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my 15 year old biting dog....

Discussion in 'Dogs - small breeds (toy) specific' started by Galileo, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. Galileo

    Galileo New Member


    I have a dog that will be 15 years old in September. He is a cock-a poo and I have had him the entire time. He is my only family and I have been faced with the problem of biting. He is almost blind and will bite- sometimes severe bites (well...the infection is severe). He has also bite to he point of stitches. Jake also has canine cardio-myopothy. He gags and coughs but doesnt appear to be in very much pain. He eats well (I have made his dogfood for him for the last 10 years).
    I have a little pill here- a sedative that the vet wants me to give him 45 min. before bringing him in. I had called about putting him to sleep because Im not sure how to manage going to university and taking care of him and being bit. I missed exams because he bit my right hand and they put my arm in a cast to make sure I dont move - to keep the infection from spreading. I am sorry this is so long- I dont know how to say good-bye to my dog....my shadow.....
  2. Alabamamom1

    Alabamamom1 New Member

    :( This such a sad story... I feel so bad for what you are going through and can only try to image all the grief you are facing. I am so sorry, I am not sure what I would do in your situation. What is your vets suggestion, does he suggest the dog be put down? Just curious. I am so sorry, I can imagine how hard this must be for you.
  3. Galileo

    Galileo New Member

    Hi Bridget,
    I have talked to my vet and he wont give me an answer as to what he would do if his dog was biting. He wants this to be my decision. It is very difficult. A lot of my friends wont come over anymore because they are afraid of him. Dog bites are never a good thing - and it is such a myth that dogs have clean mouths. Unfortunatley, I seem to get infections with every bite. I cant believe how difficult this is. My friends dont dare say "its just a dog" as they know how close we are... I know my friends all wish I would put him down because I wont go away on vacations anymore/weekends etc. I do have a muzzle for him but its not fair to keep him in it as he really hates it. I dont believe he means to bite- I think he is a fear biter because he is going blind. If anyone has a suggestion on what I can do or give my dog to stop his biting please let me in on it... :cry:
  4. Alabamamom1

    Alabamamom1 New Member

    I hope that things get better for you and your dog. I am sure he is lovely. He just has a sickness and maybe there is correction for him out there, but if not it sounds as though you are already considering your options. I feel so sorry for you and my heart goes out to you. I wish you the best of luck.
  5. deb2950

    deb2950 New Member


    I know how sad you are and I am so sorry, I have been where you are now. We had to put down our beautiful 12 year old cocker a couple of years ago and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, That being said, I believe that one of the greatess acts of kindness we can perform for our dogs is help them cross the rainbow bridge when it's time. Your Shadow has had fifteen wonderful years with you but it sounds now like his quality of life has gotten to the point where he is not comfortable anymore. Only you can make this decsion and I"m sure you will make the one that is in the best interest of Shadow. When we knew the time had come for April, we had the vet come to our home. It was the place she was most comfortable, She was surrounded with all the things she loved, her blanket and her tennis balls, I held her in my arms while the Vet administerred the shot. She slipped away very peacefully in my arms, her suffering over. I knew I had done the most humane thing I could do for her.
  6. bellasmommy

    bellasmommy New Member

    if there are no underlying problems, like illness, then it most definitely could be fear biting.
    my family dog will be 14 in june, as she ages she has become snappy when approached quickly.
    have you tried approaching him very slowly, only from the front, while saying his name? i would sit down in front of him, say his name repeatedly while slowing moving my hand towards his nose. allow him to sniff you and become comfortable in knowing that you are his family and not a stranger.
    as he ages and his hearing and site diminish he will become more confused and possibly agitated. if he allows you to cuddle him after he is approached slowly the two you of may enjoy that.
    most vets do not recommend euthanasia unless there is no quality of life left or the animal is deemed "un-trainable" for a home life.
    i hope for the two of you that this is fear biting, and that if you are more careful in the way you approach him you two can continue to be happy together.
    please keep us updated.
  7. winnie

    winnie New Member

    I think even though it is hard you have to look at his quality of life. Is he as happy as he was 5 years ago....does he eat normal, play...etc...I'm so sorry it is hard what you are going through...you are such a great owner to take such good care of him for 15 years...I wish you the best
  8. deb2950

    deb2950 New Member

    quality of life

    The last year of April's life was one of her happiest! Although she had cancer she remained happy and active until the end. One day she just layed down and didn't get up again. The look in her eyes was almost as though she was saying , "okay, I'm tired now, I'm ready ". How we loved that girl! I hope I didn't give the wrong impression to you Galileo. I was just giving you my experience. I know that you will make the best decision for you and Shadow and you will know when the time is right.
  9. Galileo

