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Pets for chronic illness. Has anyone benefited from them?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Ambrosia_angel, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    Has anyone benefitted from them? I get lonely and want a dog. Likely a smaller one because the size of my house. The only reason why I haven't persued it that much is because I'm worried he or she will be to hard to manage with exercise and walks(another reason why small is preferred) and picking up waste.

    Most studies seem to say dogs can be really beneficial to health and people with chronic illness. They extend the life of elderly. Not to mention the fact that they can detect certain biological changes in the body before you realise. I've only heard of them detecting sugar spikes and cancer but I'm sure they can detect other changes too.

    Anyone had experience with pets?
  2. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I'd say no. Not for pwcs.

    I loved my dogs, chihuahuas, but they were too much for me. I was always having to get up for something which isn't good for my oi. Or run to the pet store or vets.

    I'd love to have a pet but can see how meeting their constant needs would be too much stress. Kids are worse. Lol.

    Then there's the allergens. I can breath in my home now whereas with the dogs I couldn't. All animals can cause immune system reactions.

    Tc ... x
    taniaaust1 and PennyIA like this.
  3. Tired of being sick

    Tired of being sick Senior Member

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    I can't take care of myself let alone a dog....

    Now if you have a loved one or ones living with you who would agree to take care of the pet
    I would definitely say yes for the fact that a pet's love is unconditional
    taniaaust1 and beaker like this.
  4. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Is Jim Jones alive and well on PR?

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    What a bout a cat? I had cat for years. relatively easy. They stay inside. You just have to do the litter.

    The main reason I don't have one now is because I never recovered when I lost my last one. I also am not sure about being woken in the middle of the night or dealing vet bills, stuff like that. It can be very expensive.

    Maybe something smaller? Parakeet? I know it's not the same as a furry animal to love on you but it might be some company.
    beaker and rosie26 like this.
  5. Cheshire

    Cheshire Senior Member

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    My 10 years old received a guinea pig for his birthday, and I must confess that this animal is ideal for me: gets satisfied with a few walks in the kitchen, enjoys being on my knees, cage cleened twice a week (and not smelly) and she is really adorable... One needs not being afraid of rodents...
  6. Oredogg

    Oredogg

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    As a care-giver for my wife with severe CFS/ME, having my dog and cat as companions has been a life saver, for me. If you live with your care-giver, having a pet can be extraordinary helpful for them in handling this complicated, stressful disease. Further, your spouse can do all the dirty work (poop scooping, vet, etc) while you get the therapeutic love from your furry friend. I've also been looking into getting a service dog trained to help my wife with certain simple tasks, when I am not around. Just some food for thought...
  7. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 Senior Member

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    Oredogg very good point about good for the care-giver, I hadn't thought of that. I too struggle with this decision.
    beaker likes this.
  8. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    I agree that cats are much lower maintenance than dogs and can be extremely affectionate. You might think about adopting an older cat who doesn't get into things like kittens do and would love just to sit beside you and be petted. Older animals always have more trouble finding homes. My daughter is dying for dog. I like dogs but I know I would end up doing 90% of the work and can't really handle that at this point.
    beaker likes this.
  9. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    You could look into fostering an older dog from a rescue which gives you an out if it doesn't work out (though most fosters get first rights of refusal on a dog if they decide to keep it). I say an older dog just to avoid the puppy stage.

    Smaller dogs can go on "wee pads" inside in an emergency if you can't get up which is a help.

    Also, there are mobile vets in many cities that will come to you.

    I get all my pet food and supplies delivered now either from Amazon or the like so that is pretty easy too and a lot cheaper than the local stores.

    If you live in a neighborhood, you might be able to hire a local kid to do walks pretty cheaply. Smaller dogs may not need intensive walks.

    My dogs are the best. I would hate to be without them. They give me so much more than I could ever repay in terms of love and companionship. The one shining light in this miserable illness...
    Wilted_Iris and taniaaust1 like this.
  10. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    I definitely found a cat beneficial, the simple uncomplicated acceptance that you are the way you are is great. They do wake you up though, so if you crash hard that's one to think about.
  11. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    I have a cat. As long as you feed them and change the kitty litter, they are happy. ;)
    taniaaust1 and beaker like this.
  12. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    P2170175.JPG Everytime I lose a pet I think no more but I find life so lonely without some other life in my house. This German Shepherd dog is my 6th, I raise them to love everyone and give them a lot of attention and I've had two cats (one at a time) which brings in a mix of comedy central.

