Thursday, August 1, 2013

Foster Dog Sam

This is a photo of our foster dog Sam.

We've had Sam for about a month. He is so gentle and quiet and sweet, and rambunctious when it comes to seeing a leash or "Mom" or "Dad" coming home. He's big, too! 80 pounds! Interested in adopting? He is a foster dog with ReGAP here in southeast Michigan.

Last week Sam bit Quasar, kind of shredding his ear. They were doing that dog dance where they both get worked up over a passing dog, then spin in circles and growl and snap at each other. Sam's snap connected with Quasar's ear. However, I think this was provoked by Mr. Q.

Quasar's ear wouldn't stop bleeding after an hour (ear is filled with veins!) so we took him down the street to the emergency vet. WHOA! The vet wanted $622.00 for Plan A. umm, show me Plan B. That was just under $400. So I said, I'll pay the office visit and the antibiotic -- $150 and twice what our vet would charge. Luckily I had some Tramadol (pain med) left over from Star's illness.

So we returned home and spent hours trying to stop the bleeding and finally got Quasar's ear bandaged and gave him the antibiotic. The next morning we were able to remove the bandage and flush it out with water, hydrogen peroxide, then a final flush with the antiseptic Chlorhexiderm. Then bandaged again. It's been almost a week, and we've done a lot of cleaning, bandaging, giving Tramadol and antibiotic. Mr. Q is recovering, but he still yelps if we touch his ears.

So there went our long weekend away.... We didn't want to bloody up where we'd be staying.

Sam really is a sweetheart.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Liebster Award!

Horse blogger Wolfie at What was I thinking...? nominated me for a Liebster Award. Thanks, Wolfie for inviting me in on the fun! (Wolfie's blog is about her learning riding experiences with her horse Gem.)

The Liebster Award is a fun way for bloggers to get to know each other better. Here are the rules: 

HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued.  Here are the rules for accepting the award:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
  • List 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  • Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
  • Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them.

So let's get on with the fun!

11 Random facts (or things) about myself
  1. I am a canine-ophile
  2. After being chased by a pack of chihuahuas at the age of 9, I was afraid of small dogs until I was in my mid-20s
  3. My favorite "long weekend" vacation spot is Lake Michigan
  4. I love to vegetable garden and I loathe okra
  5. I lived in NYC for 13 years
  6. I like to visit artists' home (I have visited/toured the homes of Frida Kahlo and Gala/Salvador Dali)
  7. I set off alarms and had the guards running at the Prada Museum by getting too close to Picasso's Guernica (I wanted to see the paint strokes)
  8. I'm an artist/photographer
  9. One of my favorite movies is The Best Years of Our Lives
  10. I am a member of our city's Library board
  11. I like to volunteer (I volunteered in a NYC hospital emergency room for over a year, and I loved it! I currently volunteer as a photography "mentor" in nonprofit youth programs)
11 Questions for me from Wolfie

1.  Who do you prefer - Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds? Viggo Mortensen :-)

2.  What is your favourite gait when riding? Slow

3.  Have you ever had a light bulb moment when riding? Yes: This horse wants to throw me off his back and over his head!

4.  Do you care what you wear to the barn? Jeans. 

5.  Do you wear a helmet when you ride?  Nope, but it's probably a good idea since a horse once ran me into a tree branch

6.  What is/was your favourite book? The Gift by Lewis Hyde

7.  What is your favourite part of the riding experience (grooming, competition, lesson, trail)? Trail

8.  What is your favourite season for riding? I suspect any season (I haven't ridden a horse in 20 years)

9.  Do you have other interests in addition to horses? Dogs, dogs, dogs and art, art, art

10. If you could only have one food if you were stranded on a desert island, what would it be? Fish tacos (with a margarita!)

11. Would you prefer a social person next to you on a long flight or someone who keeps to themselves? Quiet is fine :-)

Here are some blogs that I follow, but I feel uncomfortable asking them to participate.

~Linda's Twaddle (blogpal Linda lives in Australia)
~Frankly Speaking (blogpal doxies Frankie Furter and Ernie)
~Design+Love (my childhood friend Shaun, who is an interior architect (and now an art teacher as well)
~Strawberry Lane (Life on a little farm in southern California)
~The Walks of David Keates (Walks around Britain and Ireland. It's amazing.)
~Visual Norway (photographer RuneE in Norway)
~Pet Blogs United (a featured pet blog and blogger every week)
~Woodland Shoppers Paradise ("a mini-mall of media, critique, and commentary" re culture, public life, urban design, and roadside Americana)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Military Working Dogs

A few great links on this Memorial Day.

