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A Special Needs Survey

A Survey on Special Needs  

224 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you have a Special Needs dog?

    • No, my dog has never had any special needs issues.
    • Yes, my dog was healthy but has developed special needs over time.
    • No, I adopted my dog as a special needs dog but he has since overcome the issue.
    • Yes, I adopted my dog as a special needs dog.
    • Other (please explain)
  2. 2. What classifies your dog as a Special Needs dog?

    • No special needs.
    • Blind
    • Deaf
    • Siezures
    • Arthritis
    • Permanent Limp
    • Lifetime Medication
    • Extreme Behavioral Issues
    • Other (please explain)
  3. 3. Did special needs issues arise with age?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Too young to tell
    • Other (please explain)

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This is something I've been curious about for a long time, and I'd love to know what the general consensus is. :) Poll is multiple choice so vote for each of your dogs if you have multiples.


(I used the male gender to be generic, not to offend the ladies ;) )


ETA: Oops, I meant to make the last question a multiple choice question. Any way a moderator could fix that? Por favor? :D

Edited by Brindles

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

Learn what your greyhound's life was like before becoming part of yours!
"The only thing better than the cutest kitty in the world is any dog." -Daniel Tosh

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Guest tricolorhounds

Copper came with behavioral issues --- with only a few minor quirks remaining (daily GSOD,) he's nearly perfect now...


Savannah came with a broken hock, occasional limp


Bonkers came with behavioral issues (cannot be confined in small spaces,) broken hock and lifetime meds (thyroid)


Gain'er came with lifetime meds (thyroid,) and allergies we're still trying to sort out :goodluck fish and potato seems to be working

Edited by tricolorhounds
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Guest KennelMom

Of the dogs DH and I adopted together:

Star was deaf when we adopted her. We didn't even realize it for a couple weeks, she had adapted so well to being deaf. I never really considered her special needs for being deaf.


Stella was/is a spook. She's pretty much overcome it but she still doesn't like strangers. I don't consider her special needs anymore.


I adopted Hanna when I was single and she has since gone blind from a genetic disease since DH and I have been married.


I don't consider Scout "special needs" though some would b/c she is blind in one eye from a trauma. She came that way from the track (she raced though she was blind in her rail eye).


Grandpa - I don't consider him special needs, but he does fit your poll. At 14 1/2 he's developed arthritis - mostly in his toes. He's also developed laryngal paralysis which we manage with meds and careful monitoring. He had untreated Ehrlichia for a very long time before he came into adoption and has an auto-immune condition secondary to that, which he is on meds for. He also has no teeth (most removed at 10 when he came into adoption) and is nearly blind from old age now. He sounds like a mess, but he's a spunky old guy who is just now starting to really "show" his age.


Our newest girl, Diva, was adopted as special needs for spookiness/extreme shyness. I can't believe how far she's come in just a few weeks.


Dogs DH adopted before me:

Caeser - triple bounce for aggression, which he overcame with DH and did well in our large pack.


Prajna - wasn't even listed on the available web page for a myriad of behavior issues. Couldn't be crated, pottied in the house, ran away from his first home twice. Juat a difficult dog. He's had some marking issues with us, but for the most part they seem to be episodic and we're able to resolve them. He's also able to be crated now. He just needs adequate exercise and a confident, caring human.


Annie - Ken adopted her when she as a senior though she'd had a broken hock at some point. Never really considered her special needs though she did have the occasional limp from that + arthritis + corns. eta: I forgot, Annie also had low thyroid and took a daily pill.

Edited by KennelMom
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Buddy was listed as "special needs" by our group. He was a two-time bounce, and they said he wanted to be "top dog". We never found that to be the case with him; he pretty much let Rascal take the lead from the beginning, and when we added Ruby (who is even more of a "me first" type of dog) nothing changed there either. He's fine with the two of them pushing him around. :rolleyes:


I was also told, later, that in his first home he was food aggressive, chased their cat, and had separation anxiety. None of those were EVER an issue here.


Typical case of the dog needing to be in the right home. :)

Edited by rascalsmom

Phoebe (Belle's Sweetpea) adopted 9/2/13.

Jack (BTR Captain Jack) 9/28/05--11/2/12
Always missing Buddy, Ruby, and Rascal.

