Happy New Year!

Posted on 7:54 PM by sara | 1 comments

We would like to wish everybody a happy New Year!! We hope everybody's new years are filled with lots of love, cuddles and fun! :)

One thing we're still trying to figure out... who will end up naughty, and who will end up nice? ;) We know who won in 2010!

Christmas

Posted on 10:54 AM by sara | 3 comments

We hope everybody had a very merry Christmas! This Christmas Avi and I decided not to exchange gifts with each other and we got a TV instead. It is massive and Kosmo LOVES barking at all of the animals on it! Instead of a human exchange, I decided to exchange doggy gifts with my good friend Anne and her cavaliers Rocky and Johnny. Kosmo and Faith had a TON of fun while I opened up presents!



One of our gifts was: The Stuff This is a conditioner/detangler that works great for big snarls and also doubles as a urine protector.



I also got a cavalier decal sticker for the back of my car!! As everybody who knows me knows I am a complete nerd, I appreciate this sticker a lot!


I don't have many pictures of us opening the rest of the gifts as Avi decided to make a video of it. I tried to upload it but it was taking forever and didn't seem to want to process it. I didn't take a picture of the ornament which is on my tree or the two Christmas snoods she sent us.

We also got two 6' Douglas Paquette leashes. The patterns are Coach Dog and Summer Ferns. I absolutely LOVE Douglas Paquette and the quality of their stuff. Kosmo and Faith have tons of it and both patterns look awesome on them!



This is a picture of me opening the dogs' FAVORITE package ever - Wet Noses organic treats! They absolutely LOVE wet-noses and as you can see, they smell good enough to eat, haha. ;) They come from a local company in Munroe, Washington and I was introduced to them a few years ago from my good friend Anne. They got the pumpkin flavor and not only does it serve an awesome treat, it also helps to add some fiber into their diet and keep them regular! :)

In fact, Faith liked them so much that she decided to guard the package:



When she figured out she wasn't going to get anymore, she gave up.. and decided to sleep with it..



Thank you for all of the wonderful gifts Anne!! We had a fun Christmas and the dogs enjoyed everything! :)

Hope

Posted on 3:55 PM by sara | 14 comments

Hope: A four letter word that is so small, yet can mean so much. According to the Websters dictionary, Hope is, quite simply “to believe, to desire or trust.” Hope is a word that means a lot to my family, not only for the meaning, but also for the beautiful cavalier, whom my mother decided to name “Hope.”

When my Faith was taken into rescue, she came with a whole bunch of papers, one of which was called “Faith.” It was the name of her mother. When it came time for me to name her, I decided to keep her name Faith in honor of her mother. I was always on the lookout for Faith’s mother who would eventually be turned into rescue 8 months after Faith came to live with me. It was apparent that this cavalier, whose mill name was Faith, had one mission in life: to produce as many puppies as possible. She had puppies in November (my Faith is one of them) and it was apparent when she came into rescue in August she had recently had puppies once more. She was turned into rescue with a hernia so large it dragged on the ground as she walked. She also had a grade 3 heart murmur. When I first seen her picture, it was evident to me that she was scared to death. I then found out she was Faith’s mother. I wanted to adopt her myself, but then I spoke to my mother who turned out to be the perfect match for her. She was 6 years old when her new life began.

She came to live in her furever home in August. After thinking long and hard, it was decided she would now go by the name Hope. She was so fearful when she came home that she would sit in a room by my parents and watch them through a small crack in a door opening for hours. She would only lie down if she was leaning on something, and she used to eat and drink sitting down. It also became known that she was very fearful of men. When she came up to Toronto (6 months after she came home) I needed to pick her up and she tried to run away from me. I of course followed her as she ran away. When I finally caught up with her and bent down to pick her up, my heart was broken as I realized she was so scared that she urinated all over herself.

Here is a picture of her shortly after she came to her furever home:




Fortunately, her story does not end there. As time passed, Hope slowly but surely came out of her shell. She first came to love my mother, and would do anything in her power to be in her presence at all times. My mom worked up at a lodge which sees many mountain climbers throughout the summer, and Hope quickly became a much spoken about fixture within the hotel. Many people were educated on cavaliers, the health conditions that come with cavaliers, and exactly what puppy mills are and why people should never buy from them. Hope’s story touched a lot of people’s lives.

