Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's For Who?

Hi Everybody,
Something went wrong at Chewy. It happened last week. The big truck guy came to the door. Mom went to meet him and came back with a big Chewy box in her arms. She asked Dad if he had ordered anything for us and he said no. He said she must have ordered something and forgotten. Unfortunately for us, Mom doesn't forget a lot.
 Mom opened the box and she got all happy. She said it was for her. What??? Chewy is sending treats for Mom now? That can't be right. There must be something in there for us.

 Look what was in the box. First there was this bag. Dad said it's a beach bag but we all know better. It's a project bag. Mom loves project bags. She has about 87 of them and each one has a project in it. We don't know why she has so many projects but Dad says it's better not to ask.
Inside the bag was a little mesh bag holding flippy floppers for her feet and sunglasses for her eyes.
There was a big sippy cup with drink mix inside.
And finally there was a huge towel. 

Mom was really happy and said all these things will get a workout this summer when we go to the lake to meet Runtley and Zoe and go swimming. It's going to be kind of sad this year because two of our very bestest swimmers, Gracie and Morgan won't be there with us. But Mom says that Zoe is learning to swim and we can help her. 
Thanks Chewy, for making Mom so happy. We think it's OK that she got some special Chewy treats too.
Your pal, Fudge

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Fudge Does A Review

Hi Everybody,
This month Chewy sent us something just for me. 
It's  Nutramax Cosequin, Joint Health Supplement Plus MSM.
Now that may not sound all that delicious to you, but these things are not only very tasty, but they make me feel better, too.

Since my stroke last year, my left back leg has been bothering me. It isn't as strong as it used to be and sometimes it aches. Mom can tell when it's feeling bad. She says I limp a bit and my leg looks stiff. When it hurts I climb up on Mom's lap and she hugs me and tells me everything will be OK.

In the morning after breakfast I take my pills. For my leg I take fish oil, and green lipped muscle and tumeric and glucosamine chondroitin. But for the last couple weeks I've been taking these Cosequin chews instead of the glucosamine.  They're nickle sized brown chews and I like them a lot. They taste like treats even though they're kind of like medicine.
It's especially nice that I'm the only one that gets them. The others all sit down beside me but Mom tells them that they're just for me.
  Cosequin helps maintain cartilage and Mom says that's what's damaged in my leg. Thank you Chewy for sending these to help me feel better.
 Mom says I have to tell you that Chewy sent this bag of Cosequin chews to me and didn't even want any money. They just wanted me to tell all of you exactly what I thought about them. I think if you can feel better by eating a tasty treat, that's a very good thing.
Your pal, Fudge

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Sad Tale of Bad Breeding

We're living with a mystery, but it's beginning to become more clear. Mackey and Sydney have something wrong with their brains. This isn't just me being sarcastic, it's starting to become more obvious that both girls have some brain damage.
They seemed like normal pups in the beginning, though there was some obvious misinformation on the part of their breeder. He claimed that they were Brittany Spaniels, but it's become pretty clear that they are Beagle/ Dachshund mixes. He also claimed to be a reputable breeder that had an accidental breeding. The accidental part is probably true, but he was no reputable breeder. That will become clear as the story goes on.

Our first sign of a problem came as Sydney started to mature and would viciously attack the other dogs with absolutely no warning. The other dogs could be sleeping and she would lunge at them and need to be pulled away. These attacks became more frequent and more vicious as the scars on my leg  prove. My older, much larger dogs became afraid of her and didn't want to be in the same area, or even walk past her. We started confining her to the garage or the yard  and feeding her separately.
Last November after I had 12 stitches in my leg, I had a talk with Dr B and we agreed there were two options, put her on Fluoxetine, the generic for Prozac, or euthanasia. We decided to give her one last chance and started her on Fluoxetine. We also started giving her anger management classes and she has been doing pretty well. She has learned to wait till the other dogs are inside before entering the garage and she has learned to give a warning signal to the other dogs that she's feeling anxious so they can stay away from her.

Then in January Mackey had a seizure. It was fast and we weren't even sure it was a seizure at first. In April she had another and it lasted a little over three minutes. We were sure about this one. Two weeks ago she had her third and this one was bad. It lasted 14 minutes. Those were the longest 14 minutes I've experienced in a long time. She did not lose conscientiousness and one side seemed to be more involved than the other. The vet wanted to take blood as soon as possible to see if any cause showed up. The bloodwork was normal.

