Archive for the ‘health’ Category
Today I ran my hand down Lollie‘s back and got a literal handful of loose hair. Yuck. The best thing to do when they shed like that is to get out the brush, and not any old brush, but the mother of ALL brushes – the Furminator.
I love the Furminator for many reasons and the main one is that once I furminate my dogs I don’t have to do it again for at least a week, usually more like a month. Really it is that effective. With ordinary brushes I would brush and then that night it would seem like they were still shedding just as much. Now I really see the results (gobs of hair coming out on the brush) and these results last.
So, if you haven’t explored the wonders of the Furminator, I encourage you to check it out. It is one of my all time favorite dog related tools.
This disturbing report from Rubi‘s family (of Willow‘s litter):
Really wish I lived closer. If you ever do a get together of all of Willow’s litter mates, we will hopefully be able to do something like that. It would be neat to see how Rubi Red reacts.
A quick update on her. Lets see, how do I make this quick. 2 weeks ago, Rubi started throwing up her food which is very odd as she doesn’t throw up. It wasn’t every time she ate, but when she started to get a tiny bit lethargic, it started to get us to really think. From Wed to Fri, she threw up 3 times and I decided to take her into the vet on Saturday morning just to make sure.
Good thing I made an appointment because she threw up on Saturday morning. They took x-rays, but thought maybe she just had a poop build up. They sent me home with that prescription bland diet and gave her an anti-nausia shot. She did NOT get any better and was drooling like crazy. On sunday, she stopped drinking water and eating. There’s no messing with that and we brought her to the emergency vet. They took more x-rays and were about 80% sure that something was stuck in or around her small intestines. So, they did immediate surgery. Turns out, she had eaten a part of the blanket she lays on. It filled an entire sandwich bag. She stayed at the vet for a couple days for observation as her pancreas was a little swollen from the blanket that was jammed in there. She was slowly getting better that week, BUT on Saturday night, she stopped eating and drinking again. ugh. We brought her back to the same emergency vet on Sunday and they figured her pancreas might be a little inflamed still, so they put her back on antibiotics and gave her fluids and some anti-nausea just in case. Poor Rubi.
Her staples are out and she’s back to bouncing off the walls! I guess that wasn’t a short update, but I’ve been meaning to email you and update you on what happened with her.
Oh MY! I am SO happy that all is ok now. What a scary situation for you both. Good job acting fast and keeping on it. I’ll post this as a cautionary tale to those with puppies out there.
Ringworm is contagious. Yes that is true. And there was enough of the fungus on Fluffy‘s hair to grow a culture in the dish. Yes, that is also true. But does that mean the pups HAVE ringworm? If they show no signs does that mean they have it? If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall, did it really fall? Ok, maybe that is taking it too far. But really, as I prepare myself mentally for the yellow puppies and the smell of sulfur, I must ask myself, “why?” If we hadn’t tested the flaky skin on Fluffy we would not think they were sick. They don’t have any symptoms. We haven’t caught anything, nor have our dogs. Really, all we have is part of a story…a beginning line so to speak. But a very compelling one to many people. Sigh. So, I will dip the puppies tomorrow. I will withstand the smell and mess and unsightliness of it. I will do it because it is the right thing to do. Then I will bleach the heck out of the room and bathe my dogs with a anti-fungal shampoo. Because it is the right thing to do. But I keep thinking, if it weren’t for that opening line, I’d have a completely different story here, “The puppies are so healthy and ready to go!” Something to think about.
The end of the road is nearing for Brandy. I find myself conflicted on deciding when is her time to go – if it should be my decision at all. She could die naturally, but seeing her decline is so hard for me I wonder if it is not kinder to put her down.
I bought Brandy from Animal Kingdom on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago in September 1994 when she was 6 weeks old. She was always a fairly high energy dog who loved to run and jump like most dogs but I will always remember how she seemed to love the wind. On windy days she would stop in her tracks to face the wind, sniffing, blowing her floppy Snoopy years backward. After a short time, she would bolt from that position and run around crazy – sometimes just I circles – as if to celebrate. This is a vivid but now distant memory. She is old now, arthritic, and increasingly losing the muscle needed to remain standing on all fours. Her legs will frequently slide out from under her in all directions just while she is standing or leaning over to drink some water. I’m sure she wishes we had carpeting to assist rather than our wood and tile floors.
The puppies are well…well, that’s what the second fecal sample indicates. One (Ruffy) still has pretty loose stools but the vet thinks that’s due to the drastic changes in food/shelter etc. We’ll see, time will tell. But it seems that Fluffy and Ani are both doing great. Whew, what a relief. Now, it seems, I need to work on socializing them some. They are fine with people walking around and playing with them with toys but really struggle against being held. Not at all snugly! But with time they will learn how to enjoy that. So, anyone out there who wants some rehabilitative snuggle time, just let me know.