Hope quickly became queen of the castle back home. She warmed up to my dad but decided life was better if she didn’t have to kiss him. Over the years, she began to show the very traits that define the cavalier king charles spaniel. When I went home in August to visit my family, she actually slept on my pillow one night! She came up to me voluntarily for pets, and she even greeted people when they came to the door. She also kissed my dad for the first time on the face this summer. It was evident: she had come to love her people just as they had come to fall in love with her.

Unfortunately, as with many cavaliers, one thing was constantly looming over her: mitral valve disease. Although she had a grade 3 murmur in 2007, it had progressed to a grade 5 this summer and began getting worse. She seen a wonderful cardiologist at the University of Washington called Dr. Stern, and he helped to treat her mitral valve disease. She eventually progressed into congestive heart failure. As her heart got worse, she was put on lasix that was able to be injected as well as a slew of other cardiac medications, and had fluid drained from her abdomen that had backed up due to her heart not functioning properly. All of this is absolutely heart-breaking to see in a much loved family member and should serve as a stark reminder for those of you who may be looking for a cavalier to thoroughly check your breeder’s health records. Ensure that they are following the mitral valve disease breeding protocols, and ask to see certificates that they have been heart tested from cardiologists. Although many cavaliers will eventually die of mitral valve disease, Hope could have easily lived for many more years had proper testing been performed and had she been bred for health.

As congestive heart failure is a progressive disease, eventually Hope’s heart could just not keep up anymore, and she lost her battle with heart disease. She was peacefully sent to the bridge today, December 13, 2010.

I have chosen to blog about Hope, because she has etched her pawprints in my heart and to me, she is a wonderful success story. To go from being such a fearful dog to a dog that loved my family with her entire heart is heartwarming. I often say cavaliers suffer from bad hearts because they love us too much and with their entire heart. Hope has also taught me a few lessons on her way. The most important being that I learned to never give up. Hope may have seemed like a lost cause when she first came home, but with tons of love, patience and persistence, she came to be one of the best cavaliers I know.

As days turn into weeks which will turn into years ultimately, my family will be forever touched by this blessing God chose to bestow upon us. Hope eventually lived up to her namesake; through love and perseverance, she learned to “believe, desire and trust."

R.I.P Hope - July 31, 2001 - December 13, 2010

Day 9

Posted on 6:08 AM by sara | 3 comments

Today marks day 9 of Faith's Atopica. It's also the third day that I've noticed some subtle changes in her.

Day before yesterday, she actually initiated play with me! I was so excited! I was petting her tummy and all of a sudden she started batting my hands and making that low play growl. I can never turn down a good play session, so we played the blanket game for a while. Faith and her blanket game are silly.. !! Her daddy taught it to her when she was little. Basically, if you put your hands in the blanket and bat at her, she can bite as hard as she wants.. She gets so into it! As soon as your hands come out, it's over and she knows it. I'm not quite sure I'm a HUGE fan of the blanket game, but it's one of the only ways Faith plays with us, so I'll take it!

Yesterday I took the dogs to the sales center of the homes that we live in to visit one of my friends. She was having a bad day. I decided that Kosmo and Faith make me happy when I am sad, so why not her? :) I took them in and Faith was SO outgoing with everybody. There were two people who came in while we were visiting and she actually jumped up on one of them and attempted a kiss!! Now those of you who know Faith would know this is completely out of her "comfort zone" and she would never do this with a stranger. . . Unless it was a kid, in which case she just sits there and soaks up pets. I've rarely seen her kiss even a kid though.

This morning I took the dogs down to the basement to go out and go to the bathroom. I was shuffling through the Christmas stuff and I came across a little squeaky plush reindeer. I threw it on the ground and *GASP* Faith actually played fetch with it!! The ONLY toys she has ever shown interest in are the flying squirrel chuck it toy and the kong wubba so this was a huge thing for her. She and Kosmo would argue over who got to it first and then they would tug all the way back to me. She hasn't done this for a few months, so it really excited me! One of the funniest things about her is the way she "shakes" her toys. I have mentioned before that she was born in a puppy mill, and unfortunately this mill takes babies from their mommy at 5 weeks of age. :( Faith was shipped around the country and then back and I picked her up at 10 weeks. Because of all of this, I wonder how much play time she got when she was younger and if this is the reason she hardly ever plays with toys and has never destroyed one. She makes me laugh because of the way she shakes her toys. You know when most dogs tug they shake it back and forth? Well, Faith shakes like she just got out of the bath and she's shaking water off of her back. She's ALWAYS shook that way and it cracks me up even until today!

