Tag Archives: Dog People
Charles here: This is the last picture that Mom took of us before she put the big green cover on the pool. We like to look at the pool but we don’t want to go in it. We are not really water dogs and even when invited we think it is scary. We do like to run around and chase the ducks and stuff that fly in and we love to dig in the dirt and make a mess in the bushes.
Hard to believe how fast seasons seem to move. When Mom opened the pool the end of May, Louise was still with us (she passed June 17). Now that we are closing the pool, she is gone and Jolie has come to stay. Change is on the wind as the light grows shorter and shorter each day.
Jolie is learning to love lying on the warm deck as much as I do. The Fall afternoon sun is awesome!
Happy AUTUMNAL EQUINOX everyone.
We have reached the DogDaz of Summer. Those hot hot Mid-Atlantic August, thunderstorms every day, days. The dogs don’t mind so much. (Which is wonderful because Sofie and ultimately Louise, were terrified of the T-storms). They wander around the yard, which for the littles is a ton of space, and stay in the shade. Charlie mostly does his thing and after 10 minutes wants to go inside to the A/C. Jolie is still discovering that there is a wonderful world outside of a cage (after 6 1/2 yrs), so she never wants to go inside no matter how hot it is.
Stay cool, Pups!
For Charles’ birthday (well, maybe more so to help Mom’s heart heal from the loss of so many furbabies over the last few months), a sweet matted soul named Jolie has come to live at the zoo. The minute she got here on Saturday (in the pouring rain, of course), she took over everyone’s heart (and Mini’s couch pillow). Noel is still a little suspect of the new ‘MOP’ in the house but otherwise, she just fit right in as if she had always been here.
I will tell you her story another day, but for now here are the main things we know:
- They said she was a Yorkie mix but she definitely looks like Shih Tzu to me.
- She is 6 years old according to the birth year they gave us, but they said 5, so we are not sure.
- Her birthday is the same day as Nine’s was (Feb 14). Isn’t that a wild coincidence?
- She is way over-weight (over 22 lbs and she should be more like 17 or less).
- She is in desperate need of grooming (Sonya will cut it all off on Thursday).
- They said she was housetrained but she does not have bathroom training as far as we can tell (it is like having a puppy all over again).
- She has the sweetest personality and loves everyone and everything so far.
What a blessing!
There are almost no words to express the deep pain that we feel after the loss of Louise last Friday, June 17.
She was such an excellent soul. Quiet and gentle; the cats all wanted to be her friend; the dogs all looked up to her. She never complained even at the end when I knew how much her back must hurt with a compressed or ruptured disk that made it almost impossible for her to walk. Stoic to the end – she did not like me helping her to get around and especially not to go to the bathroom. What is weird is that, since the oral cancer diagnosis last December, we thought that was what would take her from us. But, I guess, the powers that be had other ideas.
We want to believe that she is running free in that big meadow in the sky over the rainbow bridge with Sofie and Nine, and her big brother Squash, who left when she was only a puppy. Now I hope she is with her best friends Mojo and Amy, who she missed every day since they too left this earthly plane, and whom she never stop sniffing for.
Go softly, my sweet Louise. Your memory will always be a blessing to us. Thank you for letting us be your family for 12-1/2 years.
Louise’s health has taken a turn for the worse. Actually, it is not the oral cancer but other issues. Last week her anal glands got infected and on Saturday her back went out again. We believe that her disks are compressed and she is not responding to medication the way she did in April. Dignity and honor are our codes here at the zoo. We never want them to be in pain or to be so debilitated that they cannot function.
I don’t think I can post for a while until her health stabilizes if it does. And we are also dealing with Charles’s enlarged heart, kidney stones, and bladder stone situation. Bang your drums, say your prayers, and keep them in your thoughts. This has just been a horrible few months. We are not over losing Nine and Sofie in March.
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.
- Dietary Dissolution
- Surgical Removal
- Non-surgical urohydopropulsion
- 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.