Archive for the ‘health’ Category
After I got the mats off of Jack our foster pup his mood improved greatly. While he was still hesitant, he was more friendly. What a sweet boy he is! Took him for his first vet appointment on Monday afternoon and he got micro chipped and his rabies vaccination. He was friendly and happy at the vet, even after all the pokes!
Then today, he was groomed. The groomer said he was very good, stood nicely and let him work on him. He looks like a completely new dog! A well cared for and loved dog. And he is. And I also suspect that he was loved in his previous home. It is always such a curiosity to me, how these dogs end up in that high kill shelter. He sits nicely when he wants something, is quiet as a mouse in his crate, is good with kids and other dogs, he is nearly perfect! He just had a bad habit of marking (with pee) on things in the house. He keeps his crate dry but I have to keep him close by to prevent him from practicing that. But all in all, he is a dream pup! So happy for him that he gets a second chance.
Well, our newest foster, Jack, arrived on Saturday afternoon. I was shocked by his appearance! He was literally covered in mats.
I tried to give him a bath but it wasn’t possible to get down to his skin, the mats were so tight and close to his body. In the end I just ended up cutting them off, one by one. It took 5 hours, which I spread out over 3 days. He was stressed about it but eventually gave in.
It must have felt so good to get them off of his body – they were pulling on little hairs. Imagine that sensation – little hairs being pulled all over your body – on your belly, arm pits, around your neck, on your legs. He even walked funny because of them. Poor little baby.
I was awakened by a puppy crying. Now, this isn’t an unusual thing – this particular group of puppies includes a few big time whiners. But the sound of this crying was different. There was a sense of urgency and of pain. I ran downstairs with my pjs still on, and thank god I did. Fritz, the male, was in trouble. He had gotten the upper part of his front leg caught between the barrier we have (had!) up to keep the young but still sort of mobile pups in the sleeping section of the room. It has never been a problem before – 5 litters for a combined total of 40 puppies and never a problem - But somehow he’d figured out how to get himself caught.
The trouble was that after his leg got caught he clearly had tried to free it and had somehow done a summersault so his leg was twisted in a very unnatural way. I was absolutely certain that the leg was broken. There was swelling but not blood. I knew it had just happened but it was wedged in there tight. I couldn’t free it. I tried removing the barrier but we’d tacked it in good so that wasn’t an option. I kept staring at the terrible angle of his leg and he kept on screaming and it was difficult to think straight. Finally, I decided I had to untwist him. I began to lift his body up and over but that only increased his screams. I held him there, slightly elevated and began panicking for real when out slide his leg! “Ok,” I thought, “now let’s see if it is broken.” I started at the paw and worked my way up gently squeezing and moving his leg at the various joints. I listened close for an increase in his painful vocalizations, (which had thankfully decreased at this point) and never heard anything. I worked my way all the way up to his shoulder and all seemed fine. I put him down and he began whimpering again. So I held him for about 15 minutes. Then he began licking my arm and wagging his tail and clearly feeling back to his old self. So, I tried putting him on the floor again and this time he allowed the leg to carry weight. At this point, he seems fine! Needless to say, that wooden barrier was removed immediately.
So, the puppies are two weeks old yesterday. They are huge. I know I haven’t had pups in the house for a year but I don’t remember them being so big so young. And these little ones are already trying to walk! It is so cute to see them wobbling around, bumping their noses on the ground as they toddle about. All of them have their eyes opened to little slits, which is why there are no photos today – the room is too dark to take pictures without using the flash, and the flash isn’t safe for their newly opened eyes. There will be more photos soon though!
On Saturday, I noticed one of the females was sounding really stuffy and coughing. Then by Sunday night all of them had it, but not Greta. By Monday, it seemed one of them was getting better and today, two of them seem to have fought it off. I’ll keep watching them closely but so far it seems they are shaking this on their own, with Greta’s help. I sure would like to avoid of repeat of what happened with Willow‘s pups! She and her 8 pups all had a severe case of kennel cough when the pups were only 3 days old. I had to bring the entire litter into the vet’s office. Once we got home, Willow refused to nurse them. Totally rejected them, didn’t clean them or care for them. It was awful and scary for me. I ended up, I’m sort of embarrassed to say, literally restraining her about 4 times a day to let her pups nurse. It was stressful for both of us but finally, after three days of that her mothering instincts kicked back in and she finished off her duties properly. Never again will I do that though. If a vet needs to see a litter of pups under 5 weeks of age again, I’d make sure they did a house call.
Anyway, it seems that we are out of that particular woods. I’ll keep you posted. Pictures soon, and some video of their wobbly attempts at walking.
And anyone out there have any suggestions for names? One of Chloe’s puppies adoptive moms (Karen with Jackson) suggested the following names: Elsa, Trina, Amelia and Delia for the females and Fritz for the male. I like the October themed German names to go with Greta.
Greta‘s pups are getting so big. It’s been over a week since they were born and small enough to hold in the palm of my hands. Now they overflow, wriggling and squirming their way out. Just a day ago I noticed a lot of squeaking and practice barking. I wondered to myself what was up and realized that their ears were starting to open. To test this I gently but clearly tapped on the side of their whelping pen (the green wading pool you see in the pictures) and sure enough, they all startled! So cool to see their bodies right on target developmentally.
