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    • #17184
      Michelle Gonzaba
      Moderator

      It takes a lot of energy to take care of a pet, so those with MG may have trouble keeping up with a dog, cat, or another animal.

      How has MG changed the way you take care of your pets? What tips would you give to someone who’s having trouble caring for their animals?

    • #17194
      Charles Karcher
      Participant

      Unfortunately both my dogs died within 8 months of my diagnosis.  It does take a lot of energy to give them the proper care.  So far I have decided to not get another pet.  I really don’t have someone I can trust or impose on to take care of a pet should my illness render me unable to care for them.  Also I was a late onset diagnosis and now at age 69 fear that I would probably be outlived by the new pet leaving it to an uncertain fate in the case of my mortality.  I know this all sounds very morbid or depressed but I have owned dogs all my life and do not want provide substandard care for a new pet.

      • #17215
        Kay
        Participant

        I have 2 Golden Retrievers currently and am planning on getting a puppy next year. My husband’s Golden boy is 11 1/2 years old and my boy is 6. I train and show him in both obedience and rally. Show weekends are tough because they start early and run late, which is very tiring, as I need more sleep now that I used to with my MG.  I go to bed early on show weekends so I can get enough sleep. Summertime heat can also be an issue for my MG. I can train in the house or the club training bldg. I try to keep my training sessions short and happy. Training and showing are my passions and I am blessed to be able to continue to do what I love!

    • #17200
      Judith Kauffman
      Participant

      I have a very active pet and am fortunate to have a energetic husband.  He does the long walks.   I am able to do very short ones but she is satisfied with that .  I was diagnosed 6 years ago. I am now 74.  It is a daily challenge.

    • #17220
      Amy Cessina
      Participant

      I have 4 cats and a dog. I am good since I have a husband and three kids only one left at home. But I completely understand Charles compassion about  not leaving a pet behind or going into the hospital and not having a back up caregiver. Pets are a lot of work but they do give me a good mental boost .

    • #17221
      Dave Hall
      Participant

      I would not choose to live without my pets.  When I was younger (pre MG) I did obedience, fly ball, agility, and hunt tests with my dogs.  I no longer can do the dog sports that I loved.  But now that I am old and retired, I own a small farm and my wife is big on Sheep Dog Trials.  She will be gone for a weekend or nearly a week while competing all over the country.  The feeding of all the dogs she did not take to a trial falls to me.  The last trial she went to she only took one dog.  That left me taking care of six dogs and the three cats.  I handled it with no problems.  However, I no longer feed the livestock, we have a farm hand to feed the sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, and our one old Clydesdale mare when she is off competing.   Wish I could take care of them as well, but with the MG, that is not an option.

    • #17288
      Ronald E. Clever
      Participant

      It is ironic that I ran across this subject today as I just had one of our four dogs put to sleep last night.  He was a Newfoundland mix and the sweetest most loveable friend  I could ever want.  From the time I came home from work until I left the next morning he was by my side.  Taking him to the groomer or the vet was a major challenge and I am lucky that my sister and nephew live with me.  I could not take care of these dogs without them but I don’t see how I could not have dogs as they are a great comfort to us.  The care has changed a bit and I try to help as much as I can but because much of the work is when I get home I am not able to do much since it is the end of the day and I am at my weakest.  I try to make up for it on weekends.

    • #17293
      Cyndi DeHoff
      Participant

      Ronald I am so sorry to hear you lost your Newfie.  I also have a Newfie named Wilbur. He is 3 and a 150lbs.

      He was 3 months old when I finally got diagnosed with MG after a few years of symptoms. I got so tired chasing around my new puppy with not enough rest, that my symptoms suddenly came on strong.  The neuro ordered a single fiber EMG which finally showed the MG (I am seronegative).

      I love my giant, lovable, stubborn and hilarious dog , but I’m afraid this will be my last big dog because he is just too strong for me and very hard to handle by myself. He loves to lean against me to show me love which is the last thing I need.  I’m thankful I don’t live alone and I do have help with him.

      The next dog will need be smaller because I just can’t imagine living without an dog in my life

    • #17532
      Ronald E. Clever
      Participant

      I understand how you feel. I want to rescue another big dog, we have 3 little ones but I am letting that up to the others as they will be doing most of the work.

    • #17563
      Norm
      Participant

      We have 7 adorable cats, whom we love like children (possibly more than children — less complicated). My wife does the feeding (all gourmet). And I clean the 8 litter boxes: 3 after my first cup of coffee, 2 after my second cup, and 3 after dinner. Dividing that chore, and others, up makes them easier. (Usually 2 or more boxes are unused.)

    • #17603
      Dave Hall
      Participant

      I have always had dogs.  For years I was very active competing in agility and obedience with my Vizslas.  Now I have a farm, lots of sheep, so we have a lot of border collies and a couple of Australian Shepherds.  I can no longer compete but my wife does.  For me, it is a good day when one of the dogs joins me on the couch for petting.  I can not imagine living without my dogs.

