I just examined a 15 year old Sheltie that I hadn't seen in 2+ years. Not only could she knock over a grizzly with the halitosis from severe periodontal disease, the single large hair mat that covered her entire body would protect her if said grizzly was somehow wearing nose plugs. But that wasn't why I saw her. The owner has been considering euthanasia because of the arthritis that has been limiting her dog's mobility, she's been having difficulty getting up from lying down or going up stairs. The thing is, I found all of this interesting considering the fact that I've regularly seen her other dog (who is hypothyroid, but otherwise fairly healthy) throughout the years for various things, including routine exams and vaccines. However, before I could ask about the discrepancy in veterinary care between the two dogs, the owner offered up an explanation:
Mrs. Very Confused: "Doc, I'm terribly sorry about the way she looks. I know she has terrible teeth and her coat is in poor shape (understatement), but you have to understand that she's our favorite of the two and we desperately don't want her to suffer."
Dr. Me: "Well, have you considered clipping the Mini-Me off of her and trying some pain medicine for her arthritis."
Mrs. Very Very Confused: "Oh, I didn't come in here to solicit medication from you, I was just wondering if there's anything we can do to keep her comfortable."
Dr. Getting Confused Me: "Sure, that's what I was talking about. There are a lot of different medications for arthritis that can really help."
Mrs. Ultimately Confused: "Are you sure, because I don't want to give her anything. I mean, that's why I haven't brought her in for the past couple of years, I just don't want her to suffer."
Dr. Utterly and Officially Confused Me: "?"
And this is her favorite dog.
I ended up sending her home with some pain medicine and instructions to have the gorilla on her back shaved off.