Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Suki getting spayed - finally!

Well, after 3 1/2 months of battling the mange, Suki went to the vet yesterday for a skin scrape and it turned up negative. They would have kept her and spayed her then, but I had already fed her breakfast. So first thing this morning I drove her out to the vet and dropped her off. The surgery will happen sometime this morning and I will find out how things went this afternoon. Then tomorrow morning I'll be able to go pick her back up. Along with the spay surgery, she'll also be having her baby canines pulled since her adult canines have fully come in and the baby ones show no sign of budging.

It was tough leaving her there because she looked so scared, even though I know how kind they are at the vets and how much attention they give the animals. I left her blankie with her and a favorite toy in hopes that having familiar things around her will calm her down a bit. It won't be long now and she'll be heading to her forever home. We will all miss her horribly, as she's been here long enough to feel like one of the family. Luckily we know her new family, and although they are all the way in Denver, they will keep us updated on her adventures and send lots of photos. She will be a spoiled little girl and should transition into her new life fairly quickly.
The photo above was taken yesterday afternoon in the back yard during a short-lived break in the rain showers. The dogs had a blast chasing each other and soaking up the sun, and came inside just in time to avoid the rain when it started back up.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Our newest foster: Lucy

Last night we picked up our newest foster dog from the airport. At this point I don't know much about her other than her name is Lucy, and that she's around 4-5 months old.

The Ratbone Rescues Team extraordinaire transported Lucy from the Midwest (I believe) down to the Rat Terrier Jamboree that took place in Sweetwater, Tennessee last weekend, and from there one of our local Ratbone gals here in Washington, Levecke, carried her on the plane and brought her back to Washington. We met them at the airport last night around 10:30pm and did the puppy hand off.

She wasn't very happy about having to sleep in the crate last night, away from people, but we turned on the radio for her and she quieted down after about 5 minutes of whining. This morning all of last nights timidity was gone and she had a long romp with Suki and Frodo, giving both of them a run for the money, thanks to her puppy exuberance.
She's absolutely darling and extremely well behaved. We look forward to telling you more as we learn the details of her story.
In the photo above, Lucy(R) and Suki(L) strike a pose in the middle of a wrestling match on the couch.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Suki gets a bit of culture

We took both of the dogs with us on a day trip to Olympia, Washington this weekend and Suki did wonderfully. She was quiet in the car, even while Frodo whined and cried for most of the drive, and when we stopped at the sculpture park and walked around she was her curious little self. She stopped and sniffed everything, while we were busy keeping Frodo from peeing on the art.

Her favorite section (and Frodo's least favorite) of the large sculpture park was the "Sound Garden" which featured about 10 different pieces of sculpture that emitted sounds when you hit them with a mallet. The photo shown is of Suki trying to figure out what the heck Troy is doing to make the sound she is hearing. Other photos show Frodo straining at his leash to get away from the noisemakers.
Although Suki is still bleeding, we are moving into week three and I'm guessing that by the end of the week she'll finish up her season. Her vet visit that was scheduled for today (to do a skin scrape to check on the mange) is postponed until next Monday. I want to wait for the scrape until she's done with her season and ready for the spay. Although the mange is still present, it seems to be a bit better and when the heat is over I'm guessing there will be a big improvement as her hormones settle down.
So here's the schedule that I'm pretty sure will work out:
  1. Skin scrape on the 28th
  2. Spay surgery sometime the week of the 28th
  3. 5-7 days of recovery
  4. Fly home to her new family
Since we likely will have a new foster dog flying here this coming Sunday from the Rat Terrier Jamboree, things are going to be busy here. I just don't know how those wonderful, crazy, Ratbone foster parents with 5 plus fosters do it. They have much more patience than I do, that's for sure.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Battle for the Blankie

Well last night we had a knock-down estrogen induced fight and Suki of course was the winner. (Poor Frodo is just such an absolute wuss.)

You see, as a puppy Frodo had his own polar fleece blankie that he dragged around like he was Linus in a Charlie Brown cartoon. At bedtime he'd run and find the blanket and drag it up the stairs to the bed. This was all very sweet and cute when he was 10 weeks old and struggling to pull a blanket much bigger than him. However he hit doggy puberty and "blankie" turned into "girlfriend." After that he took to wadding the polar fleece into a ball and humping away on it endlessly. Every evening around 8 pm out would come the blanket and Frodo would get jiggy. It ended up that we finally had to ban polar fleece blankets from him - he was a total sex addict, even after being neutered.

So now, almost 2 years later Suki enters the picture. In her crate she has a sweet pink flowered fleece throw that she likes to pull out of the crate and drag around. Now Suki too has reached puberty and since she's gone into heat she's taken to compulsively scraping and wadding up the blanket into a "nest". Unfortunately when Frodo sees her perfect little nest it's like a little light bulb flashes on over his head and all of a sudden he's grabs the blanket and gets busy bustin' a move.