    • #17613
      Kelley
      Participant

      I have a smaller, older dog (29lbs h 11yrs) who luckily, needs very small amounts of exercise. A few toy tosses and when I can, short walks, are sufficient for him. I have trouble brushing him so hubby does that, and lifts him into the sink to help with bathing. When I was hospitalized for 5 weeks 3 years ago for my last crisis, I cried every day for my dog. I missed him incredibly. When his time comes, I’ll get another small dog. Maybe not a puppy, though – I can’t keep up with them!

    • #18138
      Tay
      Participant

      I have a 50 pound APBT/Husky mix named Sam, and boy is she strong.  We recently moved and had to wait a few months for the fence to be put in.  My husband was good about taking Sam outside.  He went camping one weekend when I had pneumonia, I begged him not to go, but he went.  I was terrified something would happen.  Well, the first time I took Sam out, she pulled me down.  Banged myself up pretty well.  I honestly don’t know how I made it through the weekend.  Thankfully we now have fenced yard, so it’s much easier.  I don’t think I could manage her alone on leash.

      I also have seven indoor cats.  He dumps and refills the litter boxes, I do the scooping.  One or both of us take care of feeding time.  They all eat separately, some have different foods, and some get medications.  I can do this most of the time myself but he will do it (begrudgingly) if I can’t.

      They keep me going to be honest.  Without them, I wouldn’t have the oomph to get out of bed some days.  I don’t plan to get more, I worry about them outliving me, and whether I’d be able to properly care for them.  That being said, cats somehow find me. Lol

    • #18139
      Dave Hall
      Participant

      While in my fifties, I bought a small farm outside of Houston Texas, for the benefit of my wife. I have always had dogs, with my Vizsla I did obedience, flyball, and hunt tests. My wife was into herding with her border collie. Now, she is very competitive in herding, trains a lot of other people’s dogs, puts on trials, and right now has four dogs in for boarding and training. She has built a nice business. Now, we have a herd of sheep, some dairy goats, cattle, and ducks.
      After I retired, I decided to get serious with the dairy goats, ie, get licensed so I could sell my goat milk cheese at farmer markets. While on the way to pick up a micro dairy, my eyelids started dropping. Yes, MG was the diagnosis. At least, I got a very quick diagnosis.
      My greatest regret is not that I never got my dairy license, but I cannot feed all my livestock, or help train the herding dogs. I loved working with my dogs. So now my wife handles all of that field work. Me? I vacuum the house, do the laundry, wash the floors, do the dishes, clean the litter box. Not near the fun as working with the canines. But I am still active and useful.

    • #18144
      Christine Wilson
      Participant

      We, my husband and I, have a 13 year old Bichon Frise named Snowball. He recently had an issue with his mouth and has now been diagnosed with lockjaw. He can not open his mouth at all and can not have the dental issue attended to. He is home with 8 syringe given medications per day as well as 4 drop’s applications to his right eye of medications. He also has to have his food pureed 3 times a day to liquify it. I was diagnosed with generalized MG in 2017 and receive Soliris every other week. I am using a scooter to get around inside the Independent Living facility where myself, husband and dog live due to extreme breathing issues with any exertion. My husband does most of the caregiving of Snowball, but now I have taken over the responsibility of administering all the meds while he purees food and feeds Snowball. It is very difficult as my arms are so weak and I also have to bend down to administer his medications. We will survive this time of our lives but are not sure about Snowball. The vet says she is not too optimistic. We can only pray we do the right thing at the right time if it comes to that. My husband is 86 and has his issues and I am 85 and he is my caregiver as well as the dog’s caregiver. Wish us well in this newest chapter of our pet life!

      • #18159
        Norm
        Participant

        I do wish you, your husband, and Snowball well. The love you have for your dog is evident.

      • #18167
        TheresaG
        Participant

        Christine-

        I empathize with your situation.

        i too have always had dogs, most current is a rescue tibetian terrier, 15/16 yrs. Old.

        many health issues.

        i know his “a time” is near.
        may I recommend to you and anyone else in this situation a website. Lapoflove.com.

        it is a animal hospice group of vets.

        there are some wonderful videos and information to assist in when it is time.

        I have found it extremely useful and I have used them in the past. Nothing more wonderful than an animal being able to spend their last moments at peace in your arms.

        my boy, Webster, is becoming more maintenance but fortunate my husband does his walks. Except for the past 2 months as he ruptured a disc in his back.

        We got through that but the animal needs are time specific which does not always meet with my good times.

        i would actually in the future consider a dog trained to assist me should there be a crisis or other “senior” event.

        An empty house would be hard to come home to.

        We love our pets!🐾🐾🐾💜

    • #18178
      Liane Martin
      Participant

      It was my choice to get a puppy in May of 2021. It has not been easy. There are days when I just cannot keep up with her energy. Then there are days when she has helped me move more, get out of my head more, and just plain enjoy life more. My husband did not help much at first, but he really loves her, and steps up more, especially on my flare days. I also couldn’t do it without a dog walker. She doesn’t actually walk her, but comes over with her dogs to socialize and play. It has been beyond helpful. My puppy was terrified of walks, so I haven’t walked her much yet. Once the weather breaks, and she is over a year old, I will be going back to trying to walk her for short stints on my good days. It would definitely say, even though it has been hard work, all in all, I am glad to have her.

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