freak, then bounce right back. It’s worse on a sunny day when there are more shadows. Inside she’s fine and does like playing with toys and with Jose`. She doesn’t seem to be too affected too much by things indoors where everything stays pretty much the same and there aren’t those shadows or things moving in front of her too close or too much.

    I took her to the vet again just the other day to get her eye pressure checked because that is high unless she stays on her eye drop meds. (1-2 times a day) He also found that her heart murmur is at a level 4 which he said would make it very risky to do the surgery to fix the cataract. It has gotten worse than it was a year or two ago.

    So, poor little Chulita is getting to that stage where I’m fearing she won’t be around too much longer. We’ve sworn off walks. She just doesn’t like them anymore. It’s so sad because she use to be my little hiking buddy and would charge through the woods bravely. She sleeps a lot but will play inside a little bit with toys…gets silly and happy. And of course, she loves cuddling. So, there is still enjoyment in life, but no more walks. I wonder if she’d be a candidate for a stroller of some sort. Do you think she’d like that? As it is now, Jose` and I go off for a walk and she sometimes comes to see me put the leash on him. She wags her tail and looks expectant. And off we go, leaving her behind. Any time I’ve tried to take her too, she gets out as far as the middle of the driveway and then plants her feet…doesn’t want to go. It breaks my heart every time we go off and leave her there. We come home and find that she has been snoozing on the couch, so I guess she gets over it. But this is hard.:(

    Thanks if you read this whole thing. It was loooooong.
     
  2. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    ((((((superhugs)))))) Dober. I'm so sorry for Chulita and you. It does sound risky to do the surgery. :( Is there anyway you could carry her on the walks? A stroller is a good idea too but I bet a backpack would work (and would be cheaper + easier).
     
  3. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    I am so, so sorry, Carrie :( Chulita is one of my favorite Chaz dogs.

    I'd definitely look into a stroller or backpack- it would at least allow her to get out and smell everything around her, and she'd get to go with you and Jose.
     
  4. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I love the stroller idea. I think she would definitely like that.
    ((((HUGS))))
     
  5. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    ((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))) for you both. It so hard watching those we love slow down or go through something we can't help :(

    I agree with Tag as well. I'd try the backpack since it's the cheapest/easiest solution for starters. Or if you know someone with a stroller, borrow it before investing in one. See how she likes it/reacts to it. I hope you can find an enjoyable way to include her.
     
  6. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Yeah, maybe if she's up higher, like in a back pack or stroller, she wouldn't be affected like she is on the ground. She does like to go for car rides and go visit my ex and my son. She will get out of the car and zoom up to the front door. She may startle along the way, but will race in to see them. And if I go to Emily's, she knows which apartment door it is and goes straight there. I can let go of the leash and she'll zoom up the stairs. She'll go a little ways right out in front of her apartment and go pee but doesn't want to go more than about 10-15 feet along the side walk....only where she's most familiar. I'm going to see about a stroller or back pack. There's a nice pet store right near by called Jones & Co. I bet they'll have those things.

    Thank you for your input and kind words.
     
  7. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Coop...you're right. I should test a stroller out first because it's true. She might not go for it. But I can't imagine a back pack bothering her. It would be nice though, for her to get out, as long as she likes it. I know the sun in her eyes really, really bothers her, so she should have some shades too.:cool: (which she'll HATE) lol.
     
  8. JoLeigh

    JoLeigh New Member

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    (((hugs))) Im sorry for both of you :(. There was a lightly used pet stroller on my CL a week ago for not much I can see if its still available and see about a way to get it to you?
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    That's so very thoughtful of you. Is it for small dogs such as Chihuahuas? How do they work? Is there like a harness that holds them in? Or is it all enclosed with a mesh thing? I never really looked into them.

    I hate to trouble you with looking to see if it's still there and all that it would entail to get it here. But if there's an easy way, maybe that would work well. Thank you so much for thinking of it.

    Edited to add: Maybe...the more I think about it, a back pack might be more versatile because sometimes we like to walk in fields or trails that aren't made of concrete, so then, a stroller might not work as well. Hmmm. Before you go to any kind of trouble, I'll do a little checking...might be better to get a back pack or front carrying thing if they make it like that.
     
  10. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    I'm so sorry to hear this. :( ((((((hugs)))))))
     
  11. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I think you should definitely get a stroller!

    Megan and I put her 14 year old Springer Buzz in a stroller so he could have some extra mental stimulation when we went on walks and such, he seemed to like it!
     
  12. speedydogs

    speedydogs Allons-y!

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    So sorry to hear about Chulita :( I hope she takes to the stroller idea, I've definitely known some older dogs that really seem to enjoy it.
     
  13. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    ((major hugs))

    I'm so sorry. It's so difficult to see our best little friends age.

    These are exactly the cases where I think a stroller would come in handy. Though, like you said, a backpack may actually be easier for you. :) I am sure she would love it if she could still come along.

    Sorry for such hard decisions.
     
  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Thank you, you guys. Yes, it is really hard to be in that frame of mind where you're anticipating losing them. But I mustn't dwell on that, but instead make her quality of life as good as possible and enjoy her. She really is a dear little dog.

    It's funny...when we went to this new vet I tried out here, where I am pretty new to the area, everyone there, from the assistant to the vet seemed so very cautious when they put their hands near her. Or when the assistant needed to pick her up to take her out of the room to go do the procedure...she put her hand so slowly up to her, fearing being bitten. I told her she's never bitten anyone in her life..that she loves people and is really very friendly. She said that the most bites they receive come from Chihuahuas. Isn't that something! It's funny, but both of mine are the sweetest natured little dogs, very loving and gentle and nothing much ruffles their feathers no matter what anyone does to them.

    Well, thanks for the ideas. Maybe I should get both a stroller for walking on pavement and a back pack (only one where she rides in front, so I can see her) for walking on natural type surfaces. I'll see what I can find. Might as well give her a little something to do besides what there is to do in the house. She does love it when I practice some of her little tricks. She looks so pleased with herself. lol. But I think she'd like getting out and having something else to do.
     
  15. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    Ugh I am so sorry.

    How about a sling to carry her around in?
     
  16. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I'm betting she loves a carrier and would enjoy the stroller too. <3
     
  17. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Katielou, that's a great idea! A sling! Thanks for the idea.

    Yup Renee. I think she may like one or both of those things. Not sure...it might take a little getting use to at first. Sometimes when I carry her, she wants to get down. So, I let her down and then she doesn't want that either. lol.
     
  18. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Aww, I'm so sorry to hear that. She's a lucky girl to have you looking after her needs, and it certainly sounds like she's still got a lot in life she loves.

    At one of the agility trials I was at recently, there was a woman who carried her Crested around in a sling-like thing all day, so she/he was right against her chest. The dog seemed as content as can be!
     
  19. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    Maybe she'd even like a wagon, if you've got one lying around? Mammoth (totally blind) has a wagon that he just adores. Just hops right in and we go on our merry way.

    I'm sorry to hear about your girl, but hopefully a backpack or a stroller will give her the enjoyment she gets from walks without the startling elements. -hugs-
     
  20. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Unless you want to spend the money, I'd look at just a cheap child stroller first (CL usually has them for way cheap) and then you can just back tie the dog to the stroller and attach it to their harness.
     

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