Archive for May, 2010

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A sad story and a good reminder

May 26, 2010

A family who adopted two greyhounds (one from MNGR) sent me this email last night.

“I am shook up right now, but here goes. I had to put our cat Jasmine to sleep this evening at the ER vet. Somehow Fawna, Tigger and Jasmine all ended up in the main bathroom together and the dogs basically had their way with her. [My husband] is away at a conference and I had just gotten back with the kids from soccer/piano lessons. I thought it was really strange when Fawna and Tigger didn’t greet me in the entryway like they normally do. I heard a door rattling from upstairs and found the bathroom door closed. When I opened it, I was in shock. The dogs were thrilled to see me and came running out and Jasmine basically slithered out and went directly across the hall into our bedroom. I’ll spare the details, but as you can guess, she was in a great deal of pain.

The dogs and Jasmine had lived together with no issues, so we’ll never know what provoked them to attack her. Obviously they followed her into the bathroom and somehow the door accidentally got closed. I’m sure that Jasmine would have been crying and meowing to get out, so the sounds might have provoked one of them. The pack mentality followed.

I think we should use this accident as a reminder to other greyhound owners who think their dogs are “cat safe” to take extra precautions and either muzzle their greys when away, or find a way to separate their dogs and cats. Anything could trigger them at anytime to do what they were bred to do. We never would have guessed this would happen. We’ve left all three of them alone so many times. Tigger even lived with a white, fluffy kitten before we adopted him.

Jen, I know that you have always been a believer in muzzles and now I see why. You are a wise woman!

Please feel free to forward this email to other greyhound owners.”

Please don’t let this happen to your family. Many thanks to these owners for sharing their story.

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I’m baaack

May 24, 2010

Summer is starting, and with it our busiest time of the year.  I guess that’s my excuse for being away from the blog for so long.  It’s been an eventful couple weeks, but now of course I can’t for the life of me think of anything that actually happened!  Chalking it up to too much pollen in the brain.  Second excuse in 4 sentences, not bad.

We’ll let’s dive in.  On the home front, Apollo had a bit of a rough few days.  He somehow managed to get pancreatitis, and needed to go to the vet for subcutaneous fluids.  The pancreas produces digestive enzymes, and when you get pancreatitis, basically the pancreas gets angry and starts making too many of those digestive enzymes.  There’s not enough food in the system for the enzymes to work on, so they start working on the lining of the stomach and intestines.  Then you get vomiting and diarrhea, which makes the dog not want to eat, so you have even less for the pancreas to work on, and you get this nice downward spiral.  It can actually be fatal, but Apollo had a pretty mild outpatient case.  Kept him on bland foods for a while and gave some tummy meds, and now he is back to normal.  We did end up postponing a chemo treatment by a week, but we’ll be getting back on that on Tuesday.  Not sure why he got the pancreatitis – in some cases it can come from eating too much fat, but most of the cases are ideopathic, and so Apollo’s seems to have been.

Hmm, what else?  Well, for one thing I discovered how well Krazy Glue works on skin lacerations!  Chester came in with about a quarter-sized flap of skin pulled up a little while ago.  Called my beloved Dr M to say, “C’mon, I don’t need to take him in, do I?”  And she said no way, glue him up!  I had been dying to try Krazy Glue on skin for a while, actually, and now I had a vet’s blessing.  So I cleaned him up an glued the edge of the skin flap down.  It worked AWESOME.  Barely even a scar now, and she probably saved me $300.  Rock.  (I gave him oral antibiotics of course, but I always keep those on hand anyhow.)  The next time I went in to the vet, she gave me my own personal skin staple gun.  So now I am set for anything!

Well…..almost anything.  Here’s something weird for you.  Last Tuesday night, Hammie the adoptable big black boy came in from late night potty turnout with a limp.  Lloyd figured he had just run hard and twisted it, since he didn’t see anything wrong, so he let it be.  Wednesday afternoon, it started to swell up around the wrist.  I called the vet, and talked to Dr P the orthopedist to ask whether he thought I needed to xray.  Pete said it was probably just a soft-tissue injury (or sprain) so I should just ice and give Deramaxx and wait it out for a day or two.  So I did.

I expected that when I got up Thursday morning, the swelling would be down and he would be feeling a little better.  Nope!  Lloyd woke me up at 6am saying, “Get up, you need to take Hammie to the vet.”  His whole leg was ridiculously swollen up to the shoulder.  And down by the wrist were 3 big open sores.  We thought he had actually chewed through his own skin overnight.  Poor Ham-dog.

Gave him a little sedative, plunked him in the van, and away we went.  I didn’t know what to think, but I was preparing myself to repair some shattered wrist bone or something.  Dr M took one look and decided she needed Dr P to look too.  They conferred, and agreed that it looked to them like a *venomous* reaction.  <shudder>  She said that if I lived in the Southwest, she would think scorpion.  But since it’s here, she figured it was probably a brown recluse spider.  I had never heard of this ever in my life, but I’ll never forget it now.

The venom of a brown recluse spider is necrotizing.  Which means, Hammie did not chew through his own skin — the venom did.  <shudder>  Dr M predicted that he would lose all the skin on the whole front of his wrist over the next few days, and in fact he has.  It is hella-gross.

