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Old 08-07-2012, 08:54 AM
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Unhappy My poor little Chulita...so sad.

I’ve been carrying this around with me… haven’t posted about it until now because I just didn’t know where we stood with Chulita and her cataract. It's been well over a year since I first started noticing her behavior becoming weird sporadically when on a walk. It became increasingly more consistent as time went on. She would just stop walking and kind of shrink back like she was afraid to go on…plant her feet and refuse to move. I tried working with her, giving treats often as she’d come along. It was mostly noticeable when I was at my daughter’s. Here, she went on a few walks, but insisted she stay on the sidewalk where it was easy and smooth. She enjoyed walks at our new neighborhood for a while. But she has come to dislike walks almost entirely.

She did see a regular vet and because of some irritation and pressure in her eye, (suspect glaucoma) she went on eye drops to relieve that. She had her pressure checked regularly and had her eye drop med refilled. This was back in Idaho and then here too. I moved here last Sept.

Skip ahead a few months: I noticed a cataract become worse and worse, so she went to an ophthalmologist, one of just a few in this part of the state… and sure enough, she was, by this time, virtually blind in her left eye. The other eye is fine. She had all kinds of tests and it turned out it would be fixable because other structures are fine. (sometimes it’s not effective to do the surgery) It would cost about $2,500. So, I hemmed and hawed over that one. She is a 12 year old dog with a heart murmur. It‘s been many months since those couple appointments.

Meanwhile, she developed more fearful responses to things like shadows of grass blades or anything moving anywhere near her. Her depth perception is way off because of the blindness in one eye, so it looks like things are coming right at her and are going to hit her. (apparently) She will shrink back, flutter her eyes, and startle at so many things outside.

She will act like she’d like to go for a walk when I get out the leashes, but then once on the driveway, that’s as far as she’ll go, planting her feet and looking afraid. It’s really pathetic. The vet also said that if I don’t fix it, she will get use to it and adapt. It could take time, but they usually learn to compensate and that depth perception thing will not bother her anymore. So far, I see no improvement other than she recovers quickly. She will freak, then bounce right back. It’s worse on a sunny day when there are more shadows. Inside she’s fine and does like playing with toys and with Jose`. She doesn’t seem to be too affected too much by things indoors where everything stays pretty much the same and there aren’t those shadows or things moving in front of her too close or too much.

I took her to the vet again just the other day to get her eye pressure checked because that is high unless she stays on her eye drop meds. (1-2 times a day) He also found that her heart murmur is at a level 4 which he said would make it very risky to do the surgery to fix the cataract. It has gotten worse than it was a year or two ago.

So, poor little Chulita is getting to that stage where I’m fearing she won’t be around too much longer. We’ve sworn off walks. She just doesn’t like them anymore. It’s so sad because she use to be my little hiking buddy and would charge through the woods bravely. She sleeps a lot but will play inside a little bit with toys…gets silly and happy. And of course, she loves cuddling. So, there is still enjoyment in life, but no more walks. I wonder if she’d be a candidate for a stroller of some sort. Do you think she’d like that? As it is now, Jose` and I go off for a walk and she sometimes comes to see me put the leash on him. She wags her tail and looks expectant. And off we go, leaving her behind. Any time I’ve tried to take her too, she gets out as far as the middle of the driveway and then plants her feet…doesn’t want to go. It breaks my heart every time we go off and leave her there. We come home and find that she has been snoozing on the couch, so I guess she gets over it. But this is hard.

Thanks if you read this whole thing. It was loooooong.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:41 AM
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((((((superhugs)))))) Dober. I'm so sorry for Chulita and you. It does sound risky to do the surgery. Is there anyway you could carry her on the walks? A stroller is a good idea too but I bet a backpack would work (and would be cheaper + easier).
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:45 AM
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I am so, so sorry, Carrie Chulita is one of my favorite Chaz dogs.

I'd definitely look into a stroller or backpack- it would at least allow her to get out and smell everything around her, and she'd get to go with you and Jose.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:56 AM
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I love the stroller idea. I think she would definitely like that.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:57 AM
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((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))) for you both. It so hard watching those we love slow down or go through something we can't help

I agree with Tag as well. I'd try the backpack since it's the cheapest/easiest solution for starters. Or if you know someone with a stroller, borrow it before investing in one. See how she likes it/reacts to it. I hope you can find an enjoyable way to include her.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:00 AM
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Yeah, maybe if she's up higher, like in a back pack or stroller, she wouldn't be affected like she is on the ground. She does like to go for car rides and go visit my ex and my son. She will get out of the car and zoom up to the front door. She may startle along the way, but will race in to see them. And if I go to Emily's, she knows which apartment door it is and goes straight there. I can let go of the leash and she'll zoom up the stairs. She'll go a little ways right out in front of her apartment and go pee but doesn't want to go more than about 10-15 feet along the side walk....only where she's most familiar. I'm going to see about a stroller or back pack. There's a nice pet store right near by called Jones & Co. I bet they'll have those things.

Thank you for your input and kind words.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:02 AM
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Coop...you're right. I should test a stroller out first because it's true. She might not go for it. But I can't imagine a back pack bothering her. It would be nice though, for her to get out, as long as she likes it. I know the sun in her eyes really, really bothers her, so she should have some shades too. (which she'll HATE) lol.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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Old 08-07-2012, 10:06 AM
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(((hugs))) Im sorry for both of you . There was a lightly used pet stroller on my CL a week ago for not much I can see if its still available and see about a way to get it to you?
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
(((hugs))) Im sorry for both of you . There was a lightly used pet stroller on my CL a week ago for not much I can see if its still available and see about a way to get it to you?

That's so very thoughtful of you. Is it for small dogs such as Chihuahuas? How do they work? Is there like a harness that holds them in? Or is it all enclosed with a mesh thing? I never really looked into them.

I hate to trouble you with looking to see if it's still there and all that it would entail to get it here. But if there's an easy way, maybe that would work well. Thank you so much for thinking of it.

Edited to add: Maybe...the more I think about it, a back pack might be more versatile because sometimes we like to walk in fields or trails that aren't made of concrete, so then, a stroller might not work as well. Hmmm. Before you go to any kind of trouble, I'll do a little checking...might be better to get a back pack or front carrying thing if they make it like that.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:04 AM
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I'm so sorry to hear this. ((((((hugs)))))))
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