This is just an update on her. :) Soon I'll try to post some pictures of her. Cross your fingers she continues to do well, please! :)

Posted on 8:34 AM by sara | 1 comments

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Winter Woofstock in Toronto. I was super excited to go as I really enjoy meeting all of the different dog owners and best of all, shopping!! I met up with my friend Lianne in the morning, stopped by the VEC to pick up Faith’s atopica (which is crazy expensive, by the way!) and then went right into Woofstock.

Woofstock was.. well, in one word, disappointing. Not only was it $10 to get in, but parking was $13. Nevertheless, I knew what I was getting into before I decided to go and looked forward to all the shopping and bargains we might encounter.

As soon as I walked in, I noticed immediately that it seemed nothing like summer Woofstock. The space was much smaller, and there was not a lot of room to maneuver around. People looked at me like I was crazy because I decided to bring our AT3 stroller for the pups to cruise in, but I am so glad I did!!

Complete Madness:

I had a hard time visiting with Lianne (the person I came with) at all, because I felt like the space was too small to fit both of us. Nevertheless, there were some very cute things we did see there!

Here is a picture of these two dogs (real!) sleeping on couches. They do this at the summer event too. I don’t understand how this woman gets her dogs to stay like this (for extended periods of time, even with people petting them!) I still wonder if she drugs them or something?

I also seen a dog dressed as a Tiffany Box for the costume contest.. So cute!!!

We also met up with.. OTHER cavaliers!! Woohoo :) Here are a few pictures of them:


I also got to meet up with my good friends Debbie and Mary Beth and their cavaliers Becky and Mylee. Becky and Mylee are two of my all-time favorite cavaliers. ;) I did miss Kodee and Zoey though, they are my favorites, too!

The beautiful Mizz Becky:

The whole crew:


Faith walked quite a bit of the day, and Kosmo walked pretty well the whole day. They took turns with Lianne’s dogs in the stroller sometimes as the atmosphere was quite overwhelming for them. The dogs were pooped by the end of the day and didn’t even get up with me the next morning!

If anybody was looking for a bargain, there were none to really be found at Woofstock unfortunately. The best booths were the Smoochy Poochy (as always!) booth, Dogs in Canada booth, and the Modern Dog booth. Other than that, unless you were looking to try a new food or a few treats, there were not a lot of other options.

The worst part of the day has to go to the planning of the event. I understand that nobody wants to shop outside in the cold during winter, but provisions should have been made for dogs coming INSIDE the event. Unfortunately, between dodging people, dogs, dribble and smeared in poo on purple carpet, it left a very anxious Sara to try to find a spot to walk. I did not see anybody doing routine rounds trying to pick up after dogs either, and witnessed a dog lift its leg right in front of its owner and she just kept on walking. I left there fearful that one of my dogs may have stepped in someone’s poop and could have contracted some kind of parasite/worm, whatever. Next year, if I even bother going, it will definitely be without the dogs.

When we left, Lianne and I stopped for a bite to eat and I zipped up my dogs to keep them from begging. Somehow, Faith didn't quite get the message:

On the way out, we stopped quickly for Kos and Faith to pose next to the Christmas tree:

Although there were times when we had fun, with all the doggy accidents I think we'll stick to Summer Woofstock from now on :)

WoofStock!

Posted on 5:58 AM by sara | 2 comments

Exciting times are here tomorrow!! I'm going down, along with my good friends Mary Beth, Debbie and Lianne to Winter Woofstock!

Woofstock is known here in Toronto for the crowd it draws, the many dogs who attend, and best of all, the SHOPPING!! :)

There are tons of booths - I am looking forward to browsing the Smoochy Poochy booth as well as the Grizzly Salmon booth.

It's kind of a pain to take the dogs when there are tons of other doggies around, but that's why we kept our stroller after Kosmo's knee surgery. It's easy enough to pop them in there and be on about our merry way. Faith doesn't love crowds so she spends most of her time inside the stroller, but Kosmo loves to sniff as many butts as he can get a handle on.

