Thursday, September 1, 2016

Six Years Old!

A year of changes for this little one. She's not the "baby" of the pack, anymore. She's now the "middle child", and while she's definitely finally matured in a lot of ways, she's also sort of struggling with the shift. Doing well, overall, but really hates her asshole psycho little brother and is struggling with the old injury (I still think it's elbow dysplasia, DH thinks shoulder, vet last year said soft tissue muscle strain), thanks to the little pest. It had cleared up beautifully after moving out of the house with the stairs, but now, between running the fence with the neighbor dogs, and running away from her overbearing brother who wants to play and doesn't get it that she DOESN'T, it hurts again.




Next year, she'll officially be a senior. Intended to get basic blood work done this year, but just can't afford it right now, what with everyone else's medical issues and vet bills. She seems fine and healthy, though.



Thursday, May 5, 2016

Elbow Deep in Dog Vomit

Airlie had a bout of tummy troubles this week. I noticed she seemed to be feeling "off" after Kansas killed a squirrel. I thought maybe she had had more of an active role in that event, but she spent the rest of that day, and the next, snapping at Kal whenever he would want to play with her. At 4:30pm on Tuesday, she threw up, which is unusual for her, unless she's in the car, or it's the middle of the night and she's spent the day chewing on sticks.

Looking for the culprit, I fished out a two-inch piece of banana.Apparently DH had given it to her while I was out running for a mere 15 minutes. We do share our bananas with the dogs, but I only ever give them a 1/4-inch slice. DH gives away entire thirds of his banana. I thought it was just too large of a piece, sitting in her stomach on top of her 2pm meal, after running around in with the other dogs. It wasn't hot out, but it was warm enough maybe she'd just been too active and the banana was the last straw.

I also noted the 1/3 of an orange segment I'd shared with her at 1:00. She seems to enjoy fruits and vegetables and always wants to try whatever you're having, even if it's something like oranges, when dogs aren't supposed to like citrus.

Yesterday's piece of orange was partially digested in the mess, too.

As were a few tiny (as in smaller than my pinky finger) strips of soggy rawhide, on which they'd had their daily chaw at 1pm. Nothing unusual. I supervise the chewing, take them away after 10 minutes, and only buy the really hard, durable ones that take a long time to even get soft enough to remove pieces from. We've never had an issue.

A handful of mulberries that had fallen from the neighbor's tree and been scavenged.

She's funny. Ever since the car-anxiety travel sickness days of her puppyhood, she comes and "tells" me when she's going to be sick.

I'd been lying on the patio, after my run, doing some stretches, and she came over to lay beside me, then got up to puke.

She did the same thing five hours later, at 9:30pm. Leaving her crate to come get in bed with me, and then make a mad dash down the hall for the back door.

This time, something suspicious in the puddle. Honestly, to me, it looked like a somewhat rubbery half of a used-to-be-rolled-up corn tortilla. The thickness, texture and color, anyway.

DH insists it's rawhide, but it just doesn't resemble what we give her, including the bits she threw up earlier.

I argue that it isn't, because I started her on a brand-new roll on Monday, and it's not chewed down enough to equal the amount in the vomit, and that she hasn't had any other rawhide except for the end of the last piece on Friday night.

DH is still insisting it's rawhide and is now on the "don't give them that, anymore" bandwagon.

If it is, it still doesn't resemble what we buy, but there's really nowhere else she would have gotten any. It's possible it's been in there since Friday, and that's why she's been feeling bad.

She puked again at 2:30am, another 5 hours later, and that seemed to be the last of the pieces.

I do know that, Tuesday morning, she ate her fold slowly, actually chewing it, which she never does. I noted that she, usually the first to clean her bowl, was still eating long after she'd normally have finished.

She seemed fine Wednesday morning, back to her usual self, ears perking up at the  mention of breakfast. She ate, albeit VERY slowly, chewing each bite. But then she drank water twice, and used the bathroom ok.

After that, however, she seemed to take a turn at feeling puny again, and had me worried. But the food stayed down and, and hour-and-one-half later she was acting interested in the empty milk jug I'd given Kal to play with,and perked up when I got out his leash to take him on a walk (I'd already decided she would be taking the day off from her usual activities). She did fine the rest of the day, getting more interested in playing with Kal and running around doing her usual things. She seems fine today.

I'm glad, because I've had my fill of dealing with sick animals nonstop for the past 6 months.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow

 Well, we had a "light dusting" of snow back in November of 2014.

Early last week, we had a bout of ice and sleet that shut down everything for a day. It had melted away by late last Wednesday afternoon, but then we had snow all day that Friday, resulting in a good 3 inches of cover. It was really neat to let the dogs out periodically and see that their tracks from the  previous potty break had all been filled in and covered.

It was also weird, being that I grew up in the part of the state too far for snow to reach, typically, and have since spent many years even farther south, in warmer, more tropical climates that I really miss. It did snow two times while we were living in Houston, once in January of 2009 when we were in that third floor, one-bedroom apartment. That was fun to watch, but it all melted away by the end of the day. We got a very slight dusting at our house once, in early 2014...

Waking up Saturday to find that the pristine front yard of the previous day was now criss-crossed with rabbit tracks was interesting.

It's the melting that is unpleasant. The slush, the dirtiness, the standing water. We've been "drying out" all week, in the sense that the roads never actually did dry, it took days for the residual ice to melt, and it has been alternately misting, drizzling, raining, sleeting, freezing rain... for days.

And then, this morning, we wake to this- a good 5 inches overnight in what the idiot newscasters are calling a "snowstorm" and "record-breaking", "the most snow we've had in the past five years", and bragging "we nailed it!" (Yes, the whole two times any of them have predicted any accurate weather since we've moved here, both within the past week and both regarding measured amounts of snow and the winter weather that brought it. Too easy, if you ask me, and shut up about it, already).











The dogs found a baby bunny last week. I'd had a feeling that the rabbit that has taken up residence under our shed had had babies. Something about the way Airlie kept obsessively patrolling the perimeter. I guess she finally managed to crawl under it far enough (there's really not enough space for her to fit) to snag one. Probably it had moved away from its safe place on its own. It was big enough to be mobile and have its eyes open. I just happened to walk out the back door and hear a squealing and notice Kansas with something in her jaws. She kept dropping it - it was really struggling, and squalling in terror. By the time I reached them, the poor thing (about as big as my hand) was soaking wet from repeated exposure to the melting sleet and slush. I shoved it back under the shed, hoping the mama was there to groom and warm it. No such luck. Airlie hauled it out again. I put it back a second time, blocked off access, and was just going to leave it at that. I ended up telling DH, so then, of course, he had to go out and do his version of everything I'd already done. It did have a pretty big tear in it's skin- seemed to be superficial, but who knows what injuries it had sustained, due to the dogs. DH, for some dumb reason, decided to wrap it in a towel and THEN stick it back under the shed...

It was dead a few hours later.

*sigh* Animals.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Well, DUH...!

I have been experimenting, and I have decided that most of Airlie's intermittent limping/injury issues are due to the fact that she is in a smaller space and I was not warming her up properly for the amount of jumping she was doing.

I know better. I know you're supposed to warm up your dogs prior to athletic activities.

I just never had to do consciously, actively do so when we were in a bigger yard. She had so much time to run from point A to point B before catching a disc that she naturally got prepared for such things just crossing the yard chasing after the Frisbee.

Here, not nearly enough.

Thus, I've been spending at least 3 minutes throwing nothing but rollers for her to chase before I start throwing any discs into the air for her to jump up and catch.

Problem seems to be solved.

Damn, do I miss our old yard, though...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Injury/Insanity

Well, running ground to a  halt after just one month. Airlie was really enjoying her Tuesday jaunts around the neighborhood. That final week, I had actually worked up to running her twice in one week- Tuesday and Friday.

Unfortunately, she began limping not long after that, and was still limping 3 weeks later. This week, it seems much better, but I am still trying to pinpoint the issue.

Studying videos of limping dogs on YouTube, I suspect elbow dysplasia, but when I read up on that condition the description doesn't fit.

Then I thought, shoulder injury, and this video has some great techniques and helpful tips, so we've been incorporating massage, though I can't find any knots or sensitive places.

Mainly, she needs crate rest, but her mind is just not cut out for crate rest. If not for the limp, I'd say she wasn't even "in pain". She still chases the other dogs around, instigates wrestling matches, brings me her ball to throw -though I have held off on Frisbee for the past two weeks, more due to the weather, than anything.

She just has this odd way of holding her right foreleg out, away from her body, when walking. She tears off running through the yard with no problem, and while she may limp at the beginning of our morning walks, initially, whatever it is seems to work itself out over time.

I honestly don't know if she stepped in a low spot while running one day (the roads are bad- riddled with potholes, cracks and uneven places) or maybe landed wrong catching a Frisbee, or stepped in a low spot in the yard then. Her paw pads are fine and her nails aren't too long- I cut them weekly, they grow so fast!

There's always the possibility she is , once again, imitating Kansas, who limps on the same leg for real reasons- arthritis in her dysplastic hips meaning she bears more weight on that leg, which is now arthritic and tender after several years of such posture.

I can't really think that running just once a week for 4-5 weeks was enough to cause this much of a problem, and I can't understand why it's taken so long to heal.

She's a very physically active dog, and, mentally, she is not great at being still or occupying herself with other tasks. She has really driven me bananas these past 3 weeks, between the "injury", the time change meaning daylight ends at 5:30pm, the lack of Frisbee, ball play and running... Between the first week of Daylight Saving Time, the following week being cold, overcast and rainy/muddy all week, last week's temps being in the 30s each day- even the sunny days, thanks to the cold wind- she is nutty and so am I. I can barely tolerate her constant hovering and neediness. She just doesn't understand that between the weather and the lack of daylight, there's not much playing outside to be done, and resting her leg? Forget about that!

I guess I'll start her on Missing Link, too...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Town, New Vet, Past Due

Airlie's vet visit last Friday went fine. She was almost 6 weeks past due for her annual vaccines, so we had to go with the 1-year shots, rather than the 3-year ones. She didn't enjoy being there, but she never does. Still, she was good. She weighed in at 48.4 lbs. The staff was friendly, the facility was clean, service was quick. Being that it's a community outreach, "low cost" facility, it wasn't the same as visiting an actual vet clinic, and I'd opted not to do the wellness exam, which was an additional $25, so we didn't meet the actual vet, or establish any relationships, but still... she's UTD on vaccines and her prescription for HW  meds has been mailed off. It still cost me $100 ($15 rabies, $19 DHPP, $19 Lepto, $15 prescription, $30 heartworm test, $2 "disposal fee"), which was a little bit more than back home (and I should have just had her done 6 weeks early, back in July before we moved, rather than waiting till we moved here and been as many weeks past due). I wish I had gone that route. If I had had the money, I'd have done the wellness exam, just because there are a few questions that I have. Next time.

I thought she'd contracted flea tapeworm, from eating rabbit poop out in the yard (dang rabbits!), but I wormed her for that and... nothing. I'm still going to give her the remaining dose tomorrow, since I bought it and all...