It is no way for a senior dog to live out his last years. Three Chihuahuas, including a 13-year-old senior named King Pedro, were found living in unsanitary conditions with no access to water. They arrived at the BC SPCA animal centre in Kelowna with a host of health and behavioural issues that will require treatment.
“King Pedro was given an examination by a veterinarian when he arrived at the centre and was put on a pain management program for issues with his hind end,” says Chae Berry, manager, BC SPCA Kelowna community animal centre. “He is scheduled for radiographs to see if the issues stem from a past injury. He has a dental grade of three on the severe side, and he will be having a full geriatric panel of blood work and urinalysis done to help to try to determine the cause of some of his eating issues.”
Berry adds that King Pedro is fearful when he first meets someone but becomes a very sweet dog as he gets to know and trust you. He previously had eye surgery but there was no follow-up so King Pedro will also be booked for an appointment at Okanagan Animal Eye Care.
Sancho is a five-year-old male. “Although he is quite fearful as well and under socialized, Sancho is the easiest of the group to handle,” says Berry. “He came to us with an ear infection and is receiving daily medication. Upon examination, they found crystals in his urine, most likely due to dehydration so he is receiving subcutaneous fluids to help with this.”
The female in the group is six-year-old Dominga. “She is the most fearful,” says Berry. “She is extremely under socialized and we will need to work with her to build up her trust. She is refusing to eat, so she is on an appetite stimulant and has also been prescribed anxiety medication to help make her more comfortable which will also help her to eat.” Berry adds that she also needs dental work but is healthy overall.
“These three dogs are perfect examples of what happens when a dog isn’t socialized properly,” says Kim Monteith, the BC SPCA’s manager of animal welfare. “Socialization is how we prepare dogs to be comfortable with new places and interacting with other animals and people. If it isn’t done properly dogs can exhibit the kind of fearful behaviour that we are seeing in Dominga in particular.”
Socializing is done by exposing puppies in a positive way to different sights, sounds, dogs and people in the first three months of their lives. There are many ways to socialize puppies. Prior to being fully vaccinated, guardians can bring family members or friends into the home to meet and interact with the puppy or set up a dog play date with a fully vaccinated and social dog.
Monteith adds that if a dog isn’t socialized properly it has a huge impact on their personality and behaviour. It will affect their ability to successfully interact with other dogs and people for the rest of their lives.
King Pedro, Sancho and Dominga all need to be spayed and neutered. After they have recovered from their surgery, they will be available for adoption.