How to Deal With Your Pet Getting Older

I’m writing about this subject because I have 2 dogs that are getting on years and I love them. I also had to have my Chihuahua euthanized recently. If I had known some of these things it might have gone differently. We had always had mixed breeds from the pound. It’s a lot different when you have full bred small dogs.

As dogs age they will sleep more often and restrict their activity. They become less tolerant to the heat and cold. Forgetfulness can be an issue. My Papillion thinks the leg of the coffee table is a tree when he didn’t before. They can become cranky and irritable when they weren’t before.

Some of this can be explained by physical ailments. Hearing, smell, arthritis, muscle weakness and cataracts. I noticed recently a slight bluish film over my Papillion’s eyes. It doesn’t bother him, but sometimes he misses the couch when he goes to jump on it.

It’s proven that older dogs do not do well with hospitalization or being boarded for any amount of time. If possible care for them at home under a vet’s guidance.

Skin tumors and coat problems are common with elderly dogs. Their skin can become dry and scaly because their oil glands don’t work like they used to. My father used to put Olive Oil in one of our dogs food. She was a Black Lab Husky mix and lived to be 20.

Here are what they call Geriatric Danger Signs

-Loss of appetite or weight

-Cough or labored breathing

-Increased thirst and or urination

-Change in bowel movements

-Increase in temp., pulse, or breathing rate

-A growth or lump anywhere on their body

These are signs of PAIN

-No activity

-Less social

-Not willing to move

-Growling or whining

-Loss of appetite

-Reaction to being touched in an unusual way

-Licking or scratching a particular body part repeatedly (front paws)

Periodontal Disease leading to gum disease is the biggest reason pets are brought to the vet and so many don’t come home. Specifically in small breeds you can’t see the gum disease until you see a tooth come out or notice their breath. If it smells like feces don’t assume the animal has been eating feces. This could be a sign of something serious.

A tip for dogs with Epilepsy

Have a freezer bag of ice on hand. When your dog goes into a seizure grab the bag and place it firmly on the upper middle of the dog’s back. Don’t move it around. When my Pomeranian has severe seizures I place one on top of her head too. BRIEFLY! Something about bringing the body temp down that stops them.

Colloidal Silver is good to try for teeth and gums. It can go in their water or food.

Opening An Old Wound

A while ago I was on Facebook and not blogging. I was also manic and had seen a documentary done by a musician that I loved when I was younger. It was about how we perceive beauty and what some people have had to go through in their lives. Bullying, abuse, drugs, alcohol, homelessness and depression. I thought it was well done and sent him a message on FB. To my surprise he responded publicly. I had to shut down my FB page because he has over a million followers and too many were asking me for help. I wasn’t qualified to do that, I could only tell my story.

I went to Twitter instead. I followed him and a few other people. He would respond to some of my tweets. I found out that this was part of a marketing strategy. I saw a conversation where he said one of my tweets was “annoying” and I forget the other word. This crushed me. All along I thought I had connected with someone who understood. In reality I was being used. I went into a deep depression. My Conversion Disorder was back full force. I could barely speak or hold a fork because of the tremors. The stuttering was so bad I would’ve written what I needed to say if my hands weren’t shaking so bad. I felt like a fool, worthless, made fun of, a freak, bullied. My accounts were being monitored by Twitter. My brother, the computer programmer, confirmed all this to make sure I wasn’t imagining it. That’s how bad it was. I had spent over $600 on concert tickets and hotel rooms in my manic state. Now I wasn’t going. It took a long time to get past this.

Yesterday I get several notifications from people who “liked” my post on his Facebook page. He had taken it down. I guess it’s back up. He had put it on the band’s website and several other social media venues also. It isn’t copyrighted so I can’t do anything about it. I just turned the notifications off. I don’t know how they got through when I unsubscribed to his FB page and anything else having to do with him. If my post helps others fine. I just don’t want to be reminded of my stupidity and how out of control I can be when manic. The fallout is too great. I’m also not in a great place right now and don’t need the aggravation. On the other hand maybe it’s good to be reminded how bad I can get.

Did Television Get It Wrong Or Did I ?

I just finished watching an episode of Blue Bloods. It left me feeling disappointed and a little confused about my own judgement of people.

In the episode a young woman asks Tom Selleck’s ┬ácharacter, the Police Commissioner, to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. They had met when she was 6 and the only survivor of an attack on her family. The man that killed her family has written to her asking for her to visit so he can make amends. She will never forgive him and neither will the Commissioner.

