Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Short Buddy Update

(Yes, I know. I've been bad. No updates to speak of.)

Fast one for Buddy. He's settled into his routine, we've got his meds down to where they need to be. His feeding where it needs to be (Buddy will dispute that and tell you it should be a lot more than it is). His weight is good and his attitude is good.

The boy feels quite well.

So well, in fact, we had a loping-through-the-house Buddy this morning in the hopes of speeding up my process to the kitchen and his breakfast.

He's doing good. Responding very well to the meds. It's amazing, really, when a heart dog responds well to drugs. It's a night and day difference. And right now, Buddy is sitting in the sunlight of response. :)  I couldn't hope for anything better for this boy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The New and Improved Dixie Chick

Really hard to improve on this dog, but...............................................

Dixie has lost her rather Rubenesque figure and is now sporting a more slim and trim silhouette.

Back in December around Christmas, before she came to us, the vet clinic in Tyler had her weight at 15.8 pounds.

Our scales had busted, and it was a bit before we could get new ones in, but we got them in in early January, and her first weighing was 13.8 pounds, so she had already slimmed down some. But she needed more off. She still had no waist line, and Dixie is one of those dachshunds whose extra weight goes right to her neck and shoulders, so she was definitely overloaded in front.

I'm pleased to announce that just under two months here in Waco, her weight is now right. 12.2 pounds...give or take an ounce.

Sadly for Dixie this doesn't mean the end of her diet...she just moves into maintenance mode which means she may get a little less today and a little more tomorrow. It just all depends on what I see from day to day, and how she tips the scales on her weekly weigh in.

I'll try to get some new photos of her soon, but it all depends on the weather. In Dixie's mind, there is not such thing as "too warm", so the sun will have to be out and the mercury up before she'll spend any length of time out from under her blanket. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Buddy: Two steps forward...one step sideways

**sigh** Why can't things be simple?

Buddy has responded like a champ to his heart medications now that I've got them regulated and he's got a consistent schedule.

In the morning around 8:15, he gets 1 ml Robitussin DM syringed down. And a bit later, he gets a food ball with 1/2 Enalapril and 1/2 Lasix. The only drawbacks are he just absolutely hates the Robitussin (don't blame him...how many adults do you know who were traumatized as children by cherry-flavored cough syrup?), and the Lasix tablet does NOT halve...despite the little dividing line, what it does is crumble. So I split it on a small piece of wax paper and eyeball it.

Then at night about 9:15, he gets the same series of medicines.

And let me tell you, the difference in this boy today compared to how he was when he got here 11 days ago is like night and day. There is little to no coughing during the day. It's mainly when he drinks water, which is very normal for a dog with his condition. He feels like exploring the yard. He goes into the kitchen and monitors the cooking. He comes up for attention. He interacts with Randall and me and the other dogs. He is just generally feeling good. He does cough at night when he shifts position or gets up for water, and again, that's typical for a CHF dog.

I'm also pretty sure his collapsed trachea is in the early stages. I believe what the vet and Dawn were hearing was the CHF cough. I may get the deep, hacking cough once or twice a day at most and some days not at all. And when I press on his throat, there is no reaction whatsoever; his breathing is deep and rhythmic...not the labored or shallow breathing he had when he first came here. No panting and his gums are a good, healthy pink.

So with all this good news, you knew there had to be something negative going on.

Well, he's lost his appetite. The ACE inhibitors all have various side effects, and the one Enalapril has that seems to be raising its head is appetite suppression. As the medications have begun to work their magic, Buddy's appetite has gone south...each day he's been less and less interested in food.

Yesterday when he turned down chicken livers and Stumpy Snacks, I knew we'd reached the nadir (or at least I hope so because if there's worse to come, I don't know what I'll do. For awhile, I toyed with the idea of taking him off the Enalapril and just keeping him on the Lasix and cough medicine, but he has responded SO well to it, that I really wanted to try to work around it.

What has happened is that he does get hungry, but he doesn't have much appetite and, since he's not like any of my dachshunds who wouldn't stop eating until they popped, he walks away when he feels full. Yesterday he got MAYBE 1/4 can of Pro Plan down him. And that just isn't enough.

So this morning I tinkered with a menu, and so far, he's eaten most of each of the two small meals he's been given. I won't keep him strictly on canned food because I hate the stools dogs that are on straight canned food have. Clean up has got to be easy.

So what I've come up with for the daily meal is this:

1/3 can Pro Plan classic beef/rice
1/2 tsp canned pumpkin
1 Tbsp rice
1 oz Cooked chicken liver
2 Tbsp Purina BeYond Chicken and oat meal kibble

This gives me about 3/4 cup of food, and I'm splitting it into three meals a day. I'm hoping the rice, pumpkin and kibble will help firm up the stool. I'll know more tomorrow.

Anyway, other than the eating problem, this boy is just doing great. You couldn't ask for an easier going dog. Sweet. Loves attention. And now that he's not feeling crappy he's enjoying being a part of the family.

GiGi and her ears

For the last week, GiGi has been mysteriously yelping.

I say mysteriously because she'd do it for no apparently reason. Another dog walking by. Randall carrying her out to potty. Me washing off her mouth after yogurt. Nothing really made sense as the trigger or I thought it was caused by something else.

Until last night when I looked in her ears. Now why in the hell I've had that dog a month and never peered inside is beyond me. That's normally a part of the bath routine. But I hadn't, and there has been absolutely none of the usual signs of ears causing problems. No head shaking or rubbing. No pawing at the ears. Nothing.


I have never, and I mean NEVER seen the sort of ears this girl has. There is thick, dark, smelly wax literally coating the inside of her ears. Nastiest stuff I've ever seen. And if there's not some sort of infection in there, I'd be hugely surprised, but since she's on Clindamycin for her mouth and Prednisone for her anemia, I suspect it's being suppressed just enough not to cause any of the usual signs.

Last night, I had Randall hold her while I shined a spotlight in each ear and started cleaning them out...which she hated, of course.  I can tell this goes way down into the ear canal, and I won't start digging in there. That's for the vet. Once I got as much out as I could in one go, I dribbled in a 3:1 peroxide/water solution. I'm hoping that with that the the head shaking she did, it will loosen up more of the wax.

Today I'll take another run at them and see if I can't get more out.

I've got to call the clinic tomorrow to set up the time for the blood test. I'll let them know her ears are going to need attention, too. I'll tackle the stuff on the outside that I can get to easily, but she's going to need a vet to work on the rest, and probably prescribe some drops when she's done.

Other than that, little GiGi is doing really well. I've got her back down to 9.5 pounds from the 10 pounds she was at last week, and she looks really good. Despite some of the medical issues she has/has had, she is a very happy little girl.

I would love to get a few photos of her outside, but like every black and tan mini-smooth I've ever had here, she hates being outside. Hopefully we'll keep having good weather and I can manage to get her out there for more than 5 minutes. :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dixie...The Whirling Dervish

This wasn't nearly as fast as she normally goes because she was distracted by the camera. She also has learned to keep an eye on her position relative to the cabinets...having nearly knocked herself out one morning on the way to her crate. :)