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If a dogs healthissue definitely degraded the dogs health, that was terminal anyway, would you run

  • Run the dog like nothing was wrong, that is what they live for.

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  • Reduce the frequency of training but run the dog in selected field trials.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Don't train the dog just hunt them in the fall.

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What if you had a dog that lived for training and birds. What if that dog hag a health issue that is terminal no mater what and this condition will be and has been aggrevated by extreme activity. Would you choose to continue competing with the dog and probably shorten the end of their life or put the dog on the couch? The end will be the same.
 
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bjlokey said:
What if you had a dog that lived for training and birds. What if that dog hag a health issue that is terminal no mater what and this condition will be and has been aggrevated by extreme activity. Would you choose to continue competing with the dog and probably shorten the end of their life or put the dog on the couch? The end will be the same.
I would do whatever it appeared the dog wanted to do.... I think to restrict their "training" (using that term lightly) might make their last days miserable.

When Austin was dying of cancer a few year ago, he could hardly walk, but we'd go out and I'd toss a bird 10 feet in front of him because he enjoyed it. Then I'd let him carry it all over. It didn't degrade his health, but he was happy doing it... Even if it was degrading his health, I would have done it... He wouldn't have known any different. And I think the goal at that point is just to make their last days as enjoyable as possible.
 

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The dogs condition at that moment in time would dictate what I would do. Even if I had paid an enterence fee, and driven half way around the world, if the dog was having a bad day, I would scratch. But if I had not entered and stayed home and the dog had a good day, for the dogs sake, I would regret not entering forever.

tom
 

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There is a saying common here on RTF -- "the dogs don't know any differently." Retrieving, is retrieving, is retrieving. And if you got a dog that loves it, it is all good to them.

As long as it didn't mean leaving him home when I went, I'd probably pass on the FTs and HTs, and just keep the training (fun) regime. But if I was going to continue to go to FTs and HTs with other dogs, he'd get to come too.
 

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I've got a four year old with bilateral OCD of the elbows. Both elbows were scoped at seven months old. They still sound like a box of rocks when you mobilize them. At any rate my decision was to run him in HRC tests and he's got his HRCH now. I don't cut him any slack on water work but I do limit his land work. If he gets too much, he ends up with short term lameness.

Its hard to leave the first one that jumps into the truck home !!!
 

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i had a bitch that had a pretty severe form of autoimmune disease. I continued training and running her. Oddly enough, the more I worked her, the more she improved. She lived for 7 years WITh active disease, nothing short of a record for that disease in that day 9most dogs died within 2 years of diagnosis).

I think keeping her "in the game", at least minimally, maintained a much more healthy mentality, which I believe goes a long way toward improving overall physical well being.

Lisa
 

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Brenda-

I'm sorry that you need to ask the question. :cry:

I think you know that Kate (she's 13 now) has pancreatic cancer & a big ol' tumor in her lungs. Yesterday was vomiting & coughing. Today it's a walk to the lake & swimming & tomorrow?

I play it day by day. If I am going out to train Finn & the wingers & everything go in the vehicle-she tells me how she feels that day. Somedays she lies on the porch & says "Not today" . Other days she has me lift her in & lays in the grass while Finn works. Last mark is hers.

I may enter her in an AKC Senior at my next hunt test, but as has been said here-if that morning she doesn't want to go-I'll eat the entry fee.

What does your dog tell you? Will she be happy on the couch or would she be happier spending the last of her energy doing what she loves? I'd go with my gut & my heart on this one.

M
 

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bjlokey said:
What if you had a dog that lived for training and birds. What if that dog hag a health issue that is terminal no mater what and this condition will be and has been aggrevated by extreme activity. Would you choose to continue competing with the dog and probably shorten the end of their life or put the dog on the couch? The end will be the same.
Hi Brenda,

I'd try awfully hard to find a middle ground that will keep the dog's mind enagaged but won't accelerate the condition. I'd try to avoid stressful situations and I wouldn't compete.

