I have been seeing an old, grumpy Rotti over the last month or so.
“I’m worried about his eye- it’s always full of thick, gunky green stuff, even when i clean it out regularly,” his mum told me. He, a big Rotti, was carrying on like a pork chop in his cage, growling, barking, not sounding terribly friendly at all.
Then she got him out. He was quite overweight, and hobbling about, lame on all four legs, but worse on his front legs, elbows all knobbly with arthritis, obviously in a lot of pain. He seemed quite friendly, and came over for a pat; though he still had a glint in his eye that I didn’t much like the look of.
“Well, he needs to go on a diet, and he has really bad arthritis…”
“Really bad?” she asked. “I thought that he was just a bit stiff because he was old! I was more worried about his eye…”
“Yes, really bad, he’d be in a lot of pain with that. The eye worries me too. It could be one of two things- a disease called dry eye, where the tear glands stop working properly, or something more serious called glaucoma, where the pressure inside the eyeball increases. So we will try some eye drops at first to see if it helps, and if that doesn’t work, it’ll probably be glaucoma, and he might even need an operation to remove the eye.”
“I don’t want to put him through any operations… He’s very old, and a real handful at the vet hospital, and I don’t know if I could afford it in any case.”
So I dispensed some eye drops. Then I tried to do some acupressure treatment with him. He got rather grumpy, and showed serious signs of wanting to take a chunk out of me! I was back peddling, I can tell you. So I had to do that part of his treatment purely with energy healing, hands off.
I had to get his mum to give him his cartrophen injection (to help with his arthritis), as there was no way he was going to let me stick a needle in him. Not on your nelly, with those big white chompers shining from peeled back lips, and a growl rumbling deep in his chest. He was fine with his mum doing it though.
“Ok – you have the Green Mussel Extract tablets for him, they will help the arthritis a lot, along with the injections. They take about a month to take full effect. And the eye drops. We will see how he goes, if I’m not happy with how he’s moving in a couple of weeks he might need some pain relief as well.”
I came back the next week, and the eye wasn’t any better, so we changed to a different sort of drops. I also started him on some Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatories, as he was still hobbling around, unable to stand up for more than a minute or two before collapsing. He was a little better though, had more shine to his coat, looked a little happier.
Just yesterday I saw him at the end of his month of treatment. With the pain relief, he was heaps better. Happy, more engaged, able to stay up on his feet for longer, tail wagging. And unfortunately way more full of himself! When his mum tried to give him his injection, he started growling at her, and wouldn’t hold still. So I left her with instructions to wait until someone came home to help her, and to put his muzzle on with both of them to hold him. He’d also started to slim down a bit, and was showing the slightest hint of a waist.
He was so much happier – he needs to have the injections every month, and stay on the anti inflammatories as well, every day. This is palliative care… Keeping the old fellow as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. His eye was not really any better, and his mum decided that referral to a specialist for surgery simply wasn’t an option for them, which is fair enough. Better a happy old dog with a sore eye, than a dead dog. I am sure I will see him again, and equally sure that I will step very carefully around the grumpy old bugger!