I'll try to take/post pictures and hopefully we'll be able to meet up and spend some time with our friends.

On the way home, I am stopping by the veterinary referral hospital to pick up some Atopica - we're going to try Faith on it because I think her allergies are environmental and Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex is treated with atopica in cats so I would like to at least give it a try and see if it makes a difference. Faith is still having those lesions on her hocks, so hopefully the atopica will stop that from happening. More on that later, but she'll be starting it early next week! :)

Flying & Airline Carriers

Posted on 12:38 PM by sara | 2 comments

Every once in a while, people refer to me as the "shopping queen" of dog stuff because, well, that's one of my favorite things to do. As a result, I've been asked to review specific products that I find work best for my cavaliers, and I will start with... Flying/Airline carriers!

First let me say, my dogs are 16 and 19lbs. They are on the "edge" of being too heavy to fit under the seat, yet we always seem to squeeze them in. I've flown with them both underneath the plane and under the seat. I recommend taking them under the seat as opposed to underneath any day. I remember when I picked up Kosmo in B.C. and I could hear him clear through the airport. He was a stressed/anxious/nervous MESS! :( Poor baby!! I will only ever fly them underneath ever again if we don't have the option (we didn't have the option that flight as Air Canada didn't accept dogs on the plane and we were going home in a hurry - funeral :( )

The most stressful part of the trip for us is in the airport. You will have to take your dog out and carry them through the metal detector while their carrier goes through the bag inspection thing. This might sound like a great idea, but when you have shoes, a belt, a laptop and a dog to take care of, it gets pretty stressful. Oh, I should add that they can't have their leash/collar/harness on at this time either because they contain metal.. so don't drop the dog! lol. I have never had a problem with this, thank goodness, but it sure is stressful shoving them back in the bag, getting your laptop, and reorganizing your things before catching the plane.

For flying, make sure you take your dog out in the morning and give them a HUGE long walk or a run before you go on the plane. They are going to be anxious going through the airport and can even be on the plane depending on the dog, so I would suggest tiring them out beforehand. Bring a travel water bowl to give them water before/during the flight if you think it's necessary. The airline people will say NEVER to open the carrier during the flight, but realistically, sometimes it's extremely hot in the cabin of the planes. In such instances, I've put the carrier on top of my lap and put a little water in the bowl for poochy to drink while waiting to take off. If your dog is a houdini I might advise against this, but I've been able to manage. Obviously regulate the amount of water, because if they are anything like my dogs, going potty anywhere other than a nice plush lawn is out of the question. I have brought things to chew on during the flight, but my dogs are rarely ever interested in chewing on anything.

I would advise against medicating your dog before flight, and if you do, please do a trial run before your actual flying day. Why? If they have some kind of a reaction to any sort of medication, you really don't want it to be while you're up in the air. One of my dogs HATES being in airline carriers and one loves it. For the one that hates it, I found that taking a small $1 store fleece blanket and covering the carrier so he couldn't see out was somewhat therapeutic for him. I find that once they settle, it's almost easier to "forget" about them and just check on them periodically. For Faith, she snores loud enough that I never have to check on her ;)

When it comes to airline carriers, I have tried a ton. I tried a large sherpa, a celltei back pack o pet, a celltei pet on the go and sturdibag. This is what we found:



Sherpa:


We used the large one. The dimensions are
Dim: 19" D x 11.75" W x 11.5" H, Weight: 3.01 lbs

Truthfully, this one doesn't fit under the seat very well. Many people have used this one with no problems. The pros for this are the fact that you can easily slide the dog into the top and you can easily get access to them through the top. There are also a lot of air vents. The negative that I found was that there is some kind of a PVC piping or something within the large panels (the square things on each end) and it really doesn't compress down at all. The only way you can make the carrier shorter is to partially collapse it. This was with the regular carrier, anyways.