It always surprises me how adaptable these dogs can be to a change in circumstances.

I wish you well,
 

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..could modify the "extreme" activity so that the dog may take part in actual daily training...but not pay too dear a price for it?

So that he or she is part of that daily routine and gets to go with you..as normally would so his routine stays pretty much the same..in his mind..

Whatever part of the training is less stressful on the dog... is water easier on him or land, do more of that than the other.. ...with lots of birds of course!

To either trial the dog or put the dog on the couch... could there not be a happy medium.. rather than one or the other..cut and dry..

If trials...let the dog be the barometer, perhaps. If he can do all of a hunt test without paying a dear price for it vs field trial...or even part of a test..if appropriate for him that day. Enough so he is happy, has traveled with you, gone to line ...and picked up some birds...

And sometimes or if going to trials becomes not an option for him..maybe there is someone "special" the dog could stay home with while you go to trials... that would make the day particularly nice for him. If there is bird hunting available or go out pretending to bird hunt..walks through fields etc. ..with the shotgun..

Goodness..I hope you are able to work this out..
 

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I usually make them into "the" truck dog. They are special, ride in the front seat, and get to retrieve a few ducks during training. They usually "get-it" and wait their turn. Actually, to answer the poll we would need more info such as is the dog on medication, chemo, is the dog eating properly, is the dog in pain, how does he react to extreme activity afterwards.
 

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Personally, I would just limit the dogs high stress activities. Just give the dog enough of the things I believe it liked to make it happy without over stressing it. Enjoy a bit more casual time with it.

But, not knowing what the condition is it is hard to make a definitive answer.

I expect I would use some question similar to these to make my decision:

Could the extreme activity you talk of kill it while participating?

Does this extreme activity make the dogs condition worse?

Doe the extreme activity make the recovery longer or is recovery time pretty much the same?

After participating in the extreme activity is the dog in pain?

Think of it along those lines and I believe you will be better served.

BTW, I didn?t answer the poll.

Joe Miano
 

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dogs

I didn't vote but here's my .02 If pain was not an issue, I'd run the dog as long as it was up to the task. Better to remember how they lived rather than how long. (and I hope they all reach "the old folk's home")
 

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Brenda,
So sorry you're having to ask this question.
The only way I know to answer it (and this may not be the right way) is to ask myself what I would want to do if I was in the same situation. Not my dog, me.
If it was me, I'd rather have a shorter life and get to the do the things I enjoy doing than have a longer life without.
We're thinking about you.
Take Care,
Becky
 

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Interesting and timely question. My training and Kennel partner has a 4 year old bLF that was just diagnosed with Kidney disease, probably a congenital problem, that was not really apparent untill we satrted training seriously for this years HTs. The decision we came to was to enter her in the tests we were going to with our other dogs and see how she's feeling the day of the test. Yes it's a few extra dollars if you decide to scratch late but worth it for a dog that likes to compete.
 

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If it was early kidney disease with abnormal kidney function tests, no clinical symptoms, and all he was on was a special diet and maybe blood pressure medication, I would just train and run them. I had one like that and he didn't show kidney signs until the last days.
 

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When I let my dogs out to air, I throw a bumper for "Pete". He carries it and prances in front of the others, evidently like "This is what you Goobers should be doing".

He still knows where all the birds are but doesn't have the physical ability to do it anymore in competetion. :( Sounds a little like me.

I won't deprive him of what he was bred and trained for even though it's "playground" retrieves.

Jerry
 
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health

My 8 year old lab has auto immune disease, because he comes up so lame i have to leave him home when we go training. AS soon as I come home he has a bumper in his mouth and its his time. We go in the backyard and he retrieves two -three bumpers then he's a happy boy.
Cindy
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I find that I wrote the poll very poorly.
My 8 1/2 year old female, Splashdown in Duso Pond MH/***, was born with a congenital heart defect. (Or maybe she got a virus very early that damaged the heart) She has an incompletely formed heart valve. From the time she was ~3 yr old I have know how serious it was. She has cardiac insufficiency and runs the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. I have known that she would most probably die of congestive heart failure.

