Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

These are the "Dog Days of Summer". I've always thought that meant just hot humid days when even a dog didn't want to do much, but this year it's taken on a different meaning. I now think it means these are the days when my dogs are trying to drive me crazy. I think they're succeeding.

Where shall I start? You all know that a few weeks ago my four Portie girls had tummy upsets caused by an overload of fireworks. Well, the fireworks lasted ten days and since then we've had several loud lingering thunderstorms. Three of the girls are much improved but Sunday night Lola refused her dinner. When a Portuguese Water Dog refuses dinner you know there's a problem.
During the night Lola vomited a couple times and she refused to eat on Monday. Monday night she had bouts of vomiting again. On Tuesday she refused to eat her food or even take a treat. When she went outside with the others she just sat down in the shade and waited to come back in again. I remembered last night that I had one Cerenia tablet left from last fall. Cerenia prevents nausea, so I gave it to Lola and she slept thru the night. This morning she ate a handful of kibble, then we went to see Dr B. She had no fever, didn't exhibit pain when he poked and prodded her and was well hydrated, so we started her on Tylosin powder and Cerenia. She's getting several small meals throughout the day and tonight she ate without coaxing. We don't know what the cause is, but we suspect the noise is still bothering her.

Monday evening when I brought everyone inside from a runaround after dinner Bailey was limping. She came up to me, sat and presented her foot. I put her on the table and felt her foot and leg. I moved and flexed it and she didn't pull back so I didn't think it was anything more than a twist or sprain. I started her on Rimadyl and today she's running and playing with no sign of a limp. She'll take the pain pills for another day or two, then she should be good as new.
The two little girls are really putting extra effort into driving me nuts. In my lifetime I've had thirty dogs. I've never been unable to housetrain any of them, though a few were more stubborn that others. These two refuse to tell me consistently when they need to go outside. Rob and I take them out frequently both with the other dogs and by themselves, but they are still having accidents in the house. We've tried any number of methods to get them to tell us but none have worked. I'm having more trouble training these two than all eight Portie pups at once.
I was thinking about it last night and a lightbulb went on in my bran. I rummaged thru a drawer and found the old sleigh bells that we used to train Bentley, my first Portie. We kept them on the back door and Bentley would ring them to go out. We had a few false alarms when he wanted to go out to play but mostly they worked well. We also used them to train Lucy, Monty and Morgan.
Last night I hung the bells on the front door and each time we take Syd and Mac out we ring the bells first. Syd has actually rung them once today but Mac doesn't like them and it may take some extra time to condition her to ring them. Wish us luck.

Even the birds want to help drive me crazy. These four birds have lived happily together for over a year and they seem like pretty good friends. They spend most of their day singing and playing, but Monday afternoon Rob and I raced for the dining room when we heard screaming from the birdcage.
 The green bird Stanley and the blue bird Caulder were beating up the small yellow bird Norris. They had him down and would have killed him if we hadn't intervened. We got them on their perches and covered them to calm them. I got the small cage ready in case we needed to separate them but they have been getting along since then. Fortunately Elwood stayed out of the fray and just watched from above. Bird fights are often deadly and I hope this doesn't happen again. All four birds are males so there aren't sex related jealousy issues, but we'll keep a close eye on them anyway.

Now it's not all bad. We have some good news, too. Sebastian started his diet three weeks ago today.
He's eating Hills Metabolic Diet, a new prescription diet. He went in and was measured and weighed, then his measurements were entered in a special program and they calculated his ideal weight, how much he should eat each day and gave us a graph showing how his weight loss should progress. I was skeptical and he's Dr B's first patient on this new program, but we decided to try it
On Monday Sebastian went for his first weigh in. He'd been on the diet for twelve days and I was astonished when the scales said he'd lost three pounds. He's actually eating more of this food than he did his other food so he's happy. He's still a couch potato but maybe as he drops the extra weight he'll find some new energy. So far we're all pleased.

I can hardly wait for end of the dog days. Snow is starting to sound like a terrific idea.


♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

You do such a great job of being the mom veterinarian. Can we send Phantom your way? Something is going on with him but Mom can't put her finger on it. He is at all four of his paws, licking and licking. Something has him stressed. Not likely to be related to the loss of Thunder as this just started about a week ago. A trip to the vet may be in order.

We hope you have great luck with that metabolic diet. Mom was going to try that with Thunder since we couldn't get him to drop any weight, but that wasn't to be. We hear it is a great program.

Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

Amber DaWeenie said...

Goodness....You have really had your hands full. I bet a nice long vacation would sound good about now!

Hugs to everyone!

Mr. Pip said...

I am not ready for snow, but I sure hope life calms down for all of you soon.