Celltei Back Pack O Pet:





Dimensions:
20"x11.5"X12.5"

This carrier is awesome!
The problem with this one?? It weighs.. 6lbs6oz. When you have a dog that is already close to the weight limit, it's really hard to be able to use this bag. I really like this one though, and especially the fact that it has some detachable wheels that we can use. It was definitely worth the money - to be able to roll your pet through the airport vs carry them is absolutely priceless. A great thing about this one is that you can take the plastic dimension holders from inside out and the carrier will still hold its shape. This is important, because with the plastic in, there is no way this will fit under the seat. It is just way too tall. Without the plastic inside, it's flexible and can flex down to flat. This is incredibly helpful because you can morph the dimensions to fit under any size seat. Additionally, as you can see with Faith, there is a LOT of extra room inside. There are also lots of places to stuff things like treats, travel water bowls and leashes. The downside to this carrier is the price. It was $150! It also doesn't have too many places for ventilation.

Celltei Pet On The Go:




Dimensions: 16.5" L x 10.5" W x 11.75" H Weight: 3lbs 11oz

This bag was great!!.. When Faith was a puppy. As she grew, 16.5" just wasn't realistic for us anymore. We had to sell it and upgrade. I really liked this bag when we had it. It was all camouflage and even the breathing parts were camo-- this means that NOBODY knew we had a dog inside the bag. It was fantastic for being discreet, and that was absolutely awesome. The worst part about this b
ag was the length. It's supposed to be worn as a messenger style bag - which is nice, but every time you take a step throughout the air port, it comes back and hits your hip, which really ends up hurting when you have to trek it for a while. I wish this bag was made in a bit longer though, because I might just use it. It's also very flexible and can fit underneath any size seat. I miss this bag!

Sturdibag:


Dimensions: 18"L x 12"H x 12"W
Weight: 2lbs, 10oz

I used this one most recently on a trip back to WA state. I at first looked at Faith in this bag and said no way!! It's so small looking and she's never going to fit. She proved me wrong! It is sure small inside, but she fits quite nicely. I would say that this is very close to the maximum dimensions you can get away with on an airplane. Faith was almost sticking out in the aisle with the bag underneath the seat! The best things about this bag are that you can completely squish this one flat if you want, there is a place for doggy's head to pop out (which I used while I was walking through the airport - she got to pop her head out and I just held onto her so she could look around too), the ventilation on this bag is AWESOME, and the fact that you can clip the zipper openers together. After you've zippered the openings together, you can clip one on the other so houdini doesn't get out, which I think is a brilliant invention. This bag is also light, which was what sold us for our trip to WA (with Faith being 19lbs I didn't have much of a choice since the max airline would allow was 23lbs with pet and carrier combined). This bag comes with a bottom board thing that's zipped in underneath the bag and a fleece top for doggy to lay on during the flight. It's not too expensive, either, with the large size selling for $89.95. I picked up mine from Petsmart, so I didn't have to pay shipping. The downsides of the Sturdibag are that it doesn't have any place to put things, except for one little teeny small zippered compartment that I stuffed my passport in as well as Faith's travel documents. I did like how you can "close it up" so it doesn't look like there's a dog in the bag at all, too.

Alright, that's all for us folks! I hope some of you found this blog to be helpful. I have also looked into other bags, but these are the ones that appealed to me, for the reasons mentioned. Safe travels!

PS - I copied and pasted some of the dimensions - I will admit and have before that I am a complete rookie when it comes to blogging. Why can't I fix my font size on part of the post even when I highlight and change it? I can't fix it.. anyways, I hope you guys can still read!

Posted on 9:45 AM by sara | 3 comments

It's been forever since we've updated here - oops!!

It turns out that Faithey was in fact having a bad reaction to the Burrow's ear solution! As soon as we stopped it, it took about 3 days and her hearing came back completely! :) Yay! She is still back and forth to the dermatologist and it's been determined that she does need to continuously have prednisone for her issues. Our next appointment is November 3, so wish us luck!

I plan to take the doggies out this weekend for some hiking! Pictures to follow :)

Posted on 11:07 AM by sara | 0 comments

Faith can hear!! I think she had an allergic reaction to the ear medication she was on :( But, what a difference in her response!

Posted on 8:09 PM by sara | 1 comments

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Hearing issues, or selective hearing?

What do you think?