They both go to see him. He walks in a shell of a man expecting nothing. She spews her hatred at him. She tells him she wishes he was dead. He explains that he does too. When he was first incarcerated the doctors diagnosed him with Paranoid Schizophrenia, he was hearing voices all the time. They got him on medication. He started to remember what he had done and tried to kill himself several times. He finally found some peace by helping other inmates like him. There was still no understanding or forgiveness for him. The young woman told him to try again and get it right this time. The Commissioner agreed.

Is this what we want? Yes he committed a horrific crime. He was paying for it. No one had to forgive him, be didn’t expect it. But some kind of understanding being shown would’ve helped the shows take on mental illness. Not hatred and more dying. Would I have been able to offer someone like him at least some acknowledgement that I understood if it was my family? I don’t know. I would like to think so.

Getting Back To Me

Today wasn’t so bad. I only cried a little and that was because I was stuck on the bathroom floor. I ate too much and one of the things I ate was Alfredo sauce. Dairy is no longer my friend. My stomach isn’t used to large quantities of food so I was very nauseous. After being sick all my energy was spent. So that’s how I wound up on the floor.

The doctor’s appointment yesterday was a waste of time. There are still no answers as to why my kidneys failed but one good thing is that it isn’t cancer of my kidneys, bladder or ureters. I have to see another doctor though. I expected as much. My dad went with me even though he couldn’t hear half of what was being said. It was still good to have him there.

I have decided to cut my sister some slack. This is the only way we can have a relationship. I have come to realize that she has a lot to deal with herself and I certainly don’t make things easier. This doesn’t excuse some of the things she says but I know she loves me. She called last night to apologize for some of what she has said and told me what she has been dealing with. Finally a two sided conversation. Baby steps.

I’m still sad, worried and anxious. Those feelings will always be there. I’m trying to tame them down as best as I can. Some days I won’t be able to and I need to accept that. I also need to stop and think that it’s just one day and hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Another Rewarding Conversation With My Sister

My twin sister returned Sunday from a short vacation to a place I had begged her to go with me. As usual I would’ve paid but she still said no. She had not contacted me or my father since we had to put our dog down. Today was a bad day for me. I was home alone with nothing to distract me from my thoughts. I had been crying when my sister decided to call.

Right from the start she was annoyed. She said “For once can I call and talk to you without all the drama?”. I tried to calm myself down so I could talk. My stutter was acting up so it was hard. She asked how our dad was doing and I told her that he’s really depressed. She said I was making him depressed. She said my constant negativity, crying, and drama was too much for him and I needed to get my “shit” together. She said I need therapy or to go into the hospital and that she wasn’t going to participate in my “emotional cutting” anymore.

For someone who never returns phone calls I don’t see how she participates that much. She says we talk more than normal sisters do. I must be imagining things because I know sisters that talk everyday. We talk once or twice a week and it always ends with her telling me all my faults and me upset.

For the first time ever my dad said “Let her spend a day in your shoes then see what she has to say”. I was surprised because he usually stays out of it but he had had enough. When I mentioned signing up for housing he wanted to know who was putting that idea into my head. I didn’t say anything. He said “Let me guess, your sister?” Then he told me he needed me and loved me. He said he would be lonely and have nothing to look forward to if I wasn’t there. I know him better than anyone. He means it. It’s one of the many reasons why I love him.

What’s The Difference Between Major Depressive Disorder And A Major Depressive Episode?

I didn’t know the difference between the two until I looked up Major Depressive Episode. This is what I thought I have been going through. Now I’m not so sure. See for yourself.

For hand cramping purposes I’m going to shorten Major Depressive Episode to MDE and Major Depressive Disorder to MDD.

Both are legitimate DSM diagnoses. MDE is caused by socio-economic factors and subsides once the stressor is no longer there. This usually lasts no longer than 6 months and happens spontaneously.

MDD is chronic depression with symptoms lasting for most of the person’s life. It frequently occurs with other psychiatric problems like Bipolar Disorder or Anxiety Disorder. MDD can be caused by biological and heredity factors.

They both have the same symptoms. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, frequent crying, change in sleep patterns and eating patterns, physical aches and pains, fatigue and loss of interest in things you once enjoyed doing.

With MDD you are depressed all the time but at different levels. You can be functioning and almost seem happy even when you’re not. Then have a year or more of deep depression. This is where you don’t want to leave the house, shower, and cry often. You may also have suicidal thoughts at this time. The recommended course of action is the usual medications and Psychotherapy. They also recommend ECT.

Hope this helped someone. There is no real solution but someday maybe there will be.