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Tag Archives: dog health

DogDaz Zoo: Not Good News for Charles

 

We thought Charles had a UTI so off to the vet we went. When he starts licking himself more than usual, that tends to be a sign.

As you can see in the picture above, Charlie was not too happy when the vet said she had to take him in the back and look at his privates.

Because Charles has a known heart murmur, she wanted to do an x-ray to see how his heart was doing. Well, we were surprised at what the x-ray told us.

First – Charles’ heart is enlarged. An ENLARGED HEART (dilated cardiomyopathy) is more common in large dogs (our luck). Not knowing the underlying cause we can’t say if it was because of an infection or some structural problem. Right now, we are just in watch mode due to other issues. From the x-ray, his lungs are clear (all that nice dark area around the heart in the ribs is the lungs), which means that they are not currently seeing congestive heart failure (which would be very bad). The vet said that you should be able to fit 3 hearts in that cavity.

Second – When they took the heart x-ray she notice that he has KIDNEY STONES (arrow above but see closer image below). This was an ‘incidental finding’ since she was actually x-raying his heart. According to pethealthnetwork.com, metabolic kidney stones, those that form due to some blood or urinary imbalance, are a bit more common than those from infection. The most common type is calcium oxalate. There are several different types of stones (we are learning). Stones tend to be a small dog thing but usually females. We are hoping they are not calcium oxalate but actually something called Struvite. That is a composite of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate and can be dissolved, where the calcium oxalate can’t.

Third – and most critical at the moment – was the finding of BLADDER STONES, and a ton of them. Again we have no idea what caused all these stones, but the poor man has a ton in his bladder. Some theories are that the stones are caused by bacterial infection, body metabolism, previous disease, or dietary factors, like a lack of certain vitamins. Like kidney stones, there are several types: struvite, urate, xanthine, cystine, and calcium oxalate. Our hope is that these are struvite stones because they are the easiest to deal with.

I know your next question is how does one deal with the stones. There are several options.

  1. Dietary Dissolution
  2. Surgical Removal
  3. Non-surgical urohydopropulsion
  4. Ultrasonic dissolution

First, we are trying dietary dissolution. He is on a special Royal Canin Urinary SO diet and absolutely nothing else. The hope is that this food will begin to dissolve the stones. If nothing else, the vet hopes that it will at least make no new ones grow. He is also on an antibiotic (because he probably does have a UTI which is what we thought). Luckily, so far, he likes the food. I mix both wet and dry. We are making sure that he is passing urine every time he goes to the bathroom because the biggest concern, especially with a male, is a urinary blockage because of the stones. The vet said we need to take him to ER immediately if that happens. We are blessed that there is an Animal ER in town.

We go back on June 24th for another x-ray to see what is going on. He seems less lethargic and happier the last week, so maybe the food is working. Beat your drums for him. He is going to need all your prayers.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
13 Comments

Posted by on June 6, 2022 in Dogs

 

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Monday Mischief: Stringing Me Along

Charles, your Main Man, here: I had to go back to the Vet to check on the stitches that were supposed to dissolve when they took out my molar. My luck, there was one that was just hanging on. I hate to go to the vet. Though I don’t mind being with Mom, I really think that car rides are overrated. They tend to end up in places that I don’t want to be in.

The good news is that the Vet was able to pull that last stitch out and everything looks OK. But Mom says no really hard chew stuff for a while just in case. But, I really like that chew stuff.

Remember to have your human check your teeth regularly to make sure they are in good shape.

What kind of mischief did you get into today?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 16, 2022 in Dogs

 

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Monday Mischief: Snow Nose

Some people ask me about Sofie’s nose. She has what is called Snow Nose. I started to notice her nose change from black to pink in January 2013, when she was 2. I was worried at first that she was doing something to herself, like scraping off the skin (ouch!), or was she sick? Did she have a vitamin deficiency? Was there something wrong? I knew that many animals do lose pigment in their noses, but she was only 2 at the time. So I did what any internet, research-loving, pet-parent would do, I ‘googled’ the heck out of the question and found a lot of interesting facts.

Black NoseApril

Black Nose
April 2012

1. Some dogs lose pigment in their noses in the winter. (Which is what I think might be going on here.) This is called ‘snow nose’ or ‘winter nose.’ Who knew? Though it seems to be something that is more common to dogs like Labrador Retriever, Golden, Bernese, or Husky (Sofie being none of those that we know – well maybe Golden?), the seasonal variation is no cause for alarm and usually goes back to black in the warmer months. Which it did for many summers, but no longer does.