    Yes there's work and expense but I never felt alone and always had hugs from them when feeling sick. Without a dog I'd get little exercise and if I'm hurt my animals are nestled next to me.

    Everything has it's pros and cons which must be taken seriously because responsibility is a must. The animals deserve a happy life too.
    Raindrop and beaker like this.
  13. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Most cats love to cuddle and they are definitely low-maintenance. Plus they catch vermin.

    I really appreciate my cat's affection. She sleeps with me and spends hours on my lap while I read. She can get bothersome if I don't do what she wants--today she knocked the perfume bottles off my dresser when I didn't get up to feed her--but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

    Also, some vets use vans as mobile clinics.
    beaker likes this.
  14. beaker

    beaker CFS/ME 1986

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    I wouldn't have made it all these years w/o cats.
  15. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Pet allergies has been a huge problem for me. I was brought up with pets but when ME struck me (out of the blue, acute viral onset) allergies to animals came with it.

    I really miss being owned by a cat!
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  16. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    I have had both a dog and a cat and cats are certainly less work.

    Sadly, my companion which you can see on the left died on Tuesday. I had been told she had feline asthma, but in fact it was lung cancer. I took her to the vet three days ago thinking I would be picking her up later..........but then came the bad news. She was my mum's cat and she died last autumn making the beautiful creature my last link with her.

    Again I am saying never again as losing them is so painful. They are wonderful companions though, providing one can cope with the repeated losses.

    C.G.
  17. Ambrosia_angel

    Ambrosia_angel Senior Member

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    Thank you for all the replies! I do have a caregiver. My mum has looked after me through this. Sadly she hates pets despite growing up with 2 cats. Odd I know. But what initially gave me the idea was the news a few months ago. There were 3 teens and they all had chronic illnesses. One with eds I think. They all said that the dog made them happier and they felt more confident and all these other good things. They weren't service dogs either. Just normal pets.
    I did see the article on the internet as well. I just read the internet version and they have a lady with ME there. Its a bit different from the one on TV. Some are service dogs and some people are older. But the same principle applies. :)
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...inated-Friends-For-Life-award-years-show.html

    I think if I truely showed her how happy they make people then she would consider but I have to show her its worth her looking after the pet because some days I may not manage. I definitely want an older pet. Not too old but definitely past the puppy training stage and probably from a shelter or rescue center. I just need to be sure that its the right thinh myself first though.

    Maybe I'll look into Guinea pigs. My mum dislikes cats more then dogs though. We have a garden with crops and the neighbours cats used to go toilet on the crops. Not sure why but they liked it.

    @Countrygirl I'm sorry for your loss.
    Countrygirl likes this.
  18. Allyson

    Allyson *****

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    yes I also find it helpful having pets - especially inside ones

    Ally
  19. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    @Countrygirl It's always sad when a pet is lost but to be loved and useful in life, is certainly something that would help us have purpose. Animals can give such joy just by being themselves. Grieve but know you gave a special cat a loving home.
  20. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    If a person doesn't have the energy to care for a regular pet you can always make friends with the tamable wild things. Squirrels have always caused me trouble but my niece and a neighbor taught them to eat out of their hand just by feeding them on the porch or patio.

    Bird watching is another thing that is big around here with cute houses and attractive devices that can have a person learning their scientific names and habits.

    I myself would rather clean up the yard from doggy doo-doo than clean a litter box so for Christmas as a gift to me I got one of those self-cleaning litter boxes that pushes the waste into a little box that is almost hands free and replaced monthly. This also eliminates heavy boxes of kitty litter but is rather expensive.

    Visiting a friend or neighbor's pet can also satisfy an animal fix or occasionally walking another's dog can bind you to a family for life. I am so grateful when someone offers to walk my dog and she loves it to.

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