A trip to the spaw

Posted on 1:18 PM by sara | 4 comments

Faith here - yesterday, my mom got some kind of wild hair and decided to throw me into the bath tub. I was not impressed. Not one bit. She said something about having to put Revolution on me because of the dermatologist's instructions but wanting me to be clean first. I think being clean is totally over-rated. Now I look like a big fluffy-butt. How embarrassing! To make matters worse, she decided it would be a good idea to take pictures of us in the act.. Why, why why?!

Yes, that is me glaring at her!



It's too bad she knows my weakness.. she bribed me with treats.. darn!



If it wasn't bad enough that I was cold and FREEZING to death, Kosmo stole the warm water.. HMMPH!



You think this is funny, do you?



Ahh fine.. just do what you gotta do, but get it over with!!



After the bath, she made me drip dry, and then called me a "hot mess!" Today I at least got pampering.. A nice brush and some diluted Vellus Satin Cream thanks to Debbie (grrr!! She was being generous and giving us some satin cream but mommy thought it was conditioner and diluted it - whoops! lol).. Oh well now it will last for a long time my mom said, haha. I got some Surolan and some Douxo Sebborhea Spot On ointment for my crazy skin lesions. They are pretty oily looking right now but hopefully with regular administration, we can get them to go away!

The revolution made my hair all stiff and stinky. :( Ahh crap. And if that wasn't bad enough, she put some Burrow's solution in my ears. LOL Hot mess is right! Oh well, now I'm finished and all brushed out and tangle free. I actually like the brush.. as long as treats are involved afterwards of course ;)

Today is another good day for my brother! He had a bit of a period last night but he's been great all day today. This is good news! :)

Hope everybody has a great weekend!

Woof!

Faith

Posted on 1:45 PM by sara | 3 comments

Today is a good day! Faith is still absolutely exhausted from being totally tortured yesterday (lol), and Kosmo is doing well today, too! They are of course both relaxing and sleeping right now (what cavalier doesn't LOVE sleeping!) but later tonight I plan to give them a bath and a nice long walk. :)

It's funny how sometimes dogs react to thunderstorms. Yesterday we not only had an earthquake, but a mighty powerful thunder/lightening storm run through in the middle of the night. Avi laughed hysterically at Faith during the earthquake because she was sleeping on her back and kept moving up and down.. Her lips were vibrating and she was dead to the world.. that's my girl! lol ;) Last night during the thunderstorm, the thunder got so loud at one point that it was shaking the house! The lightening was pretty vicious too. Kosmo got mad at the light apparently and got up to burrow under the covers. Nobody here cares about storms, lol. I have always been a storm lover myself, so if my dogs didn't react well to them, I think I'd cry. I remember with both of them sometimes during the thunderstorms I'll pick them up and plaster my head out the window and let them watch. Maybe they're used to it since they've grown up watching me storm stalk, lol.

I finally got my computer back after a long vacation (bad virus! :( ) and you know what that means?!? PICTURES!

Last week, my good friend Debbie at Bark'N About went to the park around here. I just love good friends and walks in the park. Life would be perfect if I could convince MaryBeth at Embee's cavaliers to move out here and share park trips!!

My attempt at getting the 4 of them together:



Kosmo and Faith in front of the fountain.. I must have took 10 pictures here and yet I still couldn't find one I liked that well!!



And saving the best for last....

Here is the beautiful MysticMoon Dancing Queen a.k.a. Becky - Becky is being shown this weekend at the Cavalier Fanciers of Southern Ontairo specialty show.. Wish her luck!! Kosmo and Faith will have their paws together in support.. Go Becky, you'll do great!!



Today we are thankful for all of our good cavalier friends!! We love you all and can't wait to see you soon! :)

Dermatologist

Posted on 2:51 PM by sara | 0 comments


Naughty girl jumps in the dryer to lay on my clean clothes!! lol

Today was the ever-so-anticipated dermatologist appoitment for Faith. Avi decided to wake up and take me in this morning which was very helpful - our follow up appt is NOT at 9am!! LOL - traffic was awful!! Our dermatologist is a very nice guy and he spent a lot of time with Faith. We got a few answers, but mostly more questions than I had anticipated getting. For starters, he doesn't seem to think that Faith's main issues are allergies - actually he went as far as to say he's not even interested in doing allergy testing until the histology report comes back on her skin lesions (the second report) and she gets some blood testing done. That's fair to me, as I am not sure it all stems from "allergies" either. He confirmed today that she doesn't have Demodex mange or walking dandruff - no scabies either.. Phew ;) He did send off a slide to have a fungal analysis on it though, so that'll be interesting to see what it comes back like. Under his microscope (literally in the back of the vet facility) he was able to see bacterial rods and cones (occasional), along with yeast (!) and white and red blood cells. The yeast was an obvious unexpected finding as he came and met me in the waiting room with that result and said she needed some more meds (surolan applied to the area).

