Moses and the Senior Home

Hello everyone!

A couple of my friends read my blog last week and wanted to know if I had any success stories about weight loss. I have had numerous pets over the years of working in different hospitals that we have placed on diets and they have responded well. Usually it is not the pet that is the problem but the owner. When Frauke asked about success stories, two came to mind immediately — Precious and Moses.

Battle of weight in pets

I hate this scale! — Cassidy

I was working in Lawrenceville, Georgia when a very elegant, thin, Deep South, genteel lady in her eighties and dressed to the nines, came into the hospital barely carrying this bundled up pet. I met her near the door to take the bundle from her arms and Miss Lilly advised me, in her deep southern drawl, that something was very wrong with Precious.

Precious could barely walk and would only take a few steps before collapsing.

I rushed the two into the exam room thinking about cardiac failure, respiratory failure, choking, etc. I got Miss Lilly and Precious in the room and unbundled Precious. Precious was a two year old Chihuahua and she was obese!

After an examination to make sure that Precious was not in distress, we took her to the scale — Precious weighed in at over 25 pounds. This Chihuahua should have weighed about 4 to 6 pounds. You could not see her legs when she stood on the scale — it was mind blowing.

I discussed Precious’ weight with Miss Lilly; Miss Lilly fed Precious at the table, not on the floor, but at the table with her. Precious ate just what Miss Lilly ate for dinner including dessert.

The enlightening moment came for me when Miss Lilly said “Doctor, do you really think my little dog is heavy?” She could not see the weight — she could only see the love.

We placed Miss Lilly on a strict diet with Precious; we started out with just decreasing the portion size of the human food and adding some pet food. Precious came in every week or two for a weigh in and Miss Lilly would agonize about how hard this diet was on her and Precious but she persevered. Over a few months, Precious began to lose the weight and became more active — she became a puppy again.

I moved to South Carolina during Precious’ diet but when I left she was down to 19 pounds. I kept tabs on her over the years and we eventually got Precious to 11 pounds; Miss Lilly decided at that point that Precious was becoming too thin and maintained her at that weight.

I count Precious as a victory because she did lose an enormous amount of weight and it showed me how owners see their pets as only love.

Moses, ah Moses, well if we have a victory we usually have a defeat also. Moses was a Chihuahua, notice a theme here, who belonged to Miss Grace and I watched him grow up. He was an active little dog and very likeable.

Moses’ weight was always perfect and then Miss Grace moved to a Senior home for women taking the young 3 year old pet with her.

I usually saw Moses every couple of months for nail trims and other issues. Moses came in a few months after he and Miss Grace moved into the Senior home — he had gained a pound and I expressed concern that he might not be as active in the home. Miss Grace said she would watch him closely.

A few months later Moses came in and again had gained another pound or two — I asked about his diet — still the same, no change but Miss Grace did think he lay around a little more so she was going to try more exercise.

Moses came in a couple of months later and he was obese — he had gained another two pounds. Miss Grace was upset but she had figured out the problem.

The little old ladies in the home were worried that Moses wasn’t being fed enough, so every morning Moses would make his rounds room to room for breakfast — they were all saving him bites of food to feed so that he wouldn’t be hungry.

Moses was milking the little old women for their food!

Miss Grace and I had a discussion about how this food was decreasing his life span but she could not deprive the other ladies of their little joys so we devised a plan that they would give “vet” approved treats.

The ladies did not think he enjoyed those treats as well so they continued to feed him bites of their meals — Miss Grace passed a couple years later but Moses was still at the home. I haven’t seen him since but I just wonder how much he weighs now — how much love he carries with him.

Chihuahua love

If your pet needs help with losing weight, come see us at ARCC — Animal Rehab & Conditioning Center.


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