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.