The pups were strangly quiet Saturday night. I got home from work at 6pm and didn’t hear a peep all night! I began to worry. I finally went in around 9:30pm and woke them all up from what looked like a deep sleep. They sat up slowly, blinked their eyes and just looked at me for a long moment. I said, “Hi puppies?” And then they sprang to life, jumping out of the plastic swimming pool filled with blankets and toys and running to jump on my legs. Whew. But there is something not quite right with them. They are too sleepy, their bellies too bulgey, overall they’re just too quiet. And they have diarahea. I have to remind myself that ALL the puppies I’ve ever fostered have had some sort of intestinal illness. And that it isn’t my fault! So, tomorrow, Monday, it’s back to the vet wtih a fecal and a plea for antibiotics. My diagnosis? Coccidea. The ever present illness. I’m fairly certain that’s what it is.
Anyway, they are alert and playful when they’re awake and very interested in me. I hold them and they look deeply into my eyes as if to say, “So, who ARE you anyway?”
“Fluffy” is black with thick, fluffy fir. “Ruffy” is black and a little leaner. “Anealduln“ is the cream colored puppy.
So, we’ve got three new puppies at our house. Here’s their story (as much as I know and I’ll ever know):
Their mama was a pregnant stray that was hanging around someone’s home. They let her live in their garage and there she had 7 puppies. Then, when they were 6 weeks old, she “ran away” and “got hit by a car” and died. So, no mama. H.E.L.P. split up the group and we got three of them. They are really small for 7 weeks so they look like they’ll be around 40 lbs. when full grown. They seem well socialized to people, not afraid and in fact very willing to follow and interact. So the original family did a lot right. Thank you to them, whoever they are.
But they all have a weird and very scabby thing going on with their skin. I gave them all baths and tried my best to scrape the scabs off with a flea comb but it was really difficult. It is really strange, I haven’t seen anything quite like it before. The vet said that it might be “ringworm” and that if it is I shouldn’t worry about trying not to get it because I likely already have it. Yikes. But then he said that he believed it was unlikely going to be ringworm. So I bathed them all and they all screamed bloody murder. Then I swaddled them in big towels and laid them in my son’s arms with a space heater on them all. They all promptly fell asleep – except Ryan. Then I cut all their toe nails and re-combed the one with the worse scabs and fed them. They are really quiet in their room now. Probably pee is everywhere.
They have little short ears and fluffy fur. The little black male has a blue spot on his tongue! Maybe some Chow in them? I’ll have to do some research to see what other breeds have blue spots on the tongue. There’s one yellow female and one really fluffy black female. They are so cute. It is nice to have puppies again and to have so few! What an easy time this well be – if they all turn out to be healthy…
We are currently living with an elderly dog in our home. My husband Mike’s dog, Brandy, turned 15 last August 4th. She has always defied age, seeming to be many years younger than she really was. But lately it seems, time has caught up with her. For a while now she has seemed to be much weaker in her legs, especially her back legs. She didn’t run as fast or as far and sometimes struggled getting up the stairs in our house. But she still walked with me every day – 2-3 miles, and spent many hours outside. But slowly things have been changing. After talking at length, Mike and I agreed (and the vet confirmed) that she seemed to be suffering from pain due to arthritis. So we put her on Rimadyl – first a half a pill a day, then we bumped it up to a full pill (half 2x per day) to manage her arthritis. It seemed to do the trick and we had our old lively senior back again…for a while.
Then the accidents in the house became more frequent and she began needing to potty in the middle of the night – sometimes multiple times. And she seemed to be struggling at times to stand up from a lying position and conversely, she often seemed to “collapse” in half from a standing position (her back legs would just fold at the hips and down she’d go, legs sticking straight out in from of her.) We decided to limit her walks. She seemed better for awhile but then she seemed to have even more trouble navigating the stairs, and often she’d simply slide down them after making it half way up. Mike started carrying her downstairs at night to potty. I do sometimes during the day too. We think maybe the walks, even though they were long, were actually helping with the arthritis so I’ve begun walking her again, but just a half mile a day. We will see how it goes.
Recently I saw her struggling to poop, the position she was in was difficult for her to maintain so she began to teeter, then she fell, sprawled in the snow. She struggled to get up and fell again, face first. She struggled again and you could see that her legs seemed to be locked in the wrong position, front legs pointing nearly to the sides. I had tears in my eyes as I watched…it happened fast and just as I was heading to the door to help her she miraculously regained her balance and somehow made it up the stairs. At the top she snorted and shook herself (it appeared to me that she was gathering up her dignity) and gingerly walked inside.
I have had a difficult time with Brandy for the entire time I’ve known her. She has been frustratingly defiant, difficult to train, and aloof. But seeing her move through her old age with such grace and acceptance has made me respect her much more. I feel for her so. And so now, we wonder, how long will she be with us? And, do we decide when it is her “time” to go? Or do we let “nature” take its course? There are no easy answers here.