September 20 th


Doggie Woes

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I  am accustomed to running this sanctuary despite my own chronic pain and malaise from 40 years of Lyme disease. My spine is fused with titanium and pain has been a part of my daily life for 24 years. However, I hate seeing an animal in distress.

Late last night (Sunday), Carson went from his usual happy self to looking like he was about to die. He was retching a little and I knew it was a GI problem. He became lethargic and droopy-looking. Had it been another dog, I would have rushed to the vet 20 miles away, because it looked like it could be the start of a GDV (bloat) which can kill a dog within hours. However, Carson will attack if he feels threatened in any way. Lifting him into my truck and bouncing down miles of  dirt roads would have been dangerous for me and would have been severely stressful for him. He will not allow strangers to touch him, either.

So, I squeezed a few GasX capsules into a syringe with a little water and got that into his mouth, albeit with my thumb getting chomped on in the process. We  both pretty much passed out at midnight. This morning, I woke at 5 AM and he looked much better and wanted to eat. I gave him a small meal, with more pancreatin than usual and another GasX and probiotics. This afternoon, he is back to normal.

Patty is always very high-energy and active. She was really running the yard last night, probably seeing coyotes out in the desert. Today, she has the symptoms of a stifle (“knee”) injury. She is using the leg, but it is stiff and she is in pain. As a vet tech, I saw my share of failed stifle surgeries and I myself had 2 dogs in the past with failed surgeries. The cost can now run into thousands of dollars and, unfortunately, knee surgeries are somewhat of a “cash cow” for many veterinarians. Patty has severe separation anxiety, cannot be crated and would be a poor candidate, even if we could afford it.

I found several good websites today which say that many stifle injuries can heal with months of activity restriction and joint supplements. Patty is already on glucosamine/chondroiten, but today I started adding MSM, cetyl myristloleate  and chicken collagen. I gave her low dose aspirin (will use just for a few days). Now, the big problem- restriction….I have a 4 X 4 foot corner of the kitchen partitioned off and the dog door from it leads to a 14 X 18 foot fenced yard. Enough room for movement without being conducive to running. She has enough space that she is not freaking out  (she cannot be crated or put in an X pen without going ballistic). I am praying the injury is not too severe and that she will heal. Everything I have read calls for at least 3 months of restriction, which will not be fun for any of us, but we do what we have to do.

Carson 3/13/11


Now, after installing a gate this morning, treating hooves and carrying a big tub of laundry, I have tweaked my back.

When it rains, it pours…..


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