Thursday, December 12, 2013

Info for Uncle Alex

Feed twice a day, once in morning, once in evening.
            Feed about half-cup of kibble and about third-cup of canned food. Mix it up.
            In the morning only, I grind up one Glucosamine pill (arthritis) in the funny little mortar/pestle  and give one squirt of the AllerG-3 omega-3 sauce (allergies and arthritis). Don’t worry about this unless you want to. She’ll be OK a week without it.
            Treats:  She gets one if she finishes her food. Give her a Kirkland bone. You can give her further treats when you want. Warning: Only one rawhide (Dingo) every three  days at the most. They screw up her digestion if she gets too many. You don’t want to clean that up.
            If she won’t eat, and she probably won’t:  Put a small spoon of cottage cheese in her food, or a cooked egg or some soup broth or something similar.  If she still doesn’t eat, just let it go. Leave the food and if she doesn’t eat by the next meal time, throw it away and start over with new food. She eventually will eat. If she doesn’t eat for three full days, call the vet.
            If she’s licking the bowl, she’s still hungry. Put a half-cup of kibble in her bowl.  That usually does it. If she doesn’t eat it immediately, she will eventually. She’s waiting for you to put more good stuff on there, but don’t.
            Make sure she has water! Check it in the morning when you feed her.

Poop and pee and diarrhea
Take her in the backyard first thing in the morning.
When she’s nudging you, you must listen. Usually she needs to go. Don’t ignore her unless you wanna clean up the mess.
She usually will not poo/pee unless you’re on the patio or in the yard with her. Tell her “Go pee!”
You must clean up any poop when you’re on a walk, but not in the backyard. We have a stock of bags in the planter inside the front door. Replenish with the bags at the poop stations on the walks. If they’re out, check the next time.
Riley will get diarrhea if she gets upset or otherwise stressed out or eats badly. Keep things calm, don’t be angry with her. Just a stern “No!” will suffice. And don’t feed her much people food. If you must, make it very bland things. NO SALT. That’s super bad. And nothing she could choke on, like grapes.

She needs you
Please don’t leave her alone for very long periods, more than 10 hours, or overnight. She needs companionship.
Sometimes she’s super needy when you want her to leave you alone. Don’t be angry/loud with her or she’ll get upset = diarrhea.  If you take her on walks and get her tired that will eliminate a lot of that.

Her nightly jaunts
She thinks there are critters in the backyard at midnight that must be dealt with. She wants to run out there. She’ll usually bark once and then run back and forth. Don’t let her carry on barking. Sometimes she poops. It just depends. But this is the only time she doesn’t care if you’re out there. You can leave her out there and she’s fine for from 5 to 20 minutes. She’ll scratch on the door when she wants to come back in. Listen for her. Sometimes she wants to do it two or three times.

She likes to sleep on the bed with people. If you want her to, let her. Put a quilt on the area of the bed so she doesn’t get your linens dirty.
If you don’t want her to, just tell her no, “Go lay down.” She knows what that means and she’ll give you “pobrecito” eyes.
She may jump on the bed when you’re asleep. I would put a “dog quilt” there just in case.

Thunder, etc.
She is inconsolable during thunder, fireworks, chirping smoke alarms and fire in the fireplace. We left her Thundershirt at Mom’s. If a package comes from Mom’s, open it to get the Thundershirt.
There’s not much you can do when she’s like this. She will not listen to you because she’s in panic/flight mode. She wants to crawl into the wall and disappear.

Pet Medical Center of Katy


6455 S Fry Rd

Phone: 281-392-7544
Fax: 281-392-7606

Office Hours:
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 7a - 7p
Wed, Sat: 8a - 12p
Wed: technician appointments only

Emergency Information

There are currently no after hours facilities in Katy, TX.

