Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation

Yesterday morning, when Cookie was coming for her breakfast, she seemed to have been squinting her right eye.


Of course, trying to observe one eye on a dog who's in constant motion isn't easy. Right after that it seemed like to was fine. (Trying to photograph it, btw, is even harder. You won't believe how many totally blurry photos I took)

I couldn't tell whether it was gone or not.

Then we left for our morning walk and I kept trying to watch what the eye was doing. It kind of seemed like she kept squinting a little bit but not all the time. Perhaps it was a reaction to the sunlight? (Yeah, we actually had a couple of sunny days, didn't know what to do with it any more ... well, today it's raining again so things are back to normal)

Overall I did think that the eye wasn't quite right.

When we got back and she settled down it became quite clear that the eye is not happy. (When "idle" she's squint quite a bit more than on the photo above. When active, she'd open it fully)

Squinty eye is a painful eye. There was no discharge, swelling or redness as we could see. But something was going on with it that should not.

I am quite paranoid when it comes to eyes.

Well, okay, I'm quite paranoid when it comes to anything being wrong with my dogs. But eyes are very vulnerable.

Of course, problems always crop up when it's hard or impossible to go to see a vet. Be it a long weekend, or, this time, hubby leaving down South for work.

I was quite upset. What if it gets worse?

I don't know what I would do without my online veterinary friends. I can always turn to them at times like this. Dr. Krista was around, took a look at the photos and said it wasn't too bad looking.

She recommended sterile saline flush.

Fortunately, having a fully equipped doggy first aid kit, we had some of that too. It was a big bottle so I pulled out a syringe which we originally got for force-feeding Jasmine.

I squirted it in generously.

This stuff doesn't do any harm, one can you all they wish or all the dog is willing to put up with. Cookie wasn't really impressed but let me do it. Right after she got special big treat.

Because nothing has changed in the next half hour, I repeated the flush. In fact, nothing has changed for the rest of the day. At least things didn't get worse but didn't seem to be getting better either.

So periodically I kept flushing the eye, hoping I won't have to get a neighbor drive us to the vet.

In the morning I was anxious to see what the eye looked like.

It looked good!

I can breathe yet again. Not sure if the flushes helped or it fixed itself but glad it's fine now. She might have had a bit of foreign material or hurt it a little bit when running through the bush.

Here is the complete answer I got on Pawbly:

A squinty eye is an irritated eye. Look for any  debris or foreign material in the eye, you know like we squint when we get an eyelash. Debris can be flushed out with sterile saline, the sort used for contact lens (no medicated red eye stuff, just plain saline). If the squinting persists or you start to see any ocular discharge, like excessive tearing or yellow-green discharge it is time to go to the vet.

My biggest concern is damage to the cornea, which is painful, hence the squinting. The good news is that  with early intervention a small scratch or damage often heals quickly. Eyes get bad, and heal, quickly, so early diagnosis and treatment is important in eyes.

And, remember to not let her rub her eye. Rubbing can worsen the damage if it is caused by a foreign material, or worsen the size of the defect if rubbed or scratched with a paw/nail.

Allergies are another possibility, but usually that affects both eyes.

All is well what ends well, right?

Related articles:
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach


Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me and I'll be happy to publish your story.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Adoption Monday: Misty, Labrador Retriever Mix, Deerfield, NH

Check out this lovely girl at Mary's Dogs Rescue and Adoption!

OK, so maybe you've decided you want a new family member, but you don't want all the work of a puppy??? 



Well then Misty is your girl! 

She's 2 years young, sweet as can be, and will make a fabulous hiking/snowshoeing/walking/couch buddy! And no need to "guess" how big she'll be: she the perfect size at 50 lbs!!! And her shiny, gorgeous, black coat will be easy to see no matter how much snow arrives this winter!

Misty is spayed, house trained and current on routine shots. Want more info on Misty? Call Mary's Dogs: or send along an email: marysdogsrescue@gmail.com

Ready to bring Misty home? Tell us about yourself and your interest in Misty in the adoption questionnaire. Check out all the wonderful dogs on Mary's Dogs Facebook Fan Page.

***

Mary’s Dogs rescues and re-homes dogs and puppies from Aiken County Animal Shelter, a high-kill shelter in South Carolina, USA. They also serve as a resource to communities in Southern New Hampshire and pet owners nationwide by providing education and information on responsible pet ownership, including the importance of spay/neuter, positive behavior training, and good nutrition.

Don't forget to check out Mary's Dogs Shop where you can shop dog and support their work!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Who Is In The Wrong?

Because of the crazy weather, we were unable to move on with our building and are staying at a friend's house for the Winter. The dogs love him and he enjoys their affections.


The friend's cousin went hunting at the back of our properties.

He spent most of the day back there.