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Rascal at the age of seven had a bout with FCE and was completely incontinent and lacked any bowel control. He rebounded as far as mobility and was happy and healthy for 5+ years afterwards. It required lots of extra work on my part but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat to have soem more time with him.


Bounty came as a broken hock dog. His problem, not necessarily special needs, but his front toes started to fuse. He still got around okay but you could tell they bothered him as well as the toe on his bad leg that had been broken twice.

Donna and...Lucy and Chubb
Rascal H 10/1/91-5/22/04 My best friend and Bounty Boon 1/23/99-6/25/07 My boy with the biggest heart
Cody 7/28/99-8/1/13 My boy that always made me laugh and Dylan 5/12/04-12/29/2017 The sweetest boy ever

Miss Mollie 1/1/99-1/30/15 and Pixie :heart:heart-10/10/2017 Lincoln :heart-2/14/2021

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I think you pretty much know our history around here Rachel.


Saint - Seizures

Emmy - Blind & Cushings

Heart - Heartworms

Valentino - Aggression

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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I actually have two houndies that have seizures and one of them also has thyroid issues. We have a wonderful vet that does an excellant job of monitoring both issues and (tap on wood) both have been seizure free for over two years. We are very careful to make sure they receive their medicine consistently (more so than my own meds). We asked the vet if greys are prone to seizures since we have two that are not related and she said no. We both decided that we were picked for both of them knowing we would do what needed to be done to deal with their issues.

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I suspect that Piper probably had started having seizures before I adopted him when he was 2, however the adoption group doesn't seem to have been aware of them. Thus I did not knowingly adopt a special needs dog. His known seizures started after he'd been with me for about 9 weeks.


Oddly enough, I've had the care of 2 epileptic cats and one other epileptic dog, and now Piper. In the overwrought emotions when Piper's seizures first started, I told the vet tearfully that I was beginning to feel like an epilepsy carrier. <_<



Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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I consider all greyhound "special needs" for several reasons but for the purpose of your poll, I referred to my Chloe who I adopted at 2 years old as a bounce. She has hypothyroidism and will be on meds for life. I believe she also has an underlying neurological issue which surfaces from time to time (head tremors) which I hop gets no worse.



ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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Guest Greytminds

Lucky came to us having seziures. He is currently on meds but with a special dietary program the level of meds have been weaned considerably. We hope to wean him off completly.



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Guest EmilyAnne

When I adopted Henry, our special needs pointer mix had just recently passed on. He had epilepsy, was 100% blind and had diabetes and needed two insulin shots daily. Me and my husband decided since we were already used to giving special care, to give the spot in our home to a special needs dog.


So we adopted Henry knowing that he had epilepsy.


He is now on homecooked, using a recipe very similar to Lucky's above, slightly modified.


Henry is very sensitive, and many things will trigger a Grand-mal for him. I am in the process of figuring it all out. His two biggest triggrs are Flagyl and chicken.


There's a special unique bond you develop with special needs dogs, that is exclusive to special needs dogs. I can't describe it. I love Henry to bits. He's the best dog and I am so lucky to have him!

Edited by EmilyAnne
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Guest vahoundlover

Buster (mix terrier) - seizures, cushings, discoid lupus and aggression towards men. He's 13 and not doing so good :(


Boss - backend problems (not LS) and has to have assistance walking. He's 13.8


Katie (std poodle) going blind from PRA


Butter and Nod - lifetime meds thyroid (I really don't see this as a special needs)


Curly - allergies (don't consider this special needs either)


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Guest PhillyPups

I guess it depends on what you call "special needs". I specifically try to adopt "special needs", cause they are all so very awesome just as they are, and I can very selfishly say, that to see a "speical needs" blossom is an awesome experience as over time the trust builds between us.


My first "special needs" was due to her age and as a bounce, The Divine Ms. SugarBear came to me at 9 years old, in severe depression, I found the "special" need was that she filled a very special place in my heart, and she introduced me to the wonderful world of the GoldenGrey. :wub:


Stepper was also considered "special needs" due to his age, juvenile cataracts (which never stopped him from anything including racing), and the length of time he spent in the adoption kennel with no one but me wanting him. He and my Runner were also the first two that Daytona had tested for Babesia, both were positive and both underwent treatment at the same time. I found out that I specially needed him when I lost my beloved Runner, and he kept Sugs from another bout of deep depression. Now at 13 he has touches of arthritis, handled with gluco/chondro & coated aspirin. Stepper also suffers from total foolishness, clown syndrome and shortbusism. :lol:wub:


Zeus was borderline spook with fear aggression and a severe bite under his belt. He also had sleep aggression. He has come such a long way with time, patience, and Stepper being his "service dog". In the past, on three occasions, I woke up with my hand in his mouth, he now sleeps with me with no problem, and he and Ti will curl up together. Also AnnaBanana will sleep with her head on his butt, no problem. He is still severely thunderphobic, and gets a tad spooky sometimes, but nowhere near where he was. :wub:


The Queen, BarbieJade, was a retired brood, almost 10, and was so VERY SPECIAL as we all know here, but due to her age at the time of her adoption was considered special needs. :wub:


TigerPower was a bounce due to a severe bite as a result of sleep aggression, and also has fear aggression. He is now my total wussy boy, but does still have his fear aggression, so I just work to keep him as "unfearful" as I can. :wub:


AnnaBanana is a retired brood, a tad on the shy side, but settling in so fantastically as she gets the feel of the pack and the trust builds. My friend, Judy, reminds me that she is just getting a feel for the freedom to roam a home in a pack environment, and she is feeling her way. :wub:


I love all mine, and they are very SPECIAL to me :wub:

Edited by PhillyPups
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Guest larock

We adopted Ward as a special needs senior at 8 years of age. He was initally thought to be blind but it was actually a neurological condition (GME) that was incurable and required life long medication. Becasue of this he sustained permanent blindness in his left eye but could see out of the other, we're just not sure how well.


He also had an old C2-C3 fracture, was 20lbs underweight and had just had 15 teeth removed. He was one of the more scared dogs I have ever seen, with one scar almost halfway around his neck to under his armpit.


He was always a happy and loving guy but his overall well being did improve greatly after he coming to live with us.

Edited by larock
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Guest greytpets

All my kids except Goofy had their quirks when i got them ;)


Jester (8) - heart issues, plaque hypersenstivity

Goofy (6) - early onset arthritis

Samantha (5) - IBD

Nu-mee (3) - Episcleritis

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Alan is 11 now - we have him for almost 8yrs. About 5 yrs ago he developed Pannus - lifetime drops. Two years ago he had a mild seizure and we found out he has high blood pressure and glomerularnephritis (kidney disease) - more lifetime meds. He recently developed rear leg weakness and had acupuncture. He gets loads of vitamins/supplements and I cook for him. To me, he is "special needs". Wouldn't trade him in for anything, though!

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I adopted Nevada as a puppy who was happy & healthy. She developed Cushings disease at the age of 13. She lived to be 15 years & 7 months old. She required very expensive meds & lab work to diagnose and control the cushings disease. Sadly, the disease eventually won.

Carol-Glendale, AZ

Trolley (Figsiza Trollyn)

Nevada 1992-2008...always in my heart

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Guest Hannah

I have not answered your poll as most of the special needs experience is with kitties, but I figgur that special needs is special needs regardless of the shape it arrives in.


Olaf is my special needs kitty, he fell off a scratching post as a kitten, landed on his head and scrambled his brains. he came to us when it became obvious to his breeder that he wasnt cut out for being a stud boy. We had to teach him all sots of things including how to climb stairs. he has been with us a little over 4 years now and while he is still a confused and muddled little boy he has progressed in leaps and bounds. along the way he has managed to hospitalise me and cause me to develop many aches and pains as I re-arrange furniture to either rescue him from wherever he has got trapped or move things to make his life easier.


Linus has a chicken intolerance, so everyone had to switch to cat or dog or human food that is free from chicken and chicken derivatives or turkey and turkey derivatives. there are much more options available now that when we started this about 4.5 years ago, then I was cooking lamb and rice for him to eat. even now I have him on 'commercial' pet food he still sits and drools by the oven door when I am cooking lamb :lol


Fluffy developed diabetes and then went into remission about 18 months later as well as arthritis and hyperthyroidism. All due to age and ageing.


Mum and Dad's dog Minnie has to have a special low fat diet as she has some condition which has a fancy name that I cannot remember. Its not full blown pancreatitus but if untreated it will become pancreatitus. the only problem is she wont eat the prescription diets, she would rather starve so after 3 days of not eating the vets worked with mum and me to start her on home cooked food and treats.