I had a good discussion with Dr B and because we have littermates, and they both have something strange going on in their brains, he felt that something may have gone wrong during the pregnancy. His first though was that the mother dog had spiked a fever on the day the puppy brains were developing and they both had some damage.

Then things took a turn for the worse. On Tuesday Syd had a bad day. She attacked three of the other dogs. We kept her apart after that and when I sat down to talk to her, she started trembling and wouldn't look at me. The next day she was a little growly but we were careful with her and had no incidents.

Yesterday Rob had all the dogs outside in the morning, then I heard him yelling my name. I ran to the garage not knowing what to expect. He was alone with Syd and she was vomiting over and over. Her gag reflex seemed to be stuck and her body was jerking as she tried to vomit more. I called the vet, but then we decided to rush her over there. We thought she had been poisoned.

When Dr B examined her, he asked about plants in the yard. We went thru the list on the Poison Hotline and the only one I found was a vine that climbs the fence. None of the dogs have ever shown any interest in it, but it was a possibility. She was vomiting up plant material and hairballs.
He gave her an injection of Atropine to fight anything toxic she might have consumed and an injection of Cerenia to control nausea. He wanted us to leave her so he could watch her. We had just gotten home when he called and asked if her could draw blood. The blood test was normal but she was having involuntary jerking motions so he gave her Midazolam to calm those.

After a couple hours she seemed to be almost back to normal except for some tremors. We brought her home and gave her some valium and fed her a small amount of food. She kept the food down but had another bout of trembling and jerky head movements. She got very upset when I tried to crate her so we let her sleep in a pen in the garage overnight and this morning she seems fine.

Dr B called this morning to check on her and told me that I win for the most mysterious ailment in a dog. He said he couldn't stop thinking about it last night and did some research and he doesn't think it was a toxic substance.

Because Mackey is having unusual seizures and they are sisters, he now thinks that what Syd went thru yesterday may have been a seizure too. We're adjusting Syd's meds, cutting down on the Fluoxetine and if she continues to have these strange episodes, we may try both girls on seizure meds such as phenobarbital or potassium bromide.
We already thought the mother dog may have been sick but now he thinks the puppies may have been exposed very early, perhaps thru the mother, to distemper. He has seen other cases where young pups survived distemper, only to have neurological symptoms occur later.

We may be able to help Mackey with her seizures, the prognosis for Sydney is in question.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Best Medicine

Sometimes it isn't easy being an adult. Lately it seems like the entire world is out of control and we have to balance what's going on 'out there' with what's going on in our own lives. It can make our hearts hurt.

The last few weeks have been examples of the not so good times. Some days it's a struggle to get out of bed and face what the day may bring.

I know one sure way to bring a smile to my heart. A puppy!

Miss Zoe came to visit us this week and she brought smiles with her.
She's so pretty and soft and happy.
 On this trip we didn't want to overwhelm her, so she only met Sebastian. They became instant friends.
She reminds me so much of Gracie. This is Grace at about six weeks .....
and this is Zoe just a little bit older.
I am so happy that J is letting us spend time with her and watch her grow up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Easiest Review

Thia may be the easiest product review I've ever written, because we love this product. We were first introduced to FortiFlora several years ago when our whole pack was suffering with a cryptosperidium infection. Those of you who were following us at that time remember the months of sickness we went thru ending with the deaths of Samba and Sky and leaving my other three boys with permanent intestinal damage. It was a terrible time.

One of the symptoms of crypto is diarrhea, really horrible constant diarrhea. I contracted crypto myself on my trip to Russia in 1984. It causes almost unbearable stomach cramps followed by explosive diarrhea. This happens every time you eat anything. The bacteria almost instantly go to work on whatever food you've taken in and the cramps start immediately. Mine was caused by contaminated water and though we don't know exactly how my dogs got it, it may also have been from water.

 Our vet introduced us to FortiFlora to try and combat the diarrhea. It wasn't successful for the very sickest dogs, but for the others it certainly did help them. Once the remaining pack was healthy again, my boys still had some intestinal issues and stools were frequently soft. Again I turned to FortiFlora and it helped a great deal.

FortiFlora is a probiotic supplement that contains guaranteed levels of Enterococcus faecium SF 68. It contains antioxidant vitamins E, C and beta-carotene, helps reduce flatulence and aids in managing diarrhea.
 Best of all, IT WORKS!!!!

When one of my dogs has a less than acceptable stool, I start them on ForitFlora at the next meal. Even if all dogs are feeling fine, once a week each dog gets it for maintenance.

A box of FortiFlora contains 30 individual packets. Each packet contains a measured amount of brown granular powder.
 I just sprinkle it on top of the dog's food and they eat it right up. I don't need to mix it in, they love the taste and they all get excited when they see me reach for the box.
I have recommended FortiFlora to more people than I can remember. Dogs like it and IT WORKS. It also come in a formula designed for cats.

If you have a gassy doggie or if you don't like the looks of his stool, try FortiFlora. This stuff is great. How often do you find a product that they like and it also does what it says it does. Win-win.

When chewy offered this as a review choice this month, I jumped on it because in this house we're believers. Chewy sent us a full box of FortiFlora for dogs at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review.

Order some next time you order dog food. Use it as a maintenance probiotic and keep some on hand for tummy upsets. Your dog will thank you.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Let's Get Wet

Hi All, we're back. It's been a rough couple weeks and though I've read your blogs every day, I didn't leave many comments and couldn't find the energy to post on our happenings here at home. I'm trying to change that.

The last couple weeks have brought several new challenges. While trying to cope with the loss of Gracie to a brain tumor, we had some other health issues to deal with. Sebastian was having a vomiting problem and couldn't keep anything down for awhile. He's now eating only rice and sweet potato for breakfast and rice, sweet potato and half a pork chop for dinner. So far he's only had one day of vomiting. If we can make it thru three weeks of this, we can start adding in some other foods very carefully, one at a time. He seems quite happy with his special diet and doesn't appear to have lost much weight.

Noah has started having fainting spells, which scare the heck out of me. They only have happened, so far, first thing in the morning on our early outing. If he eats grass, he then vomits and faints. It only lasts  seconds, then he jumps up and runs to me. I've been giving him Reglan at bedtime and again in the morning, then I take him out on leash so he can't eat any grass. The vet and I have discussed it but unless it gets more frequent or lasts longer, we'll just stay with this routine.

Fudge hasn't been acting like his normal, silly self. I know his leg bothers him from his stroke last year. He's stiff when he first gets up and limps a bit in the evenings. He gets tired around nine each night and climbs up next to me to snooze till it's bedtime. I'm sure most of this is age related which makes me very sad, but we've all been thru it.

Still, summer with it's heat arrived a couple days ago and so we decided to make everyone happy with water. We set up a revolving sprinkler which at first was pretty popular, but then they didn't like it sneaking up behind them, so we solved that by setting the sprinkler in the pool. They agreed that was an excellent idea.
 Norma Jean likes to stand over the sprinkler so the water cools her belly.
  Fudge and Noah try to catch the streams of water as they revolve.
 Tess and Lola jump right in, too.
 The big surprise was Mackey. I guess she considers herself a water dog.
 And what about the other three? Sydney prefers keeping the squirrels in the treetops.
 Bailey sits a safe distance away from the water and watches the others.
 Sebastian either hides in his dog house or hugs the garage door. No water for that boy.

 Then we all go back inside to relax in the air conditioning till next outing.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Be Careful, It's Contagious!

There's something going around the country and it appears to be spreading rapidly. You could be next!

It started recently on the East Coast In Virginia, and here it is.
Meet Remy, a Jack Russel Terrier.
Remy came to make sure Sissy and Gretchen get plenty of exercise. Don't want the girls to forget to run around and stay on the alert, do we?

Next it spread to Connecticut.
Meet Mackie, an Airedale Terrier.
Mackie knew that Molly was lonely after Mitch left for the bridge, so he came and now Molly is much too busy to be lonely anymore.

Wow, then it leaped across the country to Washington State.
Meet Stella Rose and Jethro, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

Stella Rose was scheduled to come torment Beau, but his family thoughtfully brought brother Jethro home to save Beau. Now Stella and Jethro can play together and let Beau relax and supervise.

After it struck both coasts, it spread out to the middle of the country, to Missouri.
Meet Zoe, a Portuguese Water Dog.
Miss Zoe was planned to be a companion to our Gracie, but now she will keep Runtley busy instead. Zoe has very big paws to fill because Gracie was almost perfect with just a streak of naughty. We think Zoe is up to the task.

So watch out, you never know where this will strike next and as you all know it's very hard to prevent. Soft warm fuzzy bodies complete with puppy breath is more than most of us can resist. Is it coming to your neighborhood next?