In the evening I was taking Cookie for our last walk of the day. We just went around at the front so I kept her on the leash for safety.

Through the bush, there was crashing and there the cousin comes through the woods.

Understandably, Cookie barked at the intruder in the distance.

He was coming to the house and so did we, so Cookie could see who it was, meet and greet.

As we were coming closer, she stopped barking, interested in meeting this new person (she hasn't met him before)

As we came up, Cookie was all excited. She rubbed around his legs, positioning herself sideways, all wiggly, expecting attention.

However, no attention was coming her way.

Her friendly attempts got ignored; instead the cousin pulled out a power bar and started eating it.

Now Cookie was jumping up. I'm not entirely sure whether it was because she figured she'd get better noticed that way, or thinking that he was teasing her with the food.

"Does she want to eat me or just my power bar?" he asks.

I told him she just wanted him to greet with her. Yes, jumping up is wrong but what is one to do when polite attempts are being ignored and instead stuff is being waved up high in front of them?

To Cookie, the friend's place is now her property. All would be well if the intruder was being social. But he was not. And he does own a dog himself, so it's not like he should be all weird around them.

When the cousin finally decided to comply with required etiquette, he chose to do so by taking two fast strides towards Cookie.

Already suspicious of his actions, when he did that, Cookie jumped a few steps back and started barking.

The opportunity to make friends was lost.

If somebody came to my property, ignored my completely, I would find that disagreeable too.

What do you think?

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Observation Skills Of Dogs  
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It  
Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks 
What Constitutes The Perfect Dog?
Are Dog Training Classes Really For The Dogs?  
Look Where You Want To Go: Finding My Reactive Dog Training Zen Zone? 
Dog Training And Emotions 
Dog Training And Emotions: Postscript
Dogs Love Sentences In Question Form?
Not All Dog Trainers Were Created Equal Either 
A Thought On Separation Anxiety
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
About Freedom, Trust And Responsibility: A "Pilot Study"
So, We Have A Bear 
About Happiness: What Makes Your Dog Happy? 
Our Example Of The Use Of "Look At That" (LAT) 
Why Do Dogs Dig?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Let's Get This Straight: Do Vaccines Protect Your Dog From Disease?

Just recently a member posted a following question on Dog Health Issues FB group:

"Are puppies suppose to sleep a lot? Or is the puppy shot she got making her lethargic"?

Of course, puppies play a lot and sleep a lot. But this wasn't about that. With further inquiry, it turned out that this puppy was unusually sleepy specifically after it received its shots. It was not the way the pup usually acted.

Let's note here that mild lethargy, soreness or even mild fever are considered a potential normal reaction to vaccination. Substantial lethargy, though, can be a problem. Lilly's disastrous vaccine reaction started as lethargy.


When asked which vaccine the pup received it turned out she got her "9 in 1" shot

If you never heard of that don't feel bad, neither have I. But it surely sounds scary - 9 vaccines in one shot?? Yes, that's what this is.

This one shot combines Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2), Canine Parainfluenza, and Canine Parvovirus Type 2b. The diluent contains killed antigens for Leptospira Canicola-Grippotyphosa-Icterohaemorrhagiae-Pomona bacterial extract. The CAV-2 fraction cross-protects against respiratory infection caused by infectious canine hepatitis (CAV-1).

Wow, everything and the kitchen sink.

Throwing all these things at the immune system at once?

When the owner asked the vet why they want to use this combo, she was told that they want the pup to be protected from everything all at once. Apparently, where she lives, they either give the combo or, when they give the vaccines separately, they give them all on the same day anyway.

"So the pup would be protected from everything all at once."
So the administration of a vaccine is an immediate and automatic protection, then, right? Wrong!

An administration of a vaccine doesn't protect anybody from anything, The immune system does.

Well, there is one exception and that is the rabies vaccine. While the vaccine itself doesn't automatically protect from rabies either, it does protect your dog from big trouble. Just recently a dog got euthanized after being bitten by a rabid skunk because of vaccination lapse and regulatory inflexibility.

So how is it with vaccines a protection from disease?

The purpose of a vaccine is to stimulate the immune system to arm itself to protect the body.

When your dog gets a vaccine, it is not like they get injected with ready-to-go soldiers.

It's like injecting it with a bunch of enemy carcasses. That's right. A vaccine carries either dead or disabled enemies, not soldiers. It is the immune system that has to build the army.

If you throw all these different enemies at it all at once, you can be looking at total mobilization and marshal law ... There can be chaos and there can be casualties.

Image Call Of Duty MW3

The immune system needs to build one army for each type of enemy.

Now you have it building nine different armies. That will take a toll on the body. You throw in with it some smoke bombs and firecrackers (the adjuvant). Now you have all the armies really wound up and trigger happy too. And because there are nine different enemies of different shapes and colors, civilian casualties are that much more likely. AND the immune system can run out of resource or miss an enemy or two and some armies might never get built.