If you have an after hours emergency with your pet, please contact or go to the nearest emergency facility. We recommend the following emergency hospitals

Animal Emergency Center of West Houston
(24 hours / 7 days a week)
Phone: (832) 593.8387
4823 Highway 6 North
Houston, TX 77084

Veterinary Emergency Referral Group (VERGI)
(24 hours / 7 days a week)
Phone: (713) 932.9589
8921 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77024

Sugar Land Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center
(24 hours / 7 days a week)
Phone: (281) 491.7800
1515 Lake Pointe Parkway
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Other Phone Numbers

Below is a list of phone numbers and web addresses that we would like to provide for your convenience:

Animal Poison Control 1-888-426-4911

Citizens for Animal Protection (281) 497-0591

Fort Bend Animal Control
After hours (281) 342-1512
(281) 342-6116

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists

Gulf Coast Eye Clinic (713) 461-3132

Harris County Animal Control (281) 999-3191

Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (512) 305-7555

Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine Small Animal Clinic (979) 845-2351

Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (713) 468-8972

U.S.D.A: For Health Certificate Processing
903 San Jacinto Blvd. Rm 220
Austin, TX 78701 (512) 383-2411

Houston SPCA (713)869-7722

Veterinary Dental Services/Dr. Boyd (713) 777-2323

Friday, November 8, 2013

Back from the groomers

Riley got a haircut and a full groom at Animal Tales on Thursday. They trimmed her a little shorter than I asked, but she looks great. We'll make sure she doesn't get too chilly. She was pretty exhausted from all the worrying about whether we'd come get her. I don't think she'll ever get over the separation anxiety issue. But she's a sweetie.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Doctor's orders

Too much of this going on. 

Riley and I went to see Dr. Cruz today for a heartworm check and a Bordatella booster.

Riley's up to 69.1 pounds, about 4.1 pounds overweight, Dr. Cruz says. We need to get her down. She's not overeating, in fact I don't think she's eating enough food, which is why Dr. Cruz wants to give her a thyroid test, which costs $175 and I really don't want to go there. Maybe Vlad and I need to be more strict with what we give her. Perhaps we're supplementing with too many scraps and she's getting too many treats. At the least, we all need to get back to our daily exercising regime. That should help bring her back down.

Dr. Cruz mentioned I needed to replenish Riley's arthritis regimen, which had been glucosamine dog treats. I remember them being quite pricey, so I stopped tip-toeing around about these expensive products they have. So she suggested human glucosamine supplements: Osteo Bi-flex works best: 1500 mg once daily. And the added MSM is fine. I found a year's supply online for $18.50. Win!

Rawhide treats: Riley chews them up and swallows them, rather quickly. I asked Dr. Cruz about them. She said the flat ones are the least problematic. The rolled-up ones can cause blockages if they're not chewed up enough. Also, don't get the ones that are basted/flavored. They can be tainted with e.coli or salmonella. All this said, she's tolerating the rawhide we have just fine, as long as she doesn't get them every day. I'm not going to worry about this one too much.

Other than her weight, Riley is fine. She has a little gingivitis that we need to take care of with some brushing. I had been avoiding that because, well, yuck.

Tomorrow she goes to the groomers for a haircut, nail clip and a much-needed bath.

Monday, November 4, 2013

So many appointments, so little time

WAGGIN TAILS: Just got off the phone with Natasha at Waggin Tails Pet Ranch in Fulshear. We're going to leave Riley there while we go on a cruise. All we need to do is furnish them with her vaccine record (I should fax that over after Wednesday's Bordatella shot) and she's in. She has a reservation. We'll have to drop her off on the Saturday before we leave because they only do pickups on Sundays. And we'll pick her up when we return on the following Sunday.

We got her a "luxury suite," above, and it looks like she's got a TV and there's radio, I believe. Natasha said if a dog is frightened from thunder or something, they turn up soothing radio music and put on the Thundershirts. The luxury suites are $45/day. The regular accomodations -- "The Bunkhouse" -- are $35/day, so it's not that much more to go large. I'm sure there are other fees and we probably should buy a bath at the end of her stay (there are ponds out there and I wonder if she won't be in them every day).