He said if the slides all come back negative then we're perhaps looking at a situation of her immune system not functioning properly. I have thought this for a while now, so it is no surprise to me. Most things have come back negative thus far. He also said he would be looking for papilloma but considering that my original vet sent the histology slides to a very highly regarded pathologist, he trusts she already looked into it. Due to the fact that the skin lesions are so localized, he's going to treat her with some topical medications and we're going to re-evaluate in 4 weeks and see if it's made any difference. She's on a host of topical things for now to see if we can make any difference with her.

One of the things he was quite concerned with is the fact that she has some snorting/breathing problems and I reported to him that my vet said it was red and swollen when she was put under for her skin biopsy. He obviously couldn't look all the way down her throat with her being awake, but he did stick a light in it and he said from what he seen, it is in fact red, raw and angry looking. He has requested that we see an internal medicine specialist to deal with this issue and get a detailed blood work up - and when I say detailed, he wants cholesterol, thyroid, kidney, liver.. all kinds of blood tests to see if she's showing anything abnormal. Due to the fact that she's lethargic a lot of the time on walks, he wants to look for an imbalance. He asked to have the internal medicine specialist do the blood work just in case they have something they want to check, but gave me a list of the things he wants on there, lol. Right now we have an appointment (not downtown this time - thank God!) for July 5th. He wants her to see the internal medicine specialist BEFORE I return to him so they can collaborate and he can see the results of the blood test during the follow up. I don't feel like paying another $150 consultation fee, but if I can get somewhere, I'm all for it.

One thing that he said that was interesting to me is that the medication that Faith has been on for her ears (Ottomax as a preventative 2x/week) is a BAD BAD BAD idea. He stressed that to me multiple times and cited things like superbugs (antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria) and that that sort of "heavy duty drug" shouldn't be used for a maintenance. Instead, she's now on a "self-formulated" sort of Burrows ear drops for dogs. It does have a hydrocortizone agent in it, but it's 1% and apparently very gentle. I'm supposed to put it in her ears twice a day for 2 weeks and then "as needed." If it works like he says it does, I'm going to order it for all of my friends! lol Her ears look good for right now though, but he did say he couldn't see one ear drum due to a big pile of wax. He's hoping this drug will loosen the wax and that he'll be able to see her ear drum next time we're in to see him.

In all, I feel like we had a pretty good appointment. Avi is kind of upset that nothing "happened" but honestly we've got a starting point and that's all I'm looking for! I had Kosmo with me and I had a short talk with the dermatologist about him. I told him it was possible I'd see him again with Kosmo, but in all honesty I'll probably end up going the other route.

Speaking of Kosmo, today is a GOOD DAY!! YAY :) I am excited to report that. A little scratching this morning but none really since then. He has had a pretty exciting day though and is pooped, LOL. ;) Earlier I was on the phone with
Debbie *YUP I figured it out.. woohoo - thanks!!* and I said "hmm I hear Kosmo scratching".. Wait.. My house is shaking!! LOL! Holy .. earthquake in Canada?! I'm glad it wasn't Kosmo scratching, and thank God I was on the phone which kept me from freaking out. That was kind of scary! No more earthquakes! lol

I'm DYING to try the Vellus shampoo and conditioner that
Debbie gave me (I like this new trick ;) ) I of course just bought a ton of Isle of Dogs and watch me like it more - Murphy's Law! LOL ;) I am considering bathing the poopers tonight but if it doesn't happen, I still have tomorrow.. ;)

Random Ramblings

Posted on 5:17 AM by sara | 3 comments




Frustration!

Nobody has ever said owning a dog was easy. Theoretically, I also know that whatever "health complications" Kosmo and Faith have I pretty well signed that I will bear the full responsibility of managing them, considering their backgrounds. It doesn't mean it doesn't suck, though! Today