My mother-in-law's shi-tzu is 15 years old this month. She had renal problems several years ago that are now cleared up and gone. When MIL first moved in with us, Angel (shi-tzu) stopped eating as much as she used to; we chalked this up to her moving (three hours southwest to San Diego with us) and adjusting to new surroundings. Since 2008, we've moved twice and Mom has gone on several road trips visiting friends and staying with them (she pretty lived as a nomad for several months trying to find a place to live). Angel's appetite never increased, but it was steady.
In July 2010, we moved (the LAST ONE) from Colorado to Texas. Within the first month or so, Angel had fleas; she's never had them before. While we were able to afford it, she was taken to the vet and given a flea dip, groomed, and flea medication options. We went with a monthly pill; she hasn't had one this month, but it's been too cold for the fleas.
Her eyes are almost constantly goopy and we're thinking this to be her allergies. She's beginning to lose her fur/hair. It would be one thing if the fur were just thinning out, but she's losing large quantities of it. There are several patches missing all over her body. She sleeps pretty much all day and when she's in Mom's bedroom at night, she moans as if she's in pain. Lately, she's been favoring her left hind leg and we don't know why. Mom has felt around her leg and nothing feels out of place (she had vets show her what to do in case she wasn't able to get to them).
We're worried and we can't afford a visit to the vet's office. My job gives me maybe 15 hours each week. Hubby works full-time, but CS takes half of his paycheck. Both of our paychecks go to bills (rent, insurance, gas, groceries, etc.).
Angel used to be such a happy little dog. She'd get excited and jump around. My husband would "beat her up" and play (a game where you move your hands around her really quickly and she tries to "get" you). He did this with her almost every single day. I don't remember the last time she's played. None of us do.
Are there any moms here who are vets? Does anyone have ANY ideas? Thanks so much for "listening" (reading). I appreciate it.
Answer by Tikismom at 10:44 PM on Jan. 25, 2011
Answer by MommaTurbo at 11:29 PM on Jan. 25, 2011
Answer by spottedpony at 11:32 PM on Jan. 25, 2011
I used to be a vet tech and we saw a lot of geriatric pets. Yes she's getting older and with that comes specialized care which can get pricey. By now she should be on a geriatric food for her age and size. She may also have arthritis or she could have injured herself doing something perfectly normal like jumping off the bed. She's clearly been a bit stressed out by the change in environment several times and the fleas didn't help. Some pets can have allergies to fleas which could be why her fur is falling out. I think you need to take her to the vet once more and sit down and have "that discussion". Clients asked me all the time if they were making the right choice and I told them when you get to that point your saying "I'm going to take away all your pain and worry because I love you so very much."
Answer by LadybugTash at 11:15 AM on Jan. 26, 2011