In early April 2012, we saw an elderly beagle on our local shelter’s website. She came in as a stray. After 3 weeks, she was still unclaimed. She was about to be put to sleep. Since we lost Tara to cancer in January, we had space for one more dog. Rhonda has a microchip which was never registered, but we were able to trace her back to the company which had implanted it. They are the world’s largest supplier of puppy mill puppies and ship puppies world-wide. Rhonda will be 10 in September. She arrived here with kennel cough and had to be isolated for a few weeks. She was also extremely hyper excitable and somewhat dog aggressive, so we sent serum to Hemopet for thyroid testing. She came back in the lower half of normal. Despite this, I decided to give her a trial of very low dose thyroxine and within a few doses, she was calmer & less aggressive. I asked Dr. Dodds (of Hemopet) what she thought and she said Rhonda was probably ”subclinical hypothyroid” and it was OK to keep her on the low dose if it improved her behavior. It definitely did. She is much less anxious. Rhonda still is very possessive of her belongings, food and treats, so she has part of the house to herself and has her own yard. Rhonda had severe dental disease and required anesthesia and 8 extractions at a cost of $375. She is now enjoys tooth brushing. She also surprised us by coming into heat and had to be spayed.…I really hate seeing senior dogs ending up at shelters, it is not the fate they deserve after years of serving as someone’s pet.
Here she is being silly after her bath. http://youtu.be/OYEkpSK8mgQ
Rhonda’s temperament improved after being on thyroxine, but she still is kept in her own area of the house & has her own yard because she is overly possessive of toys and treats.
The cost of saving and rehabbing Rhonda was more than $800. She is not really adoptable, due to her barking and tendency to start fights over toys, food and other “possessions”. She has a permanent home here, but we need help supporting these special needs, older & health challenged animals. Please consider becoming a JERAS supporter. Thank you.
Update. After a year or so, Rhonda accepted the other dogs and enjoyed their company. In January of 2014, she began to get a bit wobbly in her hind legs.
Rhonda, our 11 year old beagle who arrived 2 years ago, appears to have degenerative myelopathy. I noticed her rear end was weak when we got her out of the local shelter 2 years ago. With lots of room to run, she got stronger. Several months ago, she started getting a bit wobbly and ataxic in her hind end. She has no pain. I always try to avoid running to the vet for every issue that comes up, as we cannot afford to and I am an enthusiastic problem-solver. I did a little internet research and found that degenerative myelopathy is the only hind end disorder with no pain involved. Usually, a dog is paralyzed within 6 months to a year of developing any symptoms. However, I am a huge fan of supplements and I feel some that I have been giving her for 2 years have slowed the progression. This article was very informative. http://www.examiner.com/article/dr-r-m-clemmons-and-the-fight-against-degenerative-myelopathy-of-german-shepherd-dogs the drug used to delay the progression of this condition is expensive, but I just found a compounding pharmacy that is said to be much cheaper and will have our vet call them tomorrow (update, we can get it for $17 a month and it is on its way). At any rate, we will continue with supplements and give her the best quality of life possible until her hind end gives out. Rhonda is very high strung and has some anxiety issues, so a cart/wheelchair would not be a solution in my opinion. She also needs to be able to get through the dog doors and our terrain is not level or smooth. Rhonda is the most joyful and funny little girl, her tail is always wagging, and she is often baying her head off. She was found on the streets and was never claimed from the local shelter.
Sadly, in the first week of April, she got worse, stopped her usual joyous barking and began to show signs of anxiety and discomfort, which medication only helped slightly. Rather than letting her go downhill any farther, we decided to let her pass on while she was still somewhat happy, comfortable and with dignity. Rhonda left us on April 8, 2014, just 2 years after arriving. She is deeply missed and the others dogs and I am grieving her loss. She was an amazingly brave, funny and deliriously happy little beagle and my heart is broken tonight.