A very cool thing about Waggin Tails is that you can go out for one day of doggie day camp for free to see how she likes it. I was under the impression she had to pass an evaluation to get in there, but that is not the case. They evaluate on site and each dog is rated green (friendly all the time), orange (needs to be watched) or red (doesn't play well with other dogs). They all get attention and exercise, just tailored to their own personalities. She said they have a lot of red dogs, which is kind of comforting, in that they are experienced with them, or else they'd shy away from difficult cases.

We pay when we pick her up. It won't be cheap, but she's worth it.

DR. CRUZ: Appointment for Bordatella booster, heartworm exam Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 10 a.m.

ANIMAL TALES: Grooming appointment Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 a.m. for full bath and haircut. Not as short as last time. I want to pick her up and bring her home before I go to work. In case she's not ready, Vlad can pick her up as late as 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The park, Grams' house and pillow talk

Checking out the resident snowy egret and a Muscovy at the lake. 

Crazy day at the dog park. Even when Bamboo the Great Dane is there, 
this tiny tyrant - Garbanzo - is in charge.

Yes, I love the crazy dog park!

In or out? 

Loves some pillow action. 

Hiding from the crazy at Grams' house.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Duck soup

Morning walk on Saturday. They tease her, like cats. When we walk, they come toward us. Drives her crazy. I hate them. :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Riley and Spartan

Vlad took her to the GLDP today and everyone was there. She and Spartan had tons of fun.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Allergy medicine *Update

* May 30: We started giving her the meds again. She went back to scratching all the time.

Dr. Cruz advised stopping Riley's allergy meds at some point to see if she still needs them.The pollen counts have gone down. We're stopping them today -- she's been taking two 50 MG Hydroxyzine tablets with breakfast and and two at dinner daily. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

All right now

Riley did not exhibit any problems on Tuesday for Dr. Cruz, but it's not unusual. She gave her some anti-inflammatories - Deramaxx - for the next time it happens. Whatever it was - probably pain due to overexertion - she's over it. 

However, she gained a pound from two weeks ago. What? She's not eating that much and in fact we have cut back on her food. Soooo. Dr. Cruz says to watch it, and come in next month if she gains more weight because she may have a thyroid problem. Oh, whatever. I don't ever remember having a pet with so many problems. We'll hope for the best. She's not fat, of course, but this rate of weight gain is unsustainable. Poor thing is still hungry, too. It feels kind of cruel.

Anyway, that was the meat of the situation. Volodya took her to the dog park last night and she played hard with some pups. Today she's fine.

She has started being very insistent physically, trying to "dig" into the carpet between my bed and nightstand. She won't stop, no matter how many times I tell her. She has to be under my feet all the time. 

We've DVRed a bunch of "Dog Whisperer" shows trying to learn about dogs in the off-hours. But he mostly deals with dogs who bite or don't get along. At least so far. So that's been a bust mostly. It's interesting his "pack" philosophies, though. They're complicated and it's hard to remember what to do when. But it's really cool what Cesar Millan can do to fix a screwed-up dog. 

In my teen years I had a couple of dogs "turn" on me. I went through a period of being afraid of larger dogs. It wasn't debilitating, but it was a phobia. Cesar works with people afraid of dogs and one thing I learned: If a dog isn't curious about you, smelling you, etc. then back off. It is likely a dangerous situation.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pain and whimpering

Our girl is suffering, maybe arthritis, maybe hip dysplasia. It's been going on around 24 hours now. She has a lot of pain in her back legs and can't get up on the bed, can hardly get in the car. She whimpers when she gets up or steps down or turns around.

She can walk. Volodya took her around the lake this morning and she did all the normal things: pooped, peed, tried to chase ducks and rabbits, ate grass. But it all went in slow motion.

Afterward, she ate breakfast like normal. I gave her a glucosamine dog treat for cleaning her plate.

I have an appointment to take her back to the vet tomorrow at 2:20 p.m. I hope she'll snap out of this spell, like she did the last one. Suddenly the vet bills are piling up! We'll get her sorted out soon enough.

She's gained a few pounds, which she needed, so we thought, and she showed signs of arthritis before, but this is different.

