4. Care and love- most important factor
This is the last point but it’s very very important- especially if your dog is sensitive in nature. You need to constantly offer it encouragement and speak soothing words to its ear- I have ‘doggie tone’ in which I use on my dogs that make them wag their tails.
Recently, I was seriously bogged down with lots of office work and deadlines. But I did my best to take time when I am back to give Prosper pats of encouragement and massage his limbs so that there is at least some blood flow (since he lie down most of the time). Lightly making stratching motions to the head can offer the dog a theraupatic relief from the pain that it may be suffering from.
You can use tools like wide gap combs (so that the fur don’t keep getting stuck in between the gaps), coins or your fingers to help massage the dog to improve blood circulation.
Initially, I have also tried dog acupressure- pressing some points around his body like the paws. Just google images of dog acupressure points and then did trial and error. Seemed to work to some extend because initially Prosper could not walk after the vet gave him a painkiller jab but with some kneading done to certain points around his paws and back, he walked a few days later to defecate and pass urine on his own. The bloating seemed to improve a little- but I am not sure if it is also partly attributed to the specially prescribed dog food that we were giving him.
5. Other recommendations
- This tip was by a pet shop owner- if the dog is having bloating, it is similar to wind in the stomach for humans. For that, we can try giving it over-the-counter medication like Actal and Eno to relieve the wind and bloating. I did not give those to Prosper but we gave him oral dehydration salt.
- When I tried to buy a harness or support to have lift my dog and to help him to do some walking, I was advised against it- because we may not be experts in carrying the animal and may end up causing further injury by accidentally twisting and aggrevating an already injured shoulder/ leg. Sadly in Malaysia, physical therapy for injured dogs such as the water treadmill is not available. The best thing to do to ensure the dog continues to get circulation is via gentle massage.
- Minyak angin- that we usually use to rub on our stomach when in pain- should not be applied to dog’s tummy as their skin may be sensitive
- Glucosamine- the one the dogs take and the human version is different. The human version may contain dosage too heavy for a dog. I bought the pet version in liquid form that can relieve pain as well
- When Prosper is having nausea, he is also fed Stemetil- a medication for travel sickness. Dehydration salt is also useful of the dog always appears to be thirsty- you can get that from pharmacies
- If the dog appears thirsty but vomits out or the water leaks out after being fed, use a syringe to inject in water via the side molar (remember, if you feed from the front a dog may choke and for a cat, you need to feed from the front).
- A dog with bloating or suffering from digestive problems- you need to visit a vet to get recommendations on food to take- even though I am feeding Prosper the special diet from Hills, I was able to buy the can food directly from an animal clinic. The usual pet stores only carry normal pet food by Hills- and I was told that the usual Hills brand sold outside may not be good for dogs with digestive problems because it contains more starchy ingredients than meat. But the specialised can food that I bought for my dog from Hills seemed to lessen his bloating. Even with normal dog food- it may cause pain and gas on an unhealthy dog.
6. Power of Prayers
Finally, I also prayed for Prosper. In prayers, I drawed upon the power of past good deeds and transfer the merits to Prosper- to help reduce his suffering. I am not sure how would things be but I am sure glad that I did not put him to sleep at the first initial sign of suffering he was displaying. Because through love, care and change in diet, he was able to bark at the postman again and wag his bunny tail when his name is called.
Taking care of a pet can put its strain on us especially if we have time constraints and other responsibilities. But when we watch our beloved pet suffering, not sure if it would survive, it makes problems at work seemed trivial. It is another reminder of life’s uncertainty and mortality- so what’s the point of keeping grudges or banging our head against the wall over things that are beyond our control? Just do what we can and let go of things that are beyond our control.