It might be cheaper, it might be more convenient, but is it better for your dog?

 
Related articles:
Problems With Canine Over-Vaccination
Veterinarians And Vaccines: A Slow Learning Curve

Further reading:
Canine Vaccines: The Best Current Thinking
Dr. Jean Dodds' Recommended Vaccination Schedule

Friday, October 24, 2014

Veterinary Highlights: Susceptibility To Sunburn

We are all aware about the dangers of excessive UV rays. While we know to protect ourselves, do we need to worry about our dogs too?


Dogs with little or no pigmentation, dogs with thin coats, and dogs with certain pre-existing conditions are at particular risk.

The most vulnerable parts are the ears, nose, skin around the eyes, the back and bellies for those who enjoy basking in the sun on their backs.

Breeds particularly susceptible are The Dogo Argentino breed, White Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Boxers, Whippets and Beagles and, of course, hairless breeds, depending on their skin pigmentation.

Any illnesses or genetic defects resulting in a thin coat also make skin more sensitive to sunburn.

These can include parasitic infections, chronic skin conditions or congenital hairlessness.

Particular caution needs to be taken with dogs suffering from autoimmune skin diseases, where exposure to sunlight can worsen the condition (such as Discoid Lupus Erythematosus).

Source article:
Some dogs and cats prone to sunburn: How to protect your animal from skin damage

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Lethargy

lethargy [ˈleTHərjē] – lack of energy and enthusiasm; state of sleepiness or deep unresponsiveness and inactivity

One of the most ambiguous and yet extremely important symptoms to watch for in dogs is lethargy.

The quieter your dog gets, the more serious the situation is. 


But lethargy doesn’t tell you anything about the reason behind it. 

Anything that will cause your dog feel unwell can result in lethargy.

While other symptoms might give you SOME indication as to what could be going on, lethargy will tell you NOTHING about the cause at all.

That’s why when your dog becomes severely lethargic or the lethargy persists for more than a day or two, you do need to see a veterinarian.

You may notice other symptoms to go with the lethargy or you may not.

The other day Cookie woke up in the morning quite lethargic. With her, in particular, the change was alarming.

First thing I did was to check her vitals, her gums and look for the presence of other signs. 

Other than the lethargy and disinterest in food, there were none. Everything looked normal. If I had found one more worrisome sign, we’d have been on our way to the emergency clinic. Because Cookie otherwise looked good, we gave her a bit of time to get over whatever was wrong. Fortunately, she improved by the end of the day. If she didn’t, we’d have been on our way to the vet the next morning.

Conditions that can cause lethargy in dogs include the following:
  • Trauma
  • Poisoning
  • Pain
  • Infections
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Anemia or other blood disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Certain medications
  • Snake bites
  • Parasites
  • Dehydration
  • Hypothermia
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Electrolyte abnormalities
  • Immune diseases
  • Neurologic and neuromuscular disorders
  • Certain eye diseases
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
I wasn't kidding when I said that virtually any problem at all can cause your dog to become lethargic, was I?

Another trap that’s easy to fall into is when changes happen gradually over time.

When your normally active and playful dog suddenly becomes lethargic, you KNOW something is wrong.

But what if your dog slowly becomes quieter and quieter, over time? 

Such gradual changes are easy to miss.

You might think your dog is just slowing down with age. But I have seen senior dogs who could outplay the youngest of them. It is not age that will slow your dog down, it is most likely pain or another medical problem. Please, do always keep that in mind.

When your dog becomes lethargic, he is talking to you.

He is saying, "I really feel like crap, please, do something." It's kind of the equivalent of a person saying, "I think I should see a doctor."

Related articles:
Veterinarians Answer: 10 Main Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog 
Symptoms: Recognition, Acknowledgement And Denial
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Panting
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drinking
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Bad Odor 
Symptoms to Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drooling  
What Can Your Dog's Gums And Tongue Tell You? 
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Coughing 
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Head Shaking  
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: What Is That Limp? 
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Nose Bleeds (Epistaxis)
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Unexplained Weight Loss
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Loss Of Appetite 
Whats In The Urine? (Part I: What You Can Notice On Your Own)
What's In The Urine? (Part II: Urinalysis)
A Tale of Many Tails—and What Came Out From Underneath Stories from My Diary-rrhea (part I)
Acute Small Intestinal Diarrhea
Acute Large Intestinal Diarrhea (Acute Colitis)
Chronic Large Intestinal Diarrhea
Chronic Small Intestinal Diarrhea
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is

Further reading:
My Pet Is Suddenly Tired and Weak. What Is Causing This?
Dog Weakness and Lethargy: Causes and Treatments
Lethargy in Dogs
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