Your pal, Pip

Two French Bulldogs said...

Poor babies. Fireworks should be illegal all over the place
Benny & Lily

Jo's World said...

We are allll ready for snow here, although its been nice for the last three weeks, but for good solid nobody's crazy weather, you just can't beat snow.

I am going to talk to our vet when I take Stella in for rabies shot and see if he won't prescribe that new food you are talking about. Maybe Stella can get rid of some pounds! Congrats, Sebastian!

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

Sam said...

My dad's been wishing for snow - well a good frost anyhow since late June.

scotsmad said...

Sounds like the hot, humid weather is getting to everyone! Hope things calm down soon.

XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

Casey said...

I hope all your pups feel better soon! I use the bells to signal potty time for Momma, and we both think they're a grreat idea!

Kari in Alaska said...

Sadly I have also had a couple urgings for snow

Stop on by for a visit

Life with Wrigs said...

It's always something, isn't it? I'm so glad to hear Lola is doing better! That Cerenia is great stuff! And, I'm happy to hear that Bailey responded to the Rimadyl!

Wrigs is so funny--even though he has a doggy door, if there's a human nearby, he'll stand at the front door and wait for us to let him out THAT door. If we installed bells, he'd be ringing them nonstop.

I'd be worried about the parakeets! I hope you don't have a repeat of that.

Congratulations to Sebastian! That's a huge weight loss in only 12 days. Is this amount on target for the program?

Snow sounds awesome! We're counting the days (months) 'til winter here.

Susan and Wrigs

Soggibottom said...

That science diet sounds too good for Seb :-) Do you think it would do wonders for me Sue ? :-)
Good to be able to catch up on all that has been happening in the household. Beaks and all. Have a calm cool day mate. :-) Most of all love to all of the paws and beaks. x x x

SissySees said...

Whoa... This is about the fourth experience dog owner who can't completely housebreak story I've heard this summer. All different breeds, but still.

The bird fight sounds AWFUL. You know we had problems with the boy dogs and it's so upsetting!

Three cheers for Sebastian. I hope that's a sign that the tide is turning and YOUR dog days of summer are over.

Ruby said...

Oh, there sure isn't a dull moment with you guys, huh?! BOL
Well, I'm glad that Lola is doin' better! Yea!
Oh, this is FABulous news for Ma abouts Sebastian's weight loss. This was the diet she was interested in for me. Right now I'm on the Hills r/d, butts lately, it is just not fulfilling me! I am really hungry. Ma is goin' to have the vet do some blood test to make sure it's not something else making me so hungry. And if everything is clear, this is the diet she wants to put me on. Paws crossed!
Ruby ♥

Mitch and Molly said...

There is never a dull moment at your house, is there! We hope the sleigh bells work for the girls!

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Marjie said...

I hope the bells work for you with Syd and Mac. Brutus refuses to acknowledge our bells, and seems startled when he hits them by accident. Somehow, we are supposed to notice when he is sitting silently next to the back door in the mud room. Aside from late last week when he evidently ate something disagreeable outdoors, then vomited inside and had diarhea for 2 days before we took him to the emergency vet (all tests were negative, so the vet concluded he ate something noxious), he has been accident free for 2 weeks now.

I hope the thunder stops, so your pack will stop suffering anxiety. I am truly grateful that Brutus does not seem to mind thunder (and slept through all of the fireworks).

ElleC said...

I am having a similar problem house training my Jasper (Pomeranian/Papillon cross) apparently two of the breeds that are most difficult to train are Papillons and Beagles. I can't remember what mixture you think the little girls are, but if you are still having issues, Beagle could be part of the problem. Not that this is any help. But I share your annoyance and frustration.

Now I want you to smack yourself silly. It is far too early for snow. Or maybe that is because my snow lasts a lot longer than yours. A lot longer.

Good for Sebastion on the weight loss, now if only I could lose some.

Tammy said...

It sounds like you have had 'a week'. I hope the girls get better and quit this sick stuff. As for puppy training...that is a tough one. I had a Pom I never could fully housebreak. Hopefully you will hit on the creative solution, or maybe eventually they will catch on.


Nichole Burke said...

It's always something, isn't it? Of course, we have 4 VERY clingy dogs this week... and I've had 2 classes to take. During my class today, Lola has done nothing but WHINE at the top of her lungs so I keep getting up thinking she's got to go out - but nope... she's just making sure I don't learn a whole lot on a Friday. :)

Sweepy said...

Woof, that sounds like a lot of work. I always get scared of fireworks and keeper would always put music on to calm us down. But Keeper is sick now...

parlance said...

Oh, wow! What a time you are having. I hope things settle down.