    Galileo New Member

    I have learned how to approach Jake so that he wont bite as much or wont be frightened. Sometimes he will be sleeping on the floor and then wake up attacking the air. Sometimes I will move slightly on the couch (which I allow him to lay on) and he will attack my foot. He has become very unpredictable. He definitly has cataracts. His eyes are coated over white - looks like marbles sort of.
    As for his quality of life. He's 15- that is 105 human years! He does have cardio-myopothy. This is a heart problem common in alot of breeds. Basically his heart is huge and it presses on his trechia which causes him to gag/cough. Because his heart works harder than normal, bile builds up in his stomach which causes him to throw-up bile. He doesnt throw-up very often, however he does cough/gag. A lot of people think he is still a puppy- he looks like one. Sometimes acts like one. I guess it would be easier if he "acted sick". I have difficulty putting him to sleep when his tail (entire butt-end actually) waggs and he is licking my face. I have been struggling with this for about a year now and everytime I end up in the emergency room, the Dr.'s are concerned that he will bite my face or the infection could get so bad that I could lose part of a finger.
    Thank-you for everyones in-put, well wishes and condolences... Im not sure what Im going to do with Jake or the little pill sitting here. I go over it in my mind taking him to the vet (I asked- the vet wont come here to do it) and saying good-bye but I dont think I can do it. :cry:
    P.S How do I post his picture like everyone else has?[/img]
  10. ilovemaltipoos

    ilovemaltipoos New Member

    I have been where you are and it is hard .There are times when our lives are so entertwined with those we love that we cannot seem to carry on .He will be in Heaven and you will join him there someday .He waits only for you .This is so sad .
    Someday I will join my lost babies .E-wok ,Sebastion ,my Maggie ...Sweet ,sweet Maggie ...GOd Bless and I will pray for you and your shadow for he will always follow you .....
  11. puttin510

    puttin510 New Member

    I believe it is fear biting. My poodle used to do the exact same thing when sleeping near anyone. I've had my toe bit in the middle of the night. She used to wake up and try to bite anything that touched her. Not knowing her previous life before I came along, I came to the conclusion that someone used to abuse her or some sort of mental abuse. She slowly came out of that. Now just the occasional flashback. She sleeps peacefully between hubby and I. She too is a dog that I know no one else could handle or even bother after a first bite. Being I was a tomboy growing up, I think it made me handle the bites much better. I've gotten stitches on my lip too. This is an extremely hard thing for you. You know that if you brought her to any foster care they would never place him. He only has you. I guess you have to weigh out how bad things really are for you. No one will look down on you if you make the decision to send him over the rainbow. He has lived a good long life with you. As dogs and humans grow old things around the home always have to change. So if you can hang on a few more years, then do it. If not, ok.
  12. MyBabyShihPoo

    MyBabyShihPoo New Member


    Unfortunately, I really don't have any words of advice for you beyond what others have mentioned, but I wanted to let you know that my heart sincerely does go out to you. I'm wishing and hoping that you will have the courage and strength to get through such a tough time!

    You will surely be in my thoughts and prayers!

    Kindest Regards,
  13. Galileo

    Galileo New Member

    I was trying to think of the amount of times Jake has bit me.... the worst part is that when you are bit in Canada and have to see a Dr. about it (I dont know about anywhere else) but they call the health department. They come, make sure you have given your dog all his shots- they make sure he is not foaming at the mouth, and then tell you to quarantine him for 15 days. Basically, you have to keep them leashed and not let him near any other dog/animal or people. When I go to the hospital now...I lie. I feel as if I have to because I think they can make me put my dog to sleep. The last time I was bit seriously, I was on I.V anti-biotic and then 2,000 mg of it orally. I also had a nurse come to my house to change the dressings. (That I think was a little excessive on the hospitals part). I guess the point I am trying to get across is that I really love my dog and Im not sure that Im ready to put him to sleep yet. I do know it is inevitable... all living things die. Im not quite sure why I am writing this to everyone as I know that there isnt anything anyone can do. I suppose it does help to know that there are others out there who loves their dog.
    I took an extra step further today to find out how much it would cost to put him to sleep if need be. I am a student so funds arent that great. It will cost me 325.00. That would include his ashes returned in a wooden box.
  14. Galileo

    Galileo New Member

    I tried to make this my subject line " :eek: " but it didnt work. I am going to post a picture of my dog shortly :!:

    Deb2950 - I know that look from my dog. (from your picture)
  15. puttin510

    puttin510 New Member

    Here in California, it is not mandatory to go to dr.'s . When I did go, it was because my lip was cut open by my little vixen. I had to get 5 stitches. The hospital had to report it, just because thats what they do. My husband looked like the culprit, me sitting in the e.r. room with a bloody napkin to my lip with him sitting there. You know what people thought. I claimed left and right it was all my fault and I should have known better. Not to play with her like that. I wnated to make sure they knew what had happened. I basically freaked her out. Playing down on the ground. But about 5 days after going thru that, then we get the mail saying to quarintine her for ten days. I only had five days to go.LOL I thought someone was going to come out too. But they called and found out it was my dog that bit me and it was handled. Not a crazed dog running the neighborhood. She was very nice. I was sooo afraid someone might try to take her.
    I say you have to just go with your gut feelings about your predicament.

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