Holly can be a bit of a spook which combined with her natural guarding instincts can cause problems. we are working on it and some days she is everyones friend and other days she wont have anythign to do with anyone or any animal that is not part of 'her pack'


would i take them all on again knowing what i know now - in a heartbeat!


my vet often jokes that I get all the misfits and rejects, my family often roll their eyes and wonder if it was wise giving me a middle name of frances after my great uncle francis :lol he too never turned an animal away (rehomed many but never gave up on them)

Edited by Hannah
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Thanks for the input, guys!


I have/had a hunch that a lot of people who push the adoptable special needs dogs aside end up having to deal with temporary or permanent special needs at a later date.


I was 10 years old when we got Julio. My mom searched and searched for the right breeder and the right dog to avoid any bad breeding and the issues that come with it. Julio started going blind at 4, got cancer at 7, started going deaf at 8, became hypothyroid at 10, and had allergies the whole time. How's that for some special needs?


So I guess this poll makes the special needs dogs seem a lot less needy in the long run. :)

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

Learn what your greyhound's life was like before becoming part of yours!
"The only thing better than the cutest kitty in the world is any dog." -Daniel Tosh

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Every dog has to pass a qualifying test to come into our pack. If you're young, healthy, outgoing and don't have any problems, you flunk! :lol


Robyn, adopted as an extreme spook, unadoptable, literally untouchable. Made tremendous strides over the years and lived a long, happy life of 14.5 years. Grew to trust, and to seek out attention, thanks to the confidence her pack gave her.


Ruby, very shy, untrusting. Would freeze on the spot when frightened. Roo-Roo grew to trust a select few people in his world, and was secure within his pack, as well as with other dogs he knew. But remained fearful of strangers (turned away and shook) until he died at 14.5. Always mommy's special-est boy.


Charming, broodie, 8 yrs old, from TX. Not a shy bone in her body. :P Only "special-needs" because of her age and because there had been a bunch of broodies from TX waiting for homes.


Mini, special needs only because of age - 11.5 when Marilyn took her in from a shelter.


And the galgos:

Mafi - as shy as a Sherman tank. Special needs because of her circumstances in Spain, but a wonderful little girl in love with the world -- and herself. :rolleyes:


Teo - special needs because he is deathly afraid of people, especially men. Would be very hard to place in Spain, as he needed a quiet, man-free home with a fenced-in yard, and not a lot of people around. After 3.5 years, really hasn't improved too much. Happy and safe with mommy and one or two other people, but hopefully he'll progress.


Gigi - special needs because of extreme spookiness. Also became ill while in Spain, with leishmania and ehrlichiosis, then bled out after her spay. Totally recovered by the time she arrived in the US.


Dandi - Oy. Where do I start? Waiting in a foster home for a year in Spain. Anxiety disorder, fear aggression, major crankatoid. Can't live with cats, kids, small dogs, other males... I do have other males and iggies here, but after 2 yrs, things are fairly stable, and there aren't any prospects on the horizon for a permanent home. Diagnosed with possible herniated disk recently.


Could someone tell me what a "normal" dog is? :blink:






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Guest MnMDogs

Matty - broken untreated hock. I don't really consider that "special needs", but with her pushing 9 years old, it's more noticeable - .


Mork - Long time kennel resident: Sleep and space aggression for at least a year, missing toe, multiple corns and arthritis causing chronic limping, diagnosed with PRA last year, severe dry eye so on meds for the rest of his life.


Mara - Pannus diagnosed 2 and a half years ago - on drops the rest of her life.

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I have a weakness for the Special Dogs:


Atlas - broken hock which healed badly; he has a permanent limp and needs to be on a maintenance dose of glucosamine for support

Echo - age related vision loss

angel Icarus - seizures

Orion - greyhound-only dog.. thinks all other dogs are tasty; discovered that he has Malignant Hyperthermia

Uber - terrified of men, uncomfortable in new situations; I mistook him as a shy or spooky dog.. I was very wrong :P

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011


Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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We adopted our boy at Christmas and he appears to have no special needs, although we know he was retired due to injury (alledgedly on a flapping track) stopped racing 2007.


When running him free on the field near us he has sometimes favoured his front right leg, but he's only 5 years old so imagine as he gets older it will become more apparent.....


He has worn down front teeth on his bottom jaw too.

Run free our beloved Sir Snowy, Pip, Queenie, Sadie, Tess & Rosie until we meet again......I would rather feel the thorn than to never see the rose

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