Greta has been sick but is finally getting better. I counted and she was having a loose, runny, large volume poop every two hours! You know what fun that is? I can’t even begin to tell you. The vet thinks her whipworm or hookworm infections may not have cleared with the first round of Panacur so we are doing a second three day dose. She also included a general antibiotic just in case in was something bacterial. It seems to have done the trick as she pooped three times today, just like a normal dog. Hopefully we’ll be out of that particular woods soon.
I feel so bad for Greta. Until the foster mamas are given a clean bill of health I have to keep them quarantined, which basically means she spends the majority of the day and night by herself (with her pups of course) in a room. She does get frequent short potty walks (and is keeping her room clean!) and at least two long walks (45 minutes) each day, but still, she is bored and wants to hang out with me and the other dogs. Poor girl. Hopefully soon she’ll be able to get out and about more.
As you see from the pictures, the puppies mostly sleep. Lately I have been catching them sleeping on their backs with their little mouths open! So cute. They are clearly feeling safe and happy. When they are hungry and hear and smell Greta, they “walk” (more like a seal like of waddle thing than a really doggy walk) around their whelping pen crying their heads off, “looking” for her. Their eyes are still closed so mostly they snuffle around, bumping into one another. eventually they give up and just huddle together in a lump. Very cute.
Well, another cycle begins! On Monday night around 9:30 I was sure that Greta was going to have her pups…she hadn’t eaten since noon, was peeing frequently and hiding out in her crate. I sat with her and watched the pups wriggling around under her skin. I could see bodies pass by, a head graze the surface, then a leg. It was intense and it seemed clear that they were readying themselves for action. But Greta, after grunting and looking at her back end with a startled look on a few occasions fell into a deep, deep sleep. I left after watching the scene for an hour, convinced there would be puppies by morning.
However, when I left for work at 8am, no one had arrived. I figured she’d wait until tonight, as most of the mama’s we’ve had deliver in the evenings. Was I surprised when I got home in the afternoon to find 6 dogs where originally there had been one! There are two white ones with black markings (a male and a female), one white one with brown markings, one solid brown one who looks like Greta, and one almost dark gray one, all females. Five in all and only one male. They are strong and healthy – no ribs showing at all! This is by far the healthiest litter we’ve had, and it further supports my belief that Greta was an owner surrender. Makes me sad, as she was clearly loved and cared for. She is the sweetest, friendliest and most easy going dog we’ve had. I have really grown attached to her and am a bit sad to have to share her now with her puppies.
Dogs change when they have their litters to care for – they become more serious, and far less “needy” of my attention. Where just a day ago Greta tried everything in her power to get me to pet her and pay attention to her, happily wagging her tail anytime I was in her line of vision, now she just looks at me with a calm gaze, suggesting that my presence, while benign, is slightly annoying. I actually feel out of place around her! She has it all together and my attempts to help feel clumsy and unnecessary. It really felt good to see her reaction when I opened a can of wet food. She didn’t need the wet food, I just opened it to see that look again – her joy at my abilities to provide her with something she wanted. I know that this will change, as she gets tired of her role, she’ll want to be a dog again, but for now, I feel left out.
Tonight is the second night of our new mama’s (Honey?) time with us, and she is settling in. She is so young – clearly a puppy still herself. She is so happy, lots of wags and excitement each time she sees us. And she has a surprising amount of energy given her “condition” and her very malnourished state. If she didn’t have whipworms and hookworms she’d be out with my other dogs, romping in the big yard by now. But we need to get her cleaned up inside first (and get rid of her fleas) before letting her interact with my dogs.
She is a funny looking dog! I hope to get some photos that really capture how she looks in 3 dimensions. It’s strange but she looks different from different angles. Sometimes she looks just like a hound, a coon hound or such but then you see her short legs. Tonight she reminded me of our dog, Brandy, who died this spring. Brandy had a similar look to her face, in the eyes and the ears, but normal length legs. This mama looks like she’s been cut off at the knees. I said that to her tonight, “Mama, who took your legs? Someone stole your legs and left you with these little stumps!” But she is unaware of her unusual look, and just radiates love and happiness. I love that about those foster dogs – how adaptable and agreeable they are.
Last night and again tonight I laid my hand on her side and felt the little puppies moving around. They are strong – kicking and squirming. It won’t be long now and we’ll have a whole bunch of little ones running around. Wonder what they will look like?
I was sent this email from a friend who trains at my club, the Fox Valley Dog Training Club. It is helpful information and something to be aware of. Personally, I feed my dogs either Canidae or Blue Buffalo – just fyi.
Subject: Feeding Healthwise, Innova, EVO, Karma or California Natural to pets? Read this…
Ken and I just learned that in early June, Natura (makers of Healthwise, Innova, EVO, Karma and California Natural) were purchased by Proctor and Gamble. And at about the same time the plant where the foods are manufactured has been expanded. Google news only reveals 2 articles on this, so it wasn’t widely publicized.
Now there are many fine P&G products in our home right now: soaps; toothpaste; dish washing liquid; etc. But we spent a lot of time and energy selecting a dog food that we felt would meet our dogs’ nutritional demands. We’re worried that as P&G clearly plans to expand the distribution of these products, quality control may not remain intact, ingredients may suffer…or both.
If you’re happy with your food, don’t mind the change and plan to continue feeding these products, I’d watch the ingredient labels closely for changes, should fillers and chemicals start to creep in over time.
We’ve decided that we’ll either seek out another brand or cook for them ourselves.
Feel free to share the heads up with your friends feeding these products.