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Parkinsons and Dogs


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#1 Shawski

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:13 PM

My husband was diagnosed about 2 and a half years ago. So far, his symptoms are not too bad. His speech is a problem, he is slow walking, is fatigued a lot and has trouble getting up from a chair. We are thinking about getting a small dog, and we're wondering if having a little dog running around might cause him to lose his balance and trip.

I would love to hear from anyone out with PD who has a dog. Have you had any problems? Do you think it's a good idea or a bad idea?

Thanks,
Shawski

#2 joy h

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:33 PM

How about getting your husband a service dog they help with so much

#3 Shawski

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 08:16 AM

I have read about the use of service dogs for Parkinsons patients, and that might be something for us to consider in the future. However, right now we're just looking at getting a "regular" dog and wondering whether it would be a good idea.

Thanks.

#4 Luthersfaith

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:53 AM

11 months ago we bought a beagle puppy. Being a puppy we had to deal with all the puppy issues. But now that she's almost-year-old things are getting much better. Two things come to my mind. One is that dogs are a lot of work. We also have a cat and she is almost maintenance-free. And secondly, Having a dog brings a lot of fun and laughter into the house. Shelby is a beagle, So she gets excited when she sees us come home she gets excited go outside she gets excited to play she gets excited to dig in the yard. And I just love all that. As far as Parkinsons goes, Well let's just say that's a little bit of a challenge.
I suggest you check out your local Humane Society see what kind of dogs they have, I think they have a deal where you could take it home for a few days to see if it works out and if not you can bring it back.
"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world." - Jesus (John 16:33)

#5 Beachdog

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:49 PM

I have a small 20 pound terrior mix we rescued from the shelter. She forces me to get out of bed in the morning, rain, snow or shine, for her walk. She gives me an excuse to go for a hike in the woods or on the beach or to play an endless game of fetch. So it has been good so far.

The downside as mentioned is that dogs require maintenance and can put a crimp in one's lifestyle as you always have to think of the dog. A long day trip requires you to find someone to take the dog out and feed him. It is somewhat like having a kid around the house again.

All things considered, little Lily has been good for me but not without challenges. (Oh, and food, daycare, and vets aren't cheap).

#6 Shawski

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 06:19 PM

Thanks for letting me know your experiences. It sounds like overall having a dog in your life is a good thing. We will work on finding a nice rescue dog.

Shawski

#7 MarciaJ

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:04 PM

We had a dog. I had to be careful where I stepped. I did fall once when I stepped on the dogs bone.

Three weeks or so ago we had to tell the vet to put her to sleep. It was a very hard thing to do. She was 13.
<3.<3.<3.

#8 nels02

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 01:05 PM

Hi: The state of my Parkinson's seems similar to your husband's. My wife and I have a 75-lb. black Labrador that we rescued from the pound. Dogs are great companions, and they require care, training, and attention that varies with their type or breed. Could my dog pull me over or jump on me to cause a fall? Yes. Does my dog require exercise (swimming, walks), which also benefits me? Yes. Does my dog encourage social interaction, understand me, hear me, and communicate with me? Yes. My dog increases my endorphins, makes me happy, focuses me, and distracts me in a good way. I highly recommend getting a dog of the size, type, breed, or personality you like. A lot of work? Yes. Worth it? Yes, in many different ways.

#9 Oakman

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 11:05 PM

Agreed, nels02,

I've always had at least one dog since I was a youngster and can't imagine being without one. I got our current 90 lb. Lab/Hound free at the local grocery store parking lot 7 years ago just about when my PD symptoms really started to bloom. We've only missed our daily walk at the lake maybe a dozen times in those 7 years, largely thanks to Obi. That daily outing is good physically AND mentally, for both of us! It helps that the big boy walks well off leash.

Shawski,
If this is your first dog, it might be a good idea to get one over two years old. Raising a puppy is a lot of trouble and would increase the chances of causing accidents. I volunteer socializing dogs at a shelter and find that there are always some good older ones available. The smaller dogs tend to go quick, but take your time and you will find one that just seems right. And as said, you can always return it for another.

#10 Shawski

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:07 AM

Thank you all!! You have been so encouraging. We have several rescue organizations in our area, and I'm sure that we will find a great little dog!

Shawski

#11 Guest_lonnie72_*

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:08 AM

How about getting a service dog? It will help your husband in his walking.

#12 annfisher43

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:18 PM

I was dx what 5 years ago. I have 2 jack Russell terriers. Love them both. They are my walking buddies and companions when I need to rest. They help me recharge my batteries. They tend to stay out of my way and also gives me a reason to get up sometimes when I really don't want to

#13 zackabenie

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 04:43 AM

I have 4 dogs, and 3 cats. Do they take time, work and devotion - yes. But they give back in so many ways. They are there to listen to me when I need to vent, there with a quick kiss to tell me they love me. AND as an added bonus, (not really) one of my dogs has a brain disease as well. He had inflammation of the menegies (sp?) 2 years ago and is now on meds with a lasting tremor. If he can be happy and run, swim and play = so can I
Joelene -
Smile every day and laugh at least once at something the PD is now causing you to do. I personally love the "left" turns that happen as I walk. The smile really works - it makes everyone worry what you have been up to!




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