The Military Working Dog Foundation

Military Working Dog Adoptions

Operation We Are Here - Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Companion Pets for Military Veterans (a great site with links to many relevant articles and organizations. (Also, other resources for Vets.)

Memorial Day history.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's A New Year, so....

I think this blog will be changing focus somewhat, so we'll see how it comes along.

In the meantime, for the Springtime, here's what it's all about:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Star Is Rising

Here's a photo of our girl Star lying in the Maple leaves in early November.

Star girl passed Saturday morning, after having been diagnosed with bone cancer in October. She was 8 years old. We love her dearly and deeply. We loved how happy she was, her little stubby tail and butt wag, her chattering teeth (Lady Chatterly was a nickname!). I think she didn't know she was a greyhound; she loved to roll in mud, jump in ponds, drink lake water, lie in the snow and on driveways. She was our "Binky." I believe she had a happy life with us; I know she made our lives happier. 

Star Is Rising
2004 - 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Star says Pet Me!

Star paws at me when she wants me to pet her.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Star on the beach at Lake Huron, September 2012

A few weeks ago we took Quasar and Star with us for a few days in a little cottage on the beach of Lake Huron. It was rather chilly, but the four of us had a good time. The dogs got to sniff all over the place (deer, raccoon, who knows what else!), and Star waded through the Lake's warm water.

Since last year, Star has been dealing with a probably ACL injury in her left leg. With some pain meds and a lot of rest (no more long walks), her leg got better. Sometime in May, we noticed she was favoring her right leg somewhat. However, the episode in June with her vomiting blood (and no conclusive diagnosis, except perhaps an infection) had us concerned with her gastric problems. They cleared up, too. 

In August, we noticed her right leg was getting worse, and in September started her on Metacam for the pain. However, after a short while her leg became increasingly worse with her sometimes sliding down on it. The vet sent us to an orthopedic specialist on Thursday. Sadly, the problem was not her ACL. After looking at a few radiographs, the specialist diagnosed probable osteosarcoma. I felt rather punched in the gut.

My husband and I went with Star today to our usual Vet. After much discussion about surgical and chemotherapy alternatives, we have decided to follow a treatment of palliative care. In addition to the metacam, we've added tramadol to treat the pain.

Star is still one happy girl with a fantastic appetite, her eyes are bright, and life is good (park visits and car rides on our agenda!).

Click on THIS LINK to learn more about canine cancers.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dog Shaming

Perfectly behaved dogs.

(Hmmmm. My pants are on fire.)

Here is a fun and silly little diversion: a new website and blog on Tumblr: Dog Shaming

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Star is good!

Star at the Vet's office on Friday.

Star visited the vet again last Friday. She is doing so much better!

Star lost about 8 pounds while she was sick, and the vet wants her to gain back another 4 pounds or so, but she still has to stay on her prescription gastrointestinal food. She no longer needs the antibiotic or the sucralfate, but she does need to take Tums twice a day. (And here we thought it was just for people!)

So the girl is good, though she goes back to the vet in a month for one more checkup.

We're pretty happy over here, and I suspect that she is, too. Thanks for all your good wishes and kind words; I'm sure that they helped greytly!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Update on Star's Medical Emergency

As you can see from the photo above, Star is enjoying a little shade-time in this 92-degree heat.

Star is doing much better, though not as well - yet - as we had hoped. She had a vet appointment last Friday, and they still found some blood in her stool. So, she's on another round of antibiotics and Sulcrafate, and is still eating only Hill's Prescription Diet i/d for Canines.

However, Star's appetite is back in a big way, though we are still not allowed to give her any treats. So, by default, this means that Quasar doesn't get any treats. And they both want treats (if the treat jar is even nudged, they come a running!). The extra good news, though, is that they are both losing a few pounds to get back to "retirement" weight (no more than 5 lbs. over their racing weight).

Part of Star's problem, we believe, is that she will eat anything -- I mean anything! We had a small bbq on Saturday with family in town, and as we cleaned the grill she was trying to eat all the scrapings! She's still looking for tidbits!