So how many calories are in these dog foods? They don't say on the package. How many calories does a dog her size need? Who knows.

Meanwhile, today I'm reading too much on canine arthritis and dog weight on the Internet. Here's a very interesting link on how to shop for dog food. It's from people advocating raw food, which isn't happening in this house, but they have done some impressive homework on pet food labeling:

  What Pet Food Makers Don't Want You to Know

And there is lots of info on arthritis and dogs on the Webbernets. I've distilled it to this:

-- Get a vet to diagnose exactly what's going on.
-- Moderate exercise only.
-- Get your dog to lose a couple of pounds.

After that, it goes in all directions.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Allergy note

Riley's still scratching a lot. And she continues to shake her ears out. I increased her allergy medication today to 2 pills per meal, beginning with breakfast. The vet suggested I do that if she was still having symptoms of allergies.

That is all.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Photo post

Volodya walked her to the park this evening where she met up with some friends. She has adopted this new "hunting" pose. We think she likes to hide from the dogs that are just entering the park. She did this this morning when we visited, but then greeted the two sweet dogs with a defensive move and much growlking. Weird. Still a lot of dog stuff I don't understand.

V and I started walking Riley this morning, but I tripped on an uneven part of the sidewalk and smashed my left knee. Hurts like hell, but I think I'm OK. The morning after is always the great leveler. We'll see how it is tomorrow. Anyway, we ended up driving to the dog park like lazy people.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Photo post

Vlad had a photo session with Riley Wednesday night, trying to distract her from being freaked out by the guys mowing the lawn.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Back to see Dr. Cruz

Today Riley saw Dr. Cruz again at the Pet Medical Center of Katy. She's all tuckered out now because we went to the dog park afterward and played with a beagle!

Riley must be among the best patients ever. She doesn't flinch when they give her vaccine shots. She's completely compliant when they shoot vaccine up her nose. After having nothing but bitchy cats for years, this is a completely new world to me.

Today, she got her Lepto booster (to protect her against Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease spread by soil, water and urine of infected animals.) Because we're on the edge of the prairie and there are lots of critters about, it's a good idea to have this. She's done with Lepto for another year.

She also got her second booster vaccine for canine flu, and she's due for another in a year.

She also got her final Bordetella booster, which is that bacterial bronchitis known as "kennel cough."

Here's her schedule for upcoming shots:

July 11, 2015: DHPP 3-year booster
May 1, 2014: Canine flu annual booster
May 1, 2014: Lepto booster
Jan. 19, 2014: Rabies booster
Dec. 3, 2013: Heartworm test
Oct. 30, 2013: Bordetella booster

Her weight was up 1.8 pounds, she's at 64.8 pounds. When we got her she was underweight at about 55 pounds. The vet assistant says she's about right now, so we need to keep her weight steady. He said you need to be able to feel her ribs and see the ridge contour in her underside and in her sides. She's getting a lot of treats; we'll need to check the calorie counts on those. We'll cut back on the dry food a little and make sure she gets her walks in. Good for us as well!

She has some kind of crusty spots on her skin on her back. Dr. Cruz isn't sure what that's from. Could have been from her shave, but she doubts it. Something is irritating her skin. Could be allergies. She suggested we give her a bath with an oatmeal shampoo.

Because of the vaccines, and because last time she got diarrhea after the doctor and the groomer and all the new stuff we were giving her -- glucosomine treats, fish oil food spray, antihistamines -- she said don't change anything yet. See if the vaccines are making her sick. After a week, we can start back on one thing, she suggested the fish oil because it's good for her skin. The only thing I continued to give her was the antihistimine.

Speaking of which, I told them she was scratching her nose a lot and the vet assistant suggested an increase in the antihistimine, which I'll do after the one-week grace period. I suppose it's possible that may help the crusty irritations as well.

One more thing, her right ear still has a little debris and some wax in it. I am not getting that out with the ear cleaner. So will try to do better on that.

Vlad and I plan to give Riley a bath Saturday. It really takes two to keep her still.

She's looking good!

April 2013

This post to come.

About Riley

This post to come.