Friday, February 10, 2012

Bobby's acupuncture and caring for him in his "golden years"

Today, Bobby had another session of acupuncture. I'm getting him "poked" every 2 weeks now, as maintenance for his old age. Dr Susanna has this package for long term, called "The Golden Years". Indeed, these are golden years for Bobby now.

I've been worried about his eyes because a brown discharge keeps flowing out every day. The vet has said it is nothing to worry about because Bobby is already blind. I can help by keeping the eyes lubricated so that it does not feel so dry and irritated.

Meanwhile, I have also ordered a product called "Can C" for him. It is from here: Apparently, it's a product to reduce the incidence of cataracts in humans but many dog owners have used it and it has worked wonders for their dogs. I know it may be a little too late for Bobby since he is so blind, but no harm trying, I guess.

So, back to today's acupuncture. We did some crucial points for the mental wellbeing today and those points hurt (ouch!), so Bobby complained quite a bit. I had to hold him down all the time, so I did not manage to take any photos.

Dr Susanna also clipped electrodes to the needles to pass some electrical stimulation into Bobby. She used less than "level 1" and Bobby already felt the discomfort. For some old dogs, they don't even react on "level 5". So, Bobby's senses are still quite good.

Dr Susanna checked his pulse and she says it's good for his age.

Indy was strutting all over today, so I requested Dr Susanna to check his pulse as well. Indy's pulse is still "very small", but his colour is much better now. Not anaemic anymore now. Clinically, Indy looks pretty fine to me, too. What with stalking Pole and all, he's back to his old self, minus the crazy water-licking (which is a good thing). Dr S thinks maybe Indy is born with a "small pulse". That's just the way he is.

Indy's tongue is yellowish, so he's classified as a "hot cat" while Bobby is a "cool dog"!

Bobby is kind of "disabled" nowadays because he cannot eat by himself anymore, so I hand-feed him 2-3 times a day. I place him on my lap and hold the bowl to his snout. Even with this, it takes him some time before he senses the food and  starts to eat. I cannot force him; his pride is just too strong.

This afternoon, I came back from work and horrors of horrors, the whole of Bunny's Room was covered in faeces and we're talking about dried, caked-up faeces. It was Bobby's. Bobby is very sensitive to certain brands of food, and those which has too much protein makes him have soft stools. He must have passed soft stools this morning, and stepped on them, so it was all over the room. It took me a great deal of hand-scrubbing to get all the caked-up faeces off the floor, and five rounds of mopping plus cleaning out the crevices between the tiles.

The cats were obviously not very happy with faeces all over the floor, so they were on the table and sofa only, and looking quite "eew"-ed.

Bobby has decided he does not like homecooked anymore now; he is just so fussy. So, I'm experimenting with different brands of canned food for him. He still eats his Canine Caviar, though and he agrees with this. He cannot eat Orijen as it makes him have diarrhoea (too rich in protein). He also cannot eat the "good" brands since it contains too much protein. Believe it or not, he actually does well on Carnival canned food, so I let him eat that. The other day, I bought a can of Go! wetfood and he did well on that, too. It is all about experimenting.

Looking after Bobby is a challenge; it is no different from caring for an aged person who cannot speak.

I carry him upstairs every night and he would sleep by the door. He doesn't want the little bed we've made for him.

My ol' faithful, always near me, even though he is blind and deaf.

There is still a lot of poodle-pride in him, too. In fact, more, in his golden years. He's always been the I-do-what-I-want-and-you-don't-tell-me-what-to-do type of dog, all his life. Old age has not mellowed him. It's actually heightened that pride in him.

Dr S suggests I get a playpen for Bobby so that he won't go bumping into the doors and walls. That seems like a good idea, so I'll certainly consider it. It would also be easier for me to clean up his poo and pee, instead of him passing it wherever he likes and then, stepping all over it.  All said, Bobby does try very hard to locate a "proper place" to poo and pee, but you see, he cannot see and his senses have deteriorated. But still, there were days when Bobby would go all the way downstairs to make his poo. He tries, I know. I would, we've got 15 years between us, Bobby and me. That's a mighty long time for a dog.

I asked Dr S if Bobby is too skinny because I can feel his backbone. She said it's good that Bobby isn't overweight; he is thin in a good way (that's what the vet said too), and he is skinny only because there is a lot of muscle wastage. Bobby hardly ever moves; he sleeps all the time, in that curled up position. Only in the mornings does he strut around Bunny's Place and walk on the pebbles (reflexology?). Maybe I should make him walk a bit more.

I suppose there is a lot of geriatric care we can give Bobby but my vet's advice would be, "If he is ok, let him be."

Seems like sound advice there. Some things need not be fixed.

Let Nature do its job. And take its course.

1 comment:

Connie said...

Thank you for the link Dr Chan. I've also order for my dog, Princess.