2.  Age is another reason. There is an enzyme called Tyrosinase which produces pigment. As a dog ages, the nasal plenum (that is a cool word, don’t you think?) might change from black to brown or pink, as less of the enzyme is produced. Interestingly enough, Tyrosinase is also sensitive to temperature. This may be why the fading of the ‘plenum’ in warmer months happens too.

Pink NoseJanuary

Pink Nose
January 2013

3. Dermatitis, especially from plastic bowls, has been found to temporarily cause this. Or a real trauma, like an abrasion. If allergies are the cause the dog’s gums will possibly be red or inflamed too.

4. There is an immune disease that can cause a pink nose, called Vitiligo. (That is the disease that Michael Jackson said he had that turned his skin from black to white. I wonder if Sofie can sing?) But if a dog has this, there would be white patches usually throughout its body and white hairs.  This seems to be found in Doberman, German Shepard, Rottweiler, and Dachshund mostly. It appears to be a rare problem, but I was happy to know that it can be managed by nutritional supplements (if you’re worried about the color of your dog’s nose). Show dogs can be disqualified if their pigment is not exactly right – so this might help in those cases.

Any changes in our little furry charges are always a cause of concern. Sofie’s nose did go back to black for many summers but now stays pink in the center year-round.

What color is your nose?

What kind of mischief did you get into today?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2022 in Dogs

 

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Weeping Wednesday: Pathology

We got the results from pathology regarding the growth that was biopsied in Louise’s mouth. It is a fast-growing tumor that destroys the jaw called Canine Acanthamotous Ameloblastoma (CAA).

WARNING: Stop reading now if you will get uncomfortable with the details. 

Basically, she has a mass in the lower part of her front jaw that is visible and is around her front teeth. The good news is that CAA has never been reported to spread to other parts of the body (metastasize), so it is often called ‘benign.’ However, it is locally aggressive and her tumor is doubling in size every 10 days or so. Underneath what we see it is destroying the jaw bone. It is life-threatening.

The first option for treatment, due to a large amount of underlying bone involved, is to surgically remove a portion of the jaw, called a mandibulectomy (graphic link), and to take large margins around the tumor to ensure it is all removed. For patients, like Louise, where surgery is not an option because of multiple reasons, the second option would be radiation.

Louise turned 12 last October. The normal life expectance of a dog her size is 10 to 12 years. She has pancreatitis and irritable bowel disease. Figuring out what health intervention is in her best interest is one of the hardest decisions we ever had to make. We do not want to put her through either of these options. The surgery would take her lower jaw, which I think at her age would be a difficult recovery to regain function, and the side-effects of radiation are horrible (if her IBD would even tolerate it.)

I have started a Facebook group dedicated to this journey. It is called Canine Acanthamotous Ameloblastoma – Dog Oral Tumors Please feel free to join if you want to follow what is going on. I am not going to fill DogDaz with her medical stuff because it is graphic and sad, so I will put it there.

Keep us in your prayers as we go through this thing. We are heartbroken.

Please, don’t post any negative comments on the choices we have made for Louise’s care – they will be deleted. 

NOT Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
12 Comments

Posted by on December 15, 2021 in Dogs

 

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Monday Mischief: Lulu is Doing Ok

Miss Louise had a tumor removed from inside her mouth last week. This one is scary. It seemed to be growing big fast. We are still waiting to find out what the biopsy said, so bang your drum for her!!

She is the most incredible ROCK STAR! She never complains and was hungry almost the minute she got home. Sofie and Charles, both drama queens, would be milking it for all it is worth. But not, Louise.

She is sticking close to Mom right now and her ducky. Bang those drums, please.

What kind of mischief did you get into today?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 6, 2021 in Dogs

 

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Wonderful Wednesday: BooBoo Head is All Better

Hey, it is me, Louise. The one that Mom calls ‘BooBoo Head.’ I got my stitches out. It was no fun going to the vet but once it was done, I was relieved to get home and no longer have all these strings hanging off my ears and my skull. Mom is hoping that my hair will grow over the scars in time. But she is happy that I no longer have these large ugly thingies on my head. Now I can roll and flick my ears as much as I want without all that gooey red stuff bursting all over my face.

Louise 2014

 

I think Mom is still going to call me ‘Boo Boo’ though. I kind of like the name.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 15, 2021 in Dogs

 

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Just Another Wednesday: Pilling

Mornings start out with 4 pills for Sofie and 1 for Louise.