So last night after two rounds of Suki making a nest and Frodo grabbing said nest and humping it, Miss Thing had had enough. She sat next to it and when Frodo slunk in and tried to grab it from the PMS Queen suddenly there was a blur of fur as Suki went all "Charlie's Angels" on his ass. The result is the sweet pink flowered blanket now sits atop the bookshelf and is only brought down at night to put in her crate when it's bedtime.
The photo above was taken awhile back, however, I felt the blur that is Suki perfectly represented last night's situation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Suki: The Latest

Well, the package arrived with the goodies and Advantage Multi so I applied a dose on the 13th and stopped the Ivermectin. Now we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I figure that she must be at about the halfway point of her season now because even our gonad-challenged Frodo has decided she's pretty dang attractive and spends most of his time following her around, sniffing her butt and trying to hump her.

On Saturday it will be two weeks since the bleeding began, and I'm hoping that the worst of it will be over. Especially since we are going to take the dogs and head up to Whidbey Island for the weekend. Of course we'll keep her on a leash at all times and she'll still have to wear her puppy chastity belt aka doggy diaper, but I'm hoping that we won't have a pack of horny dogs following us everywhere.
She has a vet appointment scheduled for the 21st, but I will have to push it back again if she's still bleeding. Hopefully things will start moving along since we have another foster dog arriving on the 27th or 28th. Not that I'm ready to say goodbye to her - she is one of the sweetest dogs that I've ever had the privelege to spend time with - but her new family is ready for her and the sooner she can reach them the easier the transition will be.
In the photo above you can see that Frodo has decided that Suki isn't all that horrid. In the past he would never have let her join him for a snooze on his dad's lap. Now he's fine with it as long as she doesn't touch him.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Not a lot going on here. We are just waiting..... Waiting for Suki to finish her season. Waiting for her mange to heal up enough so she can be spayed. Waiting for the new mange meds to come in the mail.

The mange is actually doing better (knock on wood.) I looked in the Ivermectin bottle and noticed that there were these crystal things at the bottom. I've been shaking the bottle well now before sticking the syringe into it, so maybe that has helped. A more likely reason though is her change in food and all of the supplements that she's getting. I know that within a week her coat was noticeabley silkier. The mange is still there, but the angry redness has subsided to a pink color and she only has a couple of the bumps that I call "mange pimples."

She's doing great with her house training and we're working on the "leave it" command now. She immediately understood this because I've trained her to wait until I say "okay" before she gets to eat the food that I've set down in front of her (we did this to assert to her that we controlled the food, not her).
The photo above is of my sister's dog Phoebe, and Suki (in her doggy diaper complete with pantiliners) longingly watching Frodo, who's outside.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The heat is on

On Saturday Suki went into heat. I've never had a female dog before so this is a novel experience for me. She was just fine Saturday morning, but we noticed the bleeding in the early afternoon and by late afternoon we definitely noticed a personality change.

My sister and her husband were visiting with their 2 female dogs and Suki, after playing happily with them the day before, suddenly went ballistic and started a dog fight when she thought one of them might be moving in on her rawhide treat. The result was a bloody finger for me and a time out in her crate for Suki. That was the worst of it though. She settled down after all the rawhides were put away and after that she has only been a little snippy.

We are keeping her on leash in the back yard during bathroom breaks and her daily trip to the off-leash park with us has been put on hold until further notice. I felt so bad leaving her home today because she loves the park and when she saw we were getting ready to go she ran to her travel crate, thinking she was going with us. Poor thing.

So she's back to wearing a doggy diaper. I'm hoping that as soon as this is over her hormones will balance out quickly and her body will be able to get the mange under control. Her family will be ready for her in about 3 weeks when they finish their move to Colorado and I'm hoping that Suki will be ready to join them in their new home not too long after that.

The photo above was taken a few hours before Sweet Suki turned into Monster Suki. She is happily off-leash in the back yard partaking in her favorite activity, chewing on sticks.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Health Update

So I'd love to say this is an update, but not a lot has changed. The mange is stubbornly hanging on. It has stopped getting worse since we started the additional natural health treatments, which is a good thing as she had gone from almost mite free to seeing irritation all over her body again.

Her new family told me about a treatment that is approved in Canada and Europe, but not in the U.S. The medicine, Advantage Multi, is used in the US as a topical flea & tick treatment, and also for heartworm, but isn't yet FDA approved for mange treatment. After reading a few studies about the stuff, I figured it was worth a try. So now I am just waiting for it to arrive in the mail (it's so new that none of the vets in the area carry it yet). Oh, and a BIG thank you to her new family who sent a gift certificate to buy the meds and also a carry bag to transport her in when she's ready to be flown home.

So for now she is getting the Omega3 & Omega6 supplement, pre and probiotic supplement, buffered vitamin C powder, and today I'm going to start adding a little bit of sesame oil to her food. I read on a couple naturopathic pet Websites that the oil is good for the skin and immune system. Kelp is something else that is recommended, but her dog food, Orijen, already has kelp and seaweed in it. Oh, that's the other change that I might not have mentioned. We've switched her food from VF Holistic Puppy to Orijen. Orijen has no grains (70% meat and 30% fruits and veggies) which some people at Ratbone have noticed slow down healing of demodex. She's still on the Ivermectin, however, we will stop that once the Advantage Multi arrives.

When I fix her food in the morning I feel a little like a mad chemist - a pinch of this, half a capsule of that, a spoonful of the other stuff.... Luckily she's not a picky eater and still quickly sucks down all of her food.