Friday, 25 February 2011

What would you do if it happened to your dog?

Dogs Today has started a CDRM support group for dog owners on facebook and today we had a very sad posting indeed.
"I have a GSD with CDRM in the advanced stages and we are able to manage him pretty well. He sleeps most of the time but today he was in the Garden and a woman said she was going to report us for cruelty because the dog couldn't get up. She was peering over the fence and said the dog needs a vet, I said Max is under Vet's supervision, was after this she said she would report us and I'm worried sick now.

"Max has always been a difficult dog but this CDRM seems to have just hit us at the wrong time. He has loads of spirit and doesn't seem to mind being carried with a towel and seems fairly happy in himself but this woman has got me worried I don't want to lose Max nor do I want the RSPCA turning up, I'm so worried today."
Which got me thinking that maybe we need a fact sheet to hand out to well meaning on-lookers who see a dog with CDRM and imagine it's in agony. CDRM is such an odd condition, it seems to cause the dog minimal distress and pain, but causes onlookers to cringe.
I'd read that CDRM is very similar to ALS, the condition Steven Hawkins has. No one would go up to him and tell him his suffering should be ended immediately and that he should be switched off, so morally why do people feel the need to say such terrible things to dog owners?
If you have a dog that is still loving food and affection and you're happy to carry them, nurse them, tend to their every need - should the RSPCA be interested? If the owner wants to keep going is it anyone else's business?


daisy said...

I suppose it's better that people call when it's not necessary than the other way around. I should have thought that the RSPCA would realise there's nothing to worry about when they come - especially if the dog is under a vet's care and the vet is happy. Although I appreciate that credits people with common sense, which they don't always have.

Photography By Samantha said...

It definitely is not anybody else's business, but the worst thing that'll happen with the RSPCA is they'll turn up, speak to the owners & the vet & realise the onlooker knows nothing!

For some people, a fact sheet will make very little difference as to whether they call the RSPCA or not.

Sue Doran said...

It's also better than people care about animals' welfare. So many don't (witness the need for the RSPCA at all). So I'd see it as a plus that someone cared enough to say something, many would just not bother or care.

The main worry here isn't that the lady should be worried that she'll be prosecuted or have the dog removed, (I'm sure her vet will back her up that the dog has quality of life) it's that the RSPCA's time will be wasted by an unnecessary call when that time could be spent helping animals in distress.

Mandy said...

This is a tricky one. I think there will always be a need for people to be interested and aware of how other people treat their dogs/animals/children as of course there can be genuine neglect or cruelty going on. What a shame the passerby in this case took such a hostile approach and didn't just chat to the owner to find out what was going on. I have heard some horror stories re: the RSPCA so although I'm sure they mostly do a great job, they can be too militant on occasion, rushing in and seizing animals before properly assessing the situation. I think having leaflets or some sort of printed info to hand-out is a very good idea (maybe written or signed by the vet in question).

Mandy said...

I meant to say in my last comment, that absolutely owners should be able to keep their beloved dogs going as long as possible if they are happy and comfortable. I have just found a wonderful article, incidentally, written by the holistic American Vet Dr Allen Schoen, entitled, "Hopeful News for Degenerative Neurologic Diseases" that may be of interest to owners of dogs with CDRM. the link is: