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How you take care of pets once they are old is true test of responsible pet ownership

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Republished from ian Chionh’s Facebook.

I love this candid shot of Toby and I at the vet. Toby is a ~16yo mini bull terrier and is the hardiest dog ever. I rescued him 13 years ago when his previous owner abandoned him by tying him to the door of a pet shop in Serangoon.
His skin was in very bad condition and his paws were bleeding and slightly deformed. Over the years, as Toby aged, he gradually lost his sight and suffers from arthritis, but he never let his physical conditions get to him. He remains this cheerful (sometimes horny) dog who loves his walks. He even had a stroke-like condition 2 years ago and made a full recovery (almost unheard of!).
Yesterday morning, Toby was found lying in his own pee and poo, almost paralysed. His breathing was wilting, and his tongue, ears and limbs were icey cold. It’s like his body was shutting down. I immediately force-fed fluids into him and massaged him to help the blood circulate.
He started warming up after about 15 mins. I rushed him to the vet but they couldn’t find anything wrong from examining his heart, lungs and blood. However he still has a fever so I am doing an ultrasound next.
I’m telling this story because I’m hearing increasing incidents of pet abandonment, just because they are old or sick and the owners want to avoid the hassle and the medical bills. This is not what pet ownership is about.
You have to know that your pets will only be this pretty cute little bouncy creature that greets you every morning for a certain number of years. Pet’s fall ill too. They grow old faster than you think and become less responsive.
And when that happens, what you do as a caretaker is the true measure of responsible pet ownership.
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