Star has another vet appointment on Friday, so I'll let you all know how she's doing on that day.

Stay cool in this heat!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Star's Medical Emergency

Star girldog

Earlier this week, Star wanted to go outside three times (!) in the middle of the night. She's a dog that usually sleeps right through the night, so after the third time, my sleepy grumpy self finally thought that maybe something isn't right. I kept an eye on her during the day and went out that evening.

When I returned, I noticed a small puddle of what looked like red Kool-Aid. My husband and I looked at it, thought that perhaps she'd gotten into the strawberry patch, but I just worried about her for the next twenty minutes -- at which time she vomited a bucket-full of this stuff and we figured immediately: It's BLOOD! (DUH!) I took a photograph of the vomit, put Star in my car (where she continued to vomit) and raced her to the emergency vet a few blocks over.

The emergency vet took an x-ray of her tummy and couldn't see anything unusual but gave her an injection of Cerenia (for nausea) and sent her home with Sucralfate (medicine used to treat ulcers).

The next day, Star went to see her usual vet at Platz Animal Hospital. Dr. Platz (whom I've known since 1985!) decided to keep her overnight for testing and observation. When I returned the next day, Dr. Platz told me that they did a radiograph and other blood tests and urinalysis, and could find neither an ulcer nor a tumor (whew!), but that she does have about a pint of blood in her tummy, and that he suspects she has some kind of infection (which is still dangerous). [Star eats anything -- dirt, poop, you name it, but after checking our home and garage, it didn't appear that'd she'd gotten into anything toxic. However, she had been on Rimadyl and Tramadol for the two weeks before, due to pulled ligaments in both her hind legs -- which is another story unto itself.]

So Star is home from the vet, on a prescription antibiotic and Sucralfate, and is eating Hill's Prescription Diet i/d for gastrointestinal health. She goes back to the vet next week, at which point we'll assess if the next step is an MRI or scope. She seems to have perked up a bit, which is good news.

So, what does bloody dog vomit look like? I'll refrain from posting the photo, but I will tell you that she had the "not-as-horrid-as-it-could-be" kind: that is, it is "undigested" blood, clear red looking like a Kool-Aid or thin syrup. The "horrid" vomit is dark red and looks like it has coffee grounds in it. However, if your dog is vomiting either type, it's still an emergency and you need to get your dog to the vet NOW.

I'll keep you all updated. (And I'll do a sepate post on dog vomiting blood - with pictures, just for "educational" purposes.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe During Summer Heat

The better part of the USA is dealing with an extreme heatwave this week, and temps in Detroit are expected to be in the triple digits on Thursday, with a dew points in the tropical range.

So, here are some tips for keeping your pets (and maybe yourself!) safe in this summer heat. Please feel free to add your suggestions!

Also, PLEASE read these tips at the ASPCA web site.

  • If you have indoor pets, PLEASE be sure that their crate and/or cage or aquarium or living space is NOT in the path of direct sunlight.
  • Be sure to provide plenty of water for your animal. If you're both away from home, carry a bottle or container filled with fresh, cool water.
  • Leave your pets at home if possible (no car rides!).
  • If you must take your pet along for the ride, don’t leave your pets alone in vehicles. Even with the windows open, a parked car can quickly become a furnace in a very short time (minutes).
  • Exercise your pet in the cooler temps of early morning or evening; or forego exercise in this heat. Pets' paws can sustain burns or injuries on sidewalks and asphalt. Rethink the necessity for a walk in these high temps.
  • Provide plenty of shade for outside pets. Bring your pet inside during the heat of the day and let them rest in a cool part of your house (basements are very cool if you don't have a/c).  
  • Older and overweight pets are more susceptible to heat exhaustion, so take special care!
  • Watch for signs of heat stress—heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red tongue.
  • If you believe your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion, contact your veterinarian right away—it could save your pet's life. You can help bring your dog’s body temperature down by sponging it down with cool water, but don’t try to place him in a bath or douse him with buckets of water since this can send a pet into shock.
Here's a product for your pup that you might be interested in checking out -- it's a "Canine Cooler" bed. (I'm thinking of getting a couple of these for the greyhounds that work the summer events for Michigan ReGAP.)

Stay cool, be safe!