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Ricky Went to the Vet

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  • #41
    Snowflake, I totally agree. Sometimes tough love is in order.


    • #42
      the state of the dog sounds like it's gone to the point where it's not about your dad anymore- the dog needs help. Urgently. Now. Dad's feelings need to take a back-seat to getting the dog some help.
      I wouldn't worry about the dental- I can't see any vet wanting to perform a major dental procedure if the dog is seriously ill. First step is get the dog's weight loss and skin problem diagnosed, and the dog stabilized. Then you can worry about uber-expensive dentals.


      • #43
        Any updates? Did you end up taking him to the vet today?
        "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"


        • Original Poster

          Not much to update

          The vet appt has been moved to Feb 1. Dad has promised if he cannot attend that appt I can take Ricky alone.

          This is a bit of a repeat, but I need my dad's cooperation to the extent of letting me physically take the dog (or him taking the dog). I tried and tried and cried and tried some more to keep the Jan appt. Dad refused.

          Ricky is being transitioned to a grain-free food to see if that helps his skin.

          I am frustrated with my hands tied, scared this event will teach Dad to hide Ricky from me, and worried about the health and well being of both of them.

          I would like to keep the lines open for Ricky issues permanently. That is a big challenge; if I get too hard-nosed Dad will shut me out. I am guessing that Dad's self image or self esteem is tied up in the dog. If the dog is well, my dad is a proud success. If the dog is not well, my dad is a failure.


          • #45
            I had to take away from my father, in order, the guns (he almost shot my mother in the night thinking she was an intruder), his car and his dog. You need to tell him it's best for the dog.


            • #46
              Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
              I am guessing that Dad's self image or self esteem is tied up in the dog.
              If this is the case, it may be helpful to get your father into some serious counseling so that he can maintain a level of objectivity and empathy for the dog instead of seeing the dog as a gauge to value his own worth. As it is right now, his reliance on the dog is unhealthy - for both of them.

              I hate to say it, but if I were in your shoes OP and I really felt the dog needed care it was not receiving, I would call the SPCA and adult protective services for assistance. Visits with a social worker may be very beneficial for him.


              • #47
                It's a very complicated situation from the sounds of it. I can understand where you're coming from. When you have a parent with health and/or mental health issues plus a pet problem, it can get hairy. I'm lucky in that my parent with issues responds pretty well to me just taking over and telling her what it is that we are GOING to do. I hate to be that way, it's not my usual approach to a problem, but I spent too many years pussy footing around and trying to be diplomatic and it just let things go too long.

                The last time there was an animal issue, I said, "you've got 24 hours to make this right and then I'm calling AC and the sheriff." It was her boyfriend's horse, not hers, but still. And I wasn't anyone's favorite person there for awhile. But dangit, the animals can't help themselves.

                So...I guess I don't have good advice for you. If Ricky needs significant treatment and your dad does too, then I agree with the family--the money needs to go to treating Dad, but Ricky needs to be euth'd if that's the case. If all Ricky needs is more groceries, drop off some food and talk to dad about nutrition. You could easily couch it as "Hey, was doing some research to help out a friend, found this great food, blah blah blah, got a deal, here ya go. Try feeding this. It might help."

                Heck, you can use me as an "excuse" if you want. "Met this gal who just moved to town, her dog has had to switch diets a few times and she had this open bag, asked me to give it to someone who could use it."

                I will give you a bag if you want. I am feeding the California Naturals. I've got several cans of it that I won't be using and i could easily give you half of a 35lb bag if you can take it over to him.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • Original Poster

                  I think the skin/coat is diet and/or fleas. Dad also stated he may have been overbathing Ricky. Sigh. We've been over that before. The minute the dog starts scratching, Dad bathes him. Like every week. I understand that could be fine with a high quality shampoo and conditioner. My dog was bathed weekly when shown. But Ricky isn't getting show-quality coat products.

                  I'm getting Ricky on TOTW. It is what I feed my dogs so I'll just buy one more bag. Dad is totally fine with that. There is no way he can say Ricky doesn't scratch or doesn't have bald patches. If it is a food allergy, simple fix.

                  It is the weight loss that worries me most and where Dad says I'm overreacting. At least I will know it is not a calorie or crappy food problem*. If Ricky is still too skinny at our vet appt Feb 1, we know it isn't diet. Though it may be teeth. I am really worried about those teeth.

                  *When previous owner didn't have dog food, dog was fed dog biscuits. Apparently a week or two of that would land him at vet's.

                  Before the dog, it was my dad's children that reflected his self esteem. We still do. My psychologist tells me people can change. I am skeptical. I can change the way I interact with him to minimize the co-dependency. Then the dog has a problem and the wheels fall off.


                  • #49
                    Bicoastal - Can you buy him some quality pet shampoo, too?



                    • #50
                      Bicoastal I am sorry you find yourself in this position.

                      I am sorry for the dog and I am also sorry for your dad. This is a hard place to be.

                      That said, it is his dog, and he can do what he wishes. You cannot make him see or do it your way (& for the record I agree this dog needs at least a base line blood work and probably thyroid/metabolic work up as well). Those who think tough love is the way to go, might be very surprised to find it could backfire. He could very well tell you to shove off and cut you out of his life.

                      and of course if it is a long term (which is my guess) issue, there is the ongoing financial need and owner compliance to deal with.

                      If you find a way to convince him to get the dog to a vet, and you need financial help, I'm in for a little bit.


