Why my senior dog is starting to hate me

Yard work is exhausting

I recently reported about the erosion of trust between me and Mia since I’ve had to give her eye medicine twice a day. She’ll still let me cuddle her in the mornings, but when I get out the tube of ointment, she runs under Rob’s desk, and other times, she’s super evasive when I ask her to come in from the backyard (although she’ll still come in for Rob).

As part of our regular maintenance for her arthritis meds, we have her blood tested every three months. Usually, they take her in back to do this, but yesterday, she slammed on the brakes and refused to go with the tech unless I came too. So I guess she still prefers me to strangers. I held and kissed her head while they drew the blood. She pulled her leg away before they filled the vial, so we had to do this twice, with a couple of aborted attempts when she yelped at the needle. (Pretty soon she’s going to refuse to get out of the car at the vet’s.)

The eye specialist suggested we have her thyroid levels tested too. Oh the irony. Several years ago, our trainer was certain Isis’s reactivity was related to hypothyroidism. To be extra sure, I had our regular vet take Isis’s blood and give me the vials, which I then sent to Dr. Jean Dodds’ Hemopet lab.

Isis did not have hypothyroid. Mia, it turns out, does. Like, off-the-scale low levels. Looking at the symptoms, I don’t see it. Maaaybe we can attribute Mia’s few extra pounds to her thyroid (or maybe she eats too many treats because she won’t come inside the house otherwise). I don’t think she sheds more than Leo. Her coat might not be as lustrous as his, but I attributed that to her age. All said, she looks great, and doesn’t exhibit any of the other physical symptoms. (But her low thyroid might have something to do with her anxiety.)

Of course I’ll still treat her for it. Especially if it improves her goopy eyes. Even after a month of giving her the ointment twice a day (almost) every day, she still has the goop. I’m so not looking forward to taking her back to the eye doc, where they’ll make her sit still with a tear strip in her eyelid for one minute (per eye). Not to mention our thyroid follow-up to have her blood drawn again in one month.

I took her back to the vet today when I picked up her medicine, so she could have an experience there where she got a bunch of treats from me and the receptionist, and no one stuck her with any needles. She was pretty happy about it, but I know she hasn’t forgotten what I put her through yesterday.

So, that’s why Mia’s starting to hate me. The new pills are small though, pretty easy to hide in a treat. If she’s going to be taking thyroid pills twice a day, though, I plan to mail-order the chewables.

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Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

11 thoughts on “Why my senior dog is starting to hate me

  1. I was surprised when my terrier was found to be hypothyorid, but putting him on the medicine has certainly returned him to being more energetic and the gleam in his eye has returned. It was a good change for him.Good luck with those eye drops though. That sounds pretty sucky.

  2. Katie is not happy with our mom either. She is having issues with random pooping which means she needs butt baths and she hates it. It makes mom so sad but she has no choice. It’s hard getting old for humans and for dogs. Katie was on meds for her arthritis which required the quarterly testing. Thankfully, we stopped those and switched to Rejenease which is all natural and it works a million times better. We avoid any meds that can harm our organs when possible. There are a few things my mom swears by, our homemade ear cleaner and Rejenease. For us, these two things have been true miracles.

  3. That is the hardest! When I first got Barley, she had a yeast infection in both her ears, so we had to start our relationship with me tackling her and putting drops in her ears. Luckily, she only had me to feed her and take her out, so she couldn’t hold onto that hate for too long, but it definitely wasn’t fun. I hope that you get to finish with the eye meds soon!

  4. This is a hard situation. My cat is currently losing kidney function and I have been taking her for needles (subQ fluids) twice a week for two years now – plus two pills a day. So far, she’s not hating me but it’s becoming harder to pill her so she’s starting to give me the message.

  5. Aww 😦 It’s always tough when we’re trying to do what we think is best, but they don’t understand that. I’m sure she’s just fed up, you know? Hang in there. 🙂

  6. It is so hard when we have to treat our best friends for their own good but we can’t explain that to them. I’m sure that Mia still loves you completely, just not the eye meds. ♥

  7. I have that same experience with Harley and benedryl because of his allergies. I only give it to him at night if he seems to have difficulty during the day (which is not very often) but if I call him alone – he looks at me as if he’s trying to figure out if this is going to be a good experience or not. Dogs are so smart sometimes – especially when you don’t need them to be!

  8. Living with senior animals is so tough. I love this post so much as I’ve through similar scenarios with our dogs. Trying to pill them and they run, having to get blood work done ALL the time and they hate the vet and they’re old… so it’s much worse as you just want to leave them be but you know they need all the fussing. My old dog had an immune mediated disease and then cancer so we were at the vet all the time and she hated me for it – I get it. Thanks for sharing this.

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