I decided that I would continue to run her as long as possible and the next 5 years I have. Feeling that it is what she loves and would not be happy doing anything else. Now, because of a leg injury and trying to get that diagnosed, I have learned that her heart is much enlarged. The vet would not put her under anesthesia to diagnose the leg. They did think it would be safe and if she did have a blow cruciate that she would not survive the surgery. Needless to say her leg as gotten better, she will favor it occasionally but rest and careful exercise has made it better. But I watch it.

Here is the delima. She will die of congestive heart failure, continuing to run her will hasten that end. She shows no symptom?s yet (coughing and exercise intolerance) and certainly wants to train and run. But that is really the only thing she knows.

So am a selfish thinking that is what she wants, she really had no other choice. Are we putting our wishes on our dogs.
 

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Brenda...so "Splash" is not aware that she has a "heart" problem, since she does not have symptoms..it sounds like :) .

For her, the only issue is that her leg bothers ..or is not quite right at times.. and probably takes care of it as she moves, perhaps. You know, how dogs will adjust their movement so that they can retrieve, run etc... despite an injury or even after recovery..if not what it was before will just carry themselves to compensate...kind of a survival thing..

This is not the same heart issue, but our 11 year old Golden was diagnosed with a low grade murmer about 3 years ago...an age thing...but this last visit to the cardiologist (heart clearance) brought to light that it is much more pronounced. To see a specialist..and if heart is enlarged or becomes enlarged there is medication that he can be put on for that..to control leakage. So, he is being monitored.

Is "Splash" going to be offered a medication to help her ..so that she may continue her lifestyle without symptoms? Or is that not possible in her situation?

We are swimming our "Andi" a lot..as he had cruciate repair last June. After what appeared to be total recovery, the implant broke prematurely in December..so back to square one. :( However, the swimming that he does for his cruciate, to build the muscle in that leg..non weight bearing exercise..is also conditioning the rest of him, and probably most important that he takes his turn "training" :) For him, just a few easy land marks now and then. The muscle at the back of the leg is totally back..surgeon was thrilled :)

Did not let him leap into the water..though...put him into the water..then had the mark thrown or put him in water and then cast him "back" on blinds. It sounds as though "Splash" is able to do normal water entries.. perhaps some swimming without that leap ..) "therapy" swimming! too..

This is so hard...when these wonderful dogs want to work as always..but one injury or issue complicates another as to repair work.

I do not think you are putting your wishes on your dog..or that you are selfish in thinking that is what she wants..no other choice etc. Her accomplishments speak for themselves..

You give your Goldens the life they deserve..as retrievers..as your Goldens are bred for...it would be selfish to not do so...

Now you just care...and want what is best for her...the life she knows and loves. So, hang in there... You are suffering knowing all the details of her health issues...but she really is not :) ..in the big picture..she is just going about her business as usual! ..dealing with her leg "occasionally" and .. just picking up her birds :)

You are doing a great job with her...

Judy
 

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Hey Brenda,
Something to think about when training "Splash" or deciding when or if.
Remember our "Field Dogs" are bred to a high degree to perform.I have seen dogs that have shown little or no signs of limping when in fact they had torn their ant. cruc. lig.,dogs that during a pheasant hunt had their chest torn open by a barbed fence(hair help hide the wound) and continue to hunt without skipping a beat,were diagnosed with lymphoma ......you get the picture. They have an extreme HIGH TOLERANCE for pain and an even higher degree to please you.
We as owners have to make those decisions for "our dogs".
Something to think about when making your decision. It is a tough one.
Take Care!!!!!
Sue
 
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