So!  We are on antibiotics (to prevent a MRSA infection — eek!) and in a toe-to-shoulder bandage.  This is not my first giant seeping wound, by any stretch, but still…daily changes of a wet-to-dry bandage are certainly not my favorite thing to do.  On the upside, we learned that the cattle section of Fleet Farm sells rolled cotton for a reasonable price (I never used to shop in the cattle section, but I find myself doing that a lot lately….).

Here are some pics, not for the faint of heart.  Let me just say, I have NO problem flushing and wrapping a gaping wound.  No problem, I’ll do it all day long.  But I am NOT a bug person.  No, I am not.  Lloyd will be calling the exterminator first thing Monday morning and see what dog-safe thing we can put all over the damn yard.  Ick.  (The vet assures me that this is extremely rare, but still.)

Here is the bite on Thursday:

Spider Bite Day 1

Here is is on Friday:
Spider Bite Day 2

And yesterday:
Spider Bite Day 3

Nice, huh? Incidentally, Hammie has been waiting over a YEAR for a home, and he is sweet as pie!!! Who wants to adopt him? (Don’t worry, I’ll get the wound healed up before I let you take him home.) Here he is on a better day:
Hammie on the couch

What else is new? Well, we’ve had a few applications for dogs, but the only “pending adoptions” at the moment are for Ollie and Eve.

Oh, but it occurred to me that I never mentioned the really awesome news! Who remembers Ryan, the black and white super-shy boy that came with the last batch of dogs we got before Dairyland closed? We were lucky enough to find the perfect foster home for him when he arrived here, and he has been making great progress there. But Ryan is the really lucky one here, because his foster family decided that they can’t let him go and they are keeping him! Woo hoo! This is the best family a hound could hope for, and we are totally thrilled for him. They keep a Facebook page to let everyone follow along as he learns to be a dog, and you can be his fan if you search for Ryan The Greyhound on FB. 🙂

I’m tired of typing, so that is all for now!

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A few photos

May 13, 2010

We were lucky enough to have time to get family photos done with Small White before we lost him.  Here they are.

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And so it goes.

May 5, 2010

It always seems strange to me that life keeps going on after these losses.  How can the world continue to move without one as wonderful and loved as Whitey?  As Crisco, or Tanner, or Sly?  But somehow, the sun rises the next day and the other dogs need to go outside, the human kids need to be taken care of, and my inbox fills up with emails to be answered.

The day after we lost Little White, we were due to meet a haul of Daytona dogs.  So we have added 5 pups to our roster here… All came in pretty rough shape, skinny and full of ticks and fleas.  But all are very pretty and sweet dogs.  We got 3 females and 2 males.  Hoping to have time to take their photos this evening and then I can get them up on Petfinder.  I ran them up to the vet on Monday, so they are all ready to go.  One has even been moved into her foster home already for some TLC and fattening up.

On Sunday, we had a casual greyhound playdate here (I will post some photos below) to celebrate the memory of beautiful Whitey by remembering all the greyhounds who still need us.  There was lots of sniffing and exploring, a bit of running, and everyone was good and exhausted by the time they came home.

Monday was Whitey’s cremation service.  Since we learned that it was possible to have attended cremations for pets, we have done that for all of our dogs.  We use a place in Edina where you can place some special items with your loved one and then be there as they are placed in the crematory.  It gives you a chance to say goodbye one last time, and keep them from being “alone” when their bodies leave the world.  With Whitey, we sent a handful of dirt from his digging hole and a small white rock that I found in there that morning; six dandelions from his yard (one for each month he was with us); his blue tripawd t-shirt that matches Apollo’s; a pillow from our couch that I always used to prop up his head; a photo of him with his whole family; and an Arby’s roast beef sandwich.  I was glad to be able to kiss him one last time.

Yesterday, Apollo went in to resume his chemo treatments.  His incision is finally, finally healed up!  Finally!  He is looking good.  He’s at a good weight, and he did well during his treatment.  He happily ate dinner last night, but I expect he won’t have much appetite today.  I have some Cerenia to use, so we will see.  I am relieved to finally be getting back to his chemo.  He’ll have 5 treatments including yesterday’s.

In other news…  I didn’t want to say anything when it happened, because I didn’t want to take away from White’s story.  But we added a new family member to the pack.  Yes, we decided to take Tigger’s listing down off of Petfinder and make him permanent.

I had not really spent any time around him until about a week and a half ago.  Our Rochester coordinator Kelly brought him up from his Rochester foster home so that I could show him to an applicant who lives in the Twin Cities.  Well, the applicant decided that she could not have a barker (she is in an apartment), and a barker he is.  He was in my house for 10 minutes and I knew he was not leaving.  I called Lloyd and told him I was taking his listing down so no one else would apply for MY DOG.

Tigger is 8 years old (young, by our standards) and terribly sweet.  He is never more than 2 feet from me – a champion snuggler.  He wags his tail nonstop, and is ridiculously food-motivated.  He has quite a lot to say, and makes a range of sounds.  He isn’t a problem barker here, although he certainly does talk more than our others.  I love him already and he is perfect for our family.

In Whitey’s last couple days, I was able to take a couple photos of Tigger attempting to snuggle with him.  Tigger will snuggle with anyone who will allow it, and few of our other dogs will!

Here he is:

And some pics from the playdate:

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He’s gone

May 1, 2010

We’ll always love you, Small White.