Monday, March 30, 2015

The Spin Doctor

This Monday morning is sooooo much better than last Monday morning. Last week we thought Miss Morgan might be getting ready to leave us. Then I told Dr B about Fudge's diagnosis that something was wrong in Morgan's mouth. Fortunately, Dr B knows us well enough to listen to me and to Fudge.
Fudge has reported a number of health issues to us over the years, from a spider bite on Lola's toe to  lumps and bumps on various dogs to this most recent infection in Morgan's jaw.
He can be a total pain in the butt and his constant jumping and spinning can be tiresome, but Fudge cares about his pack members and has a nose for illness.
Today Morgan is eating and drinking normally. She has a little more spring in her step and is begging for cookies along with the others.
We've awarded Fudge with a new title, Dr Fudge, the spin doctor. His fees are very reasonable, a cookie now and then and use of my lap for his evening nap. Thank you Fudge, for saving Miss Morgan's life.

Friday, March 27, 2015

My Very Own Idea

Have any of you seen the General Electric commercial that features the Idea? The Idea is shaggy and messy looking and for some reason always makes me want to cry. Here's a picture of the Idea from the commercial.
One day I realized that the Idea lives here with us. See the similarities?
This is our very own Miss Morgan.

In the ad, the Idea is given some love and care and it becomes beautiful.
So does Miss Morgan.
You may have noticed lately that Morgan looks rather unkempt in her photos. Her coat is pretty scruffy and she does feature a few mats, especially on her legs. There's a reason for that. Her arthritis makes her legs very sensitive. She doesn't like us handling them and gets stressed when we do. She can't stand for any great length of time, so whatever grooming we want to do has to be performed quickly and just a little at a time. At this stage of her life it doesn't really matter how she looks as long as she's healthy and feeling good.
 Over the weekend she stopped eating and drinking. She became weak and wobbly. Fudge was driving me crazy because he wouldn't leave her alone. He spent a lot of time sniffing the side of her face. On Monday she visited Dr B and I told him about Fudge's obsession with her face and mouth, so he checked inside her mouth. He thought there might be a bad tooth causing her to stop eating and drinking.Her teeth looked fine, but there was a pocket of yellow pus in the back of her mouth at the jaw joint.
We started her on an antbiotic and probiotic. She wouldn't open her mouth to drink, presumably because of pain, so I gave her water from a syringe. After her second pill, she started drinking on her own. Tuesday she ate a little and continued to drink.
On Wednesday she ate better and on Thursday she started barking at me to tell me she was hungry. She cleaned her bowl and asked for a cookie. Today she's getting around more easily and is eating well. We don't know the cause of the infection but we're just very happy that this little messy idea is sticking around for a while longer.
Loving a dog is a great idea!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For

Spring arrived last week and we had a lovely warm weekend to play in the mud.
Then suddenly we were reminded that here in the Ozarks, spring means tornado season has started. Today we're under a warning and looked what happened.
  Snowballs started falling from the sky.
 
The dogs had to investigate, of course.
This will all move thru today and tonight and tomorrow should be back to nicer weather. Then comes Friday when the forecast is for snow. Maybe winter wasn't so bad after all.

Monday, March 23, 2015

National Puppy Day

 Today is National Puppy Day. Shouldn't every day be National Puppy Day?
Here are Samba's pups on their first Christmas.
And speaking of puppies, here's my beautiful Miss Morgan, 15 years ago.
 She could use the power of the paw today. We just came home from the vet's office and she has a badly infected throat that is preventing her from eating. She's taking antibiotics and being pampered, but she may need to spend a couple days in the hospital on IV fluids. Please keep her in your thoughts.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hurry Up Spring

The calendar says that Spring will be here today. I don't think so... True we're not getting snow like our East Coast friends and the air is definitely warmer lately, but there are almost no visible signs of spring around here. If you could see our yard right now, you'd see lots of brown grass and lots and lots of mud.
To remind myself that it's really Spring, I have a few faithful plants blooming indoors. Here's the white Christmas cactus, still blooming away.
The red one is also sending out some more buds.
The Palm plant in the corner of the dining room is flowering, too.
 OK, so Palm flowers aren't gorgeous. It's all in the eye of the beholder and I appreciate the attempt.
So until we see some of the trees budding out, we'll make do with the Spring color inside.
Happy Spring to all, especially the New Englanders.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Dancing

Yesterday was 'follow up day' here in Portie Land. Morgan needed a recheck on her thyroid level and Noah needed a recheck on the dryness level in his eye. So, mid morning we went to visit Dr B. We had a bigger concern that I wanted to discuss with him. Last week Morgan decided to stop eating and her already weak legs were collapsing and making her fall frequently.

First up was Noah. He wasn't actually due for this test until next month because he's only been on the new medicine for two weeks but the doc and I were both too curious to wait two more weeks.
The boy was a little more squirmy than usual on the table. He didn't really want that piece of paper in his eye, but he made it for the full minute plus ten seconds for moving around too much. The results were what we'd been hoping for. Last time his moisture level was only six. This time it was nine. We're aiming for twelve, so we're making progress. Dr B suggested a certain eye drop that we can use as often as we want to make his eyes more comfortable and we'll continue with this medicine twice a day. He's starting to make his own tears again and that's our goal.
Next it was Morgan's turn. Because of her age, we decided on a full senior blood panel to see if something is going on that we're not aware of yet. He checked her mouth for any tooth problems that might make her not want to eat but that seemed OK. Then he checked her legs and we found our problem. The arthritis in her elbows and knees has gotten worse. Her left front elbow actually feels and sounds crunchy. Ouch!!
We waited for the blood report to come back and this morning we had a long chat. Her blood looks remarkable for he age. Her liver enzymes are way down and the only thing out of whack is her triglycerides. Since they were never high before, we'll wait and test again in a couple months. Dr B gave me a couple suggestions for coaxing her to eat and we discussed an exercise plan for her weak legs. If there's no improvement in her stability by Friday, she'll start some injections for pain and we'll look into a drug that can actually promote muscle growth in those weak legs. We've also started her on Melatonin to improve her sleep quality and try to eliminate her nightmares.

Dr B says that for a dog who was close to death at age three, she could now make it to sixteen. I commented that she's looking forward to getting her driver's license. He answered that he'd like to see her get to vote. She's a little confused at times and not moving  too fast, but she's doing amazingly well for her age and her history.
 Yes, we're doing a happy dance here today.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reminders

Today March 16 is Samba's birthday. Had she lived, she'd be 13 today. We all had cupcakes last night to mark the occasion. Living with her pups keeps her   in my thoughts constantly, but there are two special reminders.

This is Samba a few years ago after playing in the mud.
And here are Lola and Bailey last month.  They're following in their Mom's pawsteps.

I miss my special girl every day, but this is how I choose to remember her, running and happy.
Your family misses you, Samba.