                      • #51
                        Microtek Anti itch shampoo works great, and is fine for frequent bathing. You can get it online.


                        • Original Poster

                          Phew Ricky Went to Vet

                          If you’ve been following along, my dad delayed an appt for one month so he could save up $ & improve dog’s condition. During the delay, he received ToTW Salmon. When I picked them up for appt, Ricky visibly gained weight and his coat was a bit fuller.

                          Vet said weight is perfect! 4.5lbs. Previous vet appt shows 6.4lbs so no wonder I was shocked and scared by the dramatic loss. Bloodwork was good so we got him back on heartworm preventative. Dad runs out and doesn’t tell me or says he’ll get it himself. Sigh. Teeth could contribute to weight loss but Dad insists intentional diet. Really weird Dad suddenly put him on a diet after years of us begging. I suspect he ran out of decent food and could barely afford feeding himself so was no longer feeding table scraps.

                          Skin is severely dry all over. No redness or open areas at this time so no antibiotics warranted. Vet suggests fish oil and topical leave-in conditioner. Dad says he bought some and it tangles the coat but he’ll try again. Dad says he recently bought fish oil from Petco based on a recommendation so that is a good start: unfortunately Petco prices are outrageous! My dad really needs to save every possible penny. The best news is Ricky is on the right track with fishy grain-free food, fish oil, heartworm prev, up to date vaccs, and we need to find a conditioner. Next is dental.

                          Teeth are a mess. Vet can see 4 teeth that need to go and probably more he can’t see. Estimate is $99 for anesthesia and cleaning, $10 for incisor extraction, and $30 for molar extraction. Amazing! The Arlington estimate was $450 for two extractions. Dad says he can afford the dental and is happy to do that: told vet he’ll sched it. Well, Dad took dogs out to my car without scheduling while I paid. He just can’t face facts. I got out of this appt for a mere $286 (including heartworm for my pup) and 4.5 hours driving.

                          Poor Dad was terrified to do anything at the appt because of his limited funds. He kept pretending he was paying. It was hard to get the exam complete and emotionally hard for me to witness. Dad’s car is broken down so he’s walking to work. He wanted to pay for gas when I was fueling up on the trip back but thankfully accepted my out and left $12 in the console. Probably the only money he had.

                          My Dog vs Another Dog
                          My old man also needs a dental cleaning –no known extractions just some tartar build-up. Vet says if money is a concern, Ricky is the priority. I see that but then I’m giving my dog less care to give another dog care. Regardless, I can’t do anything for another couple months.

                          Moving Ahead
                          I know we have a thread about fish oil prices. Any hidden sources or deals I’m missing beyond Amazon? Anyone have a suggestion for a great leave-in conditioner? Oatmeal was a recommended ingredient.

                          All in all good news and do-able. I am relieved, Dad is relieved and proud Ricky is fairly healthy and Dad had already started appropriate steps. Managing the frequent-use items like food, fish oil, and conditioner for Ricky is harder than annual rabies and heartworm. My dad does not communicate honestly: that is the biggest challenge.


                          • #53
                            Look at Pollock Oil, it's quite similar to the Salmon Oil. I ordered it for some of my customers that needed something less expensive than salmon. If you're in it for the oil factor, maybe consider flax seed oil instead? Or people fish oil tablets, it's easier to find good deals on the people stuff. Our grocery store just had a half off sale on vitamins and I reloaded up on the glucosamine and fish oil for the dog.
                            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                            • #54
                              Do the fish oil capsules for people. Simply pierce with a pin, and squeeze over food. It's cheaper that oil for dogs and is the same.

                              Really want to suggest the Microtek Anti Itch shampoo again. That stuff is amazing. Oatmeal can actually be drying. Leave in conditioners don't seem to really work on dogs.


                              • #55
                                I ditto getting the fish oil gel caps for people at the grocery store. They are much cheaper and often have good sales. Most places have their own brand that are just fine.


                                • #56
                                  And a lot of grocery stores have buy one get one free deals on the vitamins right now. You can use coupons too. That's how I get my dogs' fish oil.
                                  Delicious strawberry flavored death!


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                    Moving Ahead
                                    I know we have a thread about fish oil prices. Any hidden sources or deals I’m missing beyond Amazon? Anyone have a suggestion for a great leave-in conditioner? Oatmeal was a recommended ingredient.
                                    I don't use a leave-in conditioner but I was wondering if a couple of different things could be going on. Do you think that your dad could be using people shampoo for the dog? The pH balance could be off and that could be too drying. Alternatively, could your dad be bathing him too frequently?
                                    There are a lot of oatmeal shampoos and rinse out conditioners for dogs (some with shampoo and conditioner in one). If your dad could be using human products on the dog, perhaps one of those for dogs would help. I have used a product called The Stuff on my dogs, and is a leave-in product. It can be useful for matting and is supposed to coat the hair. I am not sure if it would be useful for dry skin or not, and I don't think it is oatmeal based, but it is good for dogs with hair that tangles or matts. The caution on this is to use it outside and not on a slick floor of any kind, because like a lot of spray on conditioners it can turn a garage or tile floor into an ice-skating rink that will send you flying.
                                    I'm glad it turned out so well. These decisions are always difficult, and normally I say that my own dogs come first. However, if you are likely to end up paying for Ricky's treatment anyway then I would probably get his dental done first and then get your dog's done, because you don't want the teeth needing extraction to get worse and therefore harder to fix and hence, more expensive.