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I Fear the end is Near - for our old guy

August 24th, 2006, 10:14 AM
Our 13 year old brittany has been raised with our kids. He has been the perfect gentleman always. He's one of those dogs where kids who are really scared of dogs come over and before they leave they run to give Freckles a hug. A couple of years ago he was diagnosed with cushings disease and he's half blind and half deaf but still enjoying a good quality of life. Lately though he's been acting strange. We joke that he's getting grumpy and senile. Doing things like going through my purse, growling at our other dog, just stuff he knows better than to do but are really harmless. Well, last night things got bad. My 14 year old daughter (who is a real animal kid - been around them her whole life, helps train the puppy - you know) bent down to pat Freckles on her way to bed. She must have startled him but he barked/growled/BIT HER FACE. Absolutely, totally out of character. Now I'm thinking there's more than old age going on. We're not going to do anything rash but, depending what the vet says, I don't think it will be much longer. I'm so sad! It amazes me how much we come to love our furry family members.

August 24th, 2006, 11:09 AM
I am so sorry dakar, for this to have happened. I think when the end is near and they are no longer happy or in pain of some sort it is up to us to make the hardest decision ever. Yes this may have been out of character for him and yes your daughter may have startled him, but I think he is telling you something. I do not think he can be out when kids come over any more, thank goodness it was only your daughter who knows and loves him, no this doesn't help matters (but think about how far worse this could have been) You will be in my thoughts:grouphug:

August 24th, 2006, 12:09 PM
He may well be in some pain. Perhaps arthritis as well or a sore spot. Have your vet check. Medications can help. It is really tough when they age. You don't want to let yourself think about the end, but at least he has had a good long life.

August 24th, 2006, 06:47 PM
He could have vision problems, his thyroid may be low, he may have been feeling tired and grumpy and did not want to be bothered, the rule in my home is no one is allowed to bother a dog when they are laying down. When a dog is lying is means they want to rest and be left alone, when they are upright that means they are is social mode

Angies Man
August 24th, 2006, 07:02 PM
I hope your daughter is okay. Dog bites are traumatic, especially from one you love! Give her a pat on the shoulder from me. :sad:

Buddy's Heart
August 24th, 2006, 07:28 PM

Buddy has Cushings and he is 12 years old. Sometimes when he is sleeping in a deep sleep, he does get startled. He will growl and let me know, NOT to touch him. That is the Cushings. Getting blind does not help either. Your daughter may have startled Brittany. I find if i come straight at Buddy, he does not see, but from the side..he sees well.

My vet told me that with Cushings the animal ages more rapidly, and they get FOG Brain. Simple: grumpy. I use a drug called "Anipryl". It reduces the grumpyness, and makes it easier for them to think.

Buddy has a Great Quailty of Life, living with Cushings and Diabetes. (other than sore pads at the moment). But he rolls, plays, barks, goes for car rides, loves to visit.

Hope this gives you a bit of insight. All the best.:crazy:

August 24th, 2006, 08:03 PM
Thanks for the support, guys. And for the info on Cushings. It was such a shock because it is so out of character for him to be grumpy at all. My daughter has a nasty bruise on her face and some swelling but she's OK. She actually felt worse for the dog than for herself. They are friends again and the new rule is to make sure Freckles knows you are there before patting him. We'll have to see how that goes.

August 24th, 2006, 08:24 PM
Strange as this may sound, but when my folks Beagle mix (and one of my childhood pets) started getting blind and deaf, the only way to really let him know we were there was to walk more heavily near him, and stomp on the floor if you wanted to get his attention. Rule of the house was if Max was sleeping and you absolutely HAD to wake him up (which we did due to some incontinence issues - he was on a every 2 hours pee break regardless schedule), you got within 3 feet of him and stomped very loudly or clapped very loudly. That way you weren't in range if you startled him, and he'd wake and get his wits about him before anyone touched him. You may need to institute that sort of policy with your family, and bless your daughter for having such a great attitude about what happened. So many kids are wimps these days and that sort of thing would scar them for life. Nice to see you have a level headed tough one, and that you're ALL approaching this with patience and understanding. My thoughts are with all of you, we lost our Max this year at the ripe old age of 16, so geriatric dogs are not unfamiliar territory. Keep us posted and hope to see some pics :pawprint:

August 24th, 2006, 08:52 PM
Just like jawert1, we clap to get Hoover's attention.

August 25th, 2006, 12:08 AM
Ditto on what jawert1 said.

Since he is half deaf/blind,he should not be startled...The stomping is a great idea.

I have a soon to be 3 year old deaf cat,(pure white/blue eyes)He was deaf since birth.To get his attention,we stomp on the floor,or wave our hands.There have been times where he has been startled and he has bitten.I tell everyone who comes over to never ever touch him when he has his back to them,he will bite.

I'm sure he will be fine if everyone knows not to startle him...:thumbs up