Then at dinner, Sofie gets another 3, and now Charles gets 1.

On the alternate days, Louise gets 2 for breakfast, Sofie gets 4, and Charles gets 1.

It has gotten more and more complicated at the Zoo as we all age. The dogs are now 10,11, and 12.

Oh and that doesn’t include the monthly Heartworm or Flea stuff.

Thank goodness, only Noel, the Christmas Cat who is 14, gets something in the morning, and the other 3 cats are good, for now.

Does your human give you medicine? How do they do it (or maybe they do it so well you just don’t know)?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 26, 2021 in Cats, Dogs

 

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Wonderful Wednesday: Sofie Update

Sofie had her second worming last week for those very difficult hookworms. So far, so good for Ms. Soso. Her gut seems to be getting back to normal. Now we have to figure out what new arthritis medicine to get on, since her previous one, which we stopped because her gut was ripped apart by these hookworms, is really hard on the GI tract (Previcox). She limps a great deal. I don’t know if it is her front right shoulder or coming from her neck. I do have her on pain meds so hopefully that helps. I am also trying this new thing that Mojo’s Mom gave us that provides sound waves into the area and maybe gives some relief. Testing the gut this week and waiting for the Vet to tell us what they find. Paws crossed they are gone.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
7 Comments

Posted by on November 4, 2020 in Dogs

 

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Monday Mischief: CRUNCH Time = Allergy Time

Charles here. I want to talk to you about my 2 silly sisters who for some strange reason, that I cannot understand, go out in the cold air and crunch in the fall leaves. Don’t they realize that it is much better just to run out in the back for 2 seconds and pee than to go for a long walk with Mom and have to deal with coats and leashes and scary sounds, like the crunch crunch crunch of dead leaves? Sometimes I think they are just ridiculous.

Wouldn’t you rather stay in where it is warm?

And these dead leaves are making me itch! Mom has me on a tablet of allergy medicine, but I don’t think it is helping. Because I am so little, she thinks I get the worst of the dead stuff directly on my skin and up my nose. People think of dog allergies and allergic reactions mostly in the spring (I get those too) but for me, the dead leaves that are all over the ground in the fall, which get moldy and are full of dying insects as well as pollen, are making me wheeze. All these leaves are kind of hard to avoid when you are a little, but Mom gave me a bath and tries to towel me off when I come inside after my 2 seconds in the yard (to keep the stuff off my fur). Does the fall effect you?

What kind of mischief did you get into today?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2019 in Dogs

 

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Wonderful Wednesday: Lulu Update

We went back to visit the nice lady Veterinary specialist and she said that I am doing a lot better. She says that I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease* (IBD) of the upper and lower GI tract and Pancreatitis. Mom has been giving me B12 shots once a week for the last 6 weeks (I am not very happy about that) but they are now going to start to be once a month. They are decreasing my prednisone little by little, though I am going to be taking this for a long time. At my checkup appointment, I hid under the chair that Mom was sitting in so that the Dr would not see me (if I can’t see them, they can’t see me – right?).

Going to the Vet makes me scared and excited. I don’t like it very much. Thankfully, if I keep improving, I won’t have to go to often.

This prednisone stuff makes me super hungry. Mom finds me begging and scavenging for food, which I never did before. That was always Sofie and Charles’ deal. I have put back on some weight, which doesn’t bother me, but Mom is afraid the Dr is going to yell. And, I drink water all the time. All 3 dogs bowls and Charles’ little bowl are empty constantly. Mom is feeding me this expensive Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein (wet and dry), which the Dr says is the best for me, with an occasional hypoallergic dog treat. So far, it seems to be working.

I guess that is all for now. I am happy to be feeling better. Thank you all for the healing energy.

– Louise

*Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a condition that results when cells involved in inflammation and immune response infiltrate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This makes the wall of the GI tract thick and interferes with the bowels ability to move and absorb food. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association defines IBD as an inflammatory infiltration for which no specific cause can be found. This means they try to stop the inflammation and relieve the problem without ever really knowing why it happens. Approximately 50-70% of affected dogs have good long-term outcomes from initial treatment. IBD is not curable and flare-ups can happen throughout the dog’s life. (This is just for your information. I am not a vet or any kind of doctor. I am just a DogMom.)

 

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
10 Comments

Posted by on January 16, 2019 in Dogs

 

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