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tlh9   

Hi all,

 

A few of you have asked about an update on my Thunder, my poor guy I rescued out of the Arizona hoarding situation.

 

He is doing really fairly well... not *really* well, but not bad, either...

 

He's gaining weight (I've only been having him gain gradually, to avoid stressing his organs/system) and only has a couple more pounds to be just right. His coat is growing out (from being shorn off due to severe matting & filth) and gaining density, and going back to the correct texture. He is assimilating well to the routine around here, and the other dogs -- except the puppies still make him nervous. Also, he's a tad aggressive with the other two intact males, who both happen to be his litter brothers.

 

However, the missing fur on his face thing, which was diagnosed as an indeterminate auto-immune disorder, has not gotten much better. It was getting a bit better, then worse; then a bit better, then worse; etc. Also, the skin in the area still seems thickened, and a bit over-sensitive to touch. But not outright painful, or itchy, or anything like that. I need to get him back into the vet, because they said if it wasn't better, they would try a skin biopsy, to more definitively diagnose the auto-immune disorder. BUT, I had to put him off a bit, because I had a couple of doggies who were actually sick; Thunder's condition isn't really causing him any trouble like the others, so I took them in first. But Thunder will be going soon.

 

Also, even as he acclimated to living here, he still seemed overly nervous about everything -- doing everything *fast*, can't be still, always acting worried, couldn't relax. I asked the vet, when I was in with one of the other doggies, about some anti-anxiety meds for him. I know a lot of people make fun of that for dogs, and I think in some cases it probably is prescribed where it doesn't really need to be; but I also think it does have a legitimate place -- especially for dogs who have been traumatized as Thunder was. Anyways, the vet said to first try giving him Benedryl, as that would mellow him out, let him relax & sleep. It seems to be working! He sleeps better and seems more calm over-all.

 

The puppies are SEVEN months old now! And all still here. The boys were kept to grow out, as they were in danger of getting too big; if they didn't, they would make excellent show dog prospects, and could be valuable to breeders who appreciated their heritage-type bloodlines -- if they did, they couldn't be shown. So I held on to them to see what would happen. It looks like they might well stay in size, and I will be scouting new homes for them soon. Even though I will have an eye out for breeder/exhibitors, I want them to be "best friends" first, with someone who will love them as much as I do; and have fun showing them too. They are SO handsome. The three girls, will likely be staying here.

 

Anyways, there's an update for ya'll! When I get some new photos, I will post them. I will be getting some soon, as I scout for homes for the boys -- and also "glamor shots" of their Dad, Luke; and Mom, Madilyn -- you've seen Madilyn in casual shots with the babies, but wait til you see her glamor shots!

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tlh9   

Just a note to ask anyone reading here to keep my old (13 years 4 months), sweet Sheltie girl Mary in their thoughts and/or prayers...

 

When I got up this morning (which, for me, was 1:30pm; I know, I keep odd hours) my sweet Mary couldn't get out of her crate, which she sleeps in overnight. She's been having varying degrees of difficulty with her arthritis, and sometimes needs help; so I helped pull her out of her crate & she couldn't stand up. I then noticed that she was bent in a 'C' shape, with her head at an odd tilt. She couldn't walk on the linoleum, but she occasionally has that problem, and I carry her to the carpeted area of the house where she has better traction to get "warmed up" for the day. Well, she exhibited a severe head/neck tilt, and kept walking in circles in the direction she was tilted. She was even running into furniture, and her eyes looked wild. I stopped her and rubbed/massaged her head & neck, but something just wasn't right.

 

My Dad (who I live with) was getting ready to go to a funeral of an old friend, so I called my older sister, who lives down the street, to come stay with our younger sister (who is severely disabled) so I could hurry & dress and take Mary to the vet.

 

I had to leave her as a drop-off, since they were booked with appointments, so that the doctor could examine her whenever he could in between. They did make a tentative appointment for late in the day to pick her back up.

 

I went back, and was happy to see one of the old-time doctors, who has come out of retirement to work at the clinic now & then. He had always been my favorite.

 

He asked about when & how I found her, and then said that Mary had had a stroke.

 

He explained that the differences in strokes between people & dogs. In people, strokes are usually caused by a blood vessel being blocked with plaque; while in dogs, they are usually caused by a spasm in a blood vessel. Although that some dogs do have high cholesterol/triglycerides, and Mary is one of those, but it was still most likely the spasm causation. Another major difference is that in people, our motor skills are primarily controlled by the upper brain, which is where a stroke attacks; in dogs, motor skills are primarily controlled by the brain stem, and are often largely unaffected by strokes. Which is why Mary was still able to walk around, just with a bit of difficulty.

 

The stroke was causing her eyes, pupils specifically, to jerk, jerk, jerk; causing her to have severe vertigo, which is why she was having the head/neck tilt and couldn't walk straight. To her, the whole world was moving, jerking, swirling. Having had a couple episodes of vertigo in the past myself, where I had to do a "controlled collapse" before I just outright fell, I can understand. My whole world was moving violently even when I was laying down, so I can only imagine how Mary felt, still trying to follow her instinct, which is to walk around.

 

The doctor gave her what he called a "massive dose" via injection of a drug to counteract the effects of the stroke. She is to continue that drug in pill form for a week. Since that drug is an immuno-suppressant, he also put her on antibiotics. She also got an anti-nausea drug, plus Tagamet to protect her tummy.

 

He said to keep massaging her neck & head, which had seemed instinctive this morning, trying to get them out of the tilt and into their correct positions when I do; that is supposed to help. He wants to see her in a week. He explained some other details, and I was getting the impression that he was expecting her to recover. Which I was happy about, but wanted to make sure I was interpreting things correctly, so I asked, "Are you saying she has a reasonably good chance of recovering?!" and he said that yes, her prognosis is really fairly good, and he has a reasonably good expectation of her making a full recovery!!! (I almost want to put a you-know-what here, but I won't.)

 

He said her meds will make her very hungry, very thirsty, and have to pee a lot; and that she may have accidents the first few days, but not to be upset with her, that she will get better. Which I never would be, going through what she is.

 

She took all her meds tonight, in some peanut butter on goldfish crackers, and ate her dinner eagerly. She did have an accident in the house, but I cleaned it up for her & was just happy that she was able to do her functions.

 

Since her gait is still so unsteady, and the dogs stay primarily in the linoleum half of the house, (when they're not in their own room, the 'dog room', off the family room; we only have two or three dogs at a time in the main house) I went tonight and bought some non-slip, washable runner rugs for the paths she would have to take from her bed to the door, and from her bed to the pet gate where the carpeted area of the house begins. She can walk on those fairly well, although she still exhibits varying degrees of head/neck tilt. She can get herself up from lying down, too. At least when she had her accident, she was able to get up & do it, rather than just doing it where she laid, so I only had to clean up the floor & not her thick long fur.

 

Also, a couple of years ago, part of our linoleum had to be taken out where we had a roof leak down a wall & ruin part of the floor before we discovered what was going on; and lacking the money to properly refinish it, we covered it with custom-cut, neutrally-colored, heavy-gauge vinyl shower curtain, edged securely by duct tape. Heh. She can also walk on the shower curtain part of the floor OK. I guess it's got more texture, isn't as slippery as the linoleum.

 

Anyway... I was SO relieved that her prognosis is good, and something we can deal with. Right now, she's sleeping peacefully right behind me as I type, in the carpeted part of the house. Earlier her eyes had quit the jerking thing, but than started up again later. I haven't woken her to see if they are doing it now, but will soon when I take her to bed. No more crate for her, though; she will sleep on the 'dog couch', which is really just a large ortho-foam pad with bolsters on three sides. IF she will stay there. She is restless, always has been one of those herding dogs that likes to pace in circles, and for some reason that I will never understand, usually prefers the floor to her dog couch. She also tries to follow me wherever I go. But if I can get her to go to sleep there, she will likely stay there. All the other dogs except for tiny 10-year-old Bonnie, who is pals with Mary, are staying in the 'dog room', not even visiting in the main house, so as not to stress Mary.

 

If you want to see a photo of her to accompany your well-wishes for her, check the Pet Pic I thread. When there is an update in her condition, I will let you know!

 

Tomorrow I take another of my doggies, Spencer, to the doctor because he's been having some diarhea. Sigh. I think he will be fine though. I also have to go have my own hip x-rayed because the pain that has been chronic for over a decade has been worsening lately. So I will have a busy & stressful week ahead!

Edited by tlh9

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th9, Mary - and you - are on my prayer list. As an animal lover and Mommy to three cats and one dog, I totally empathize with you. I would be distraught if any of mine were sick. I am happy, however, that there is a good prognosis for Mary. Your vet sounds wonderful and caring. Take care of yourself, also, and keep us posted.

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tlh9   

Here are two photos of Spencer, taken over the past couple of days...

SpencerSmiling-cr-age8-1.jpg

SpencerFront-cr-age8-1.jpg

 

This is the one I was talking about in the Diary Room, that I was so upset over. He may not be in such a grim predicament, after all! I'll tell the rest in Diary Room, since that's where I posted the first time.

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gunshyne   

Hammie pic

 

Here is my Hammie. He has figured out how to bite the little blue door so now I have to use a twisty tie to keep it shut. I found him in the cage with the door open. He had been out. I noticed droppings on the floor. But he returned to his cage. I thought it was funny...Mr Shyne, not so much.

 

ETA: He is getting a big add on to his cage for Christmas. It's sad, but I can't wait!

 

 

edited to change oversized picture to link ~tooletta

Edited by tooletta

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lurker   

Cute Hammie, gunshyne! Clearly a smart one, too!

 

edited to delete stuff ~tooletta

Edited by tooletta

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Shannon   

Too cute! You'd think they'd just make the doors on those cages with twisty ties. We use to have a gerbil, Tuggy, and one day I noticed he/she had a blue nest going, very pretty, then I noticed my pretty blue curtains were way too close to his cage.

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jacksrtr   

an3239002.jpg

Dandy's Miss Surprise or Prissy as we call her will be 1 year old Thursday!

She's the one in the middle. The red and white will be 1 in May. The black and white is Prissy's momma.

Edited by smokefan

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jacksrtr   

5129008.jpg

 

New filly, not named yet. Momma is the black and white. I wasn't expecting this color.

She is named now...Nicki's Little Spirit after her momma.

Edited by smokefan

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jacksrtr   

52209002.jpg

Brand new filly just minutes after birth!

She is the last one. Our stallion was fixed in February. No more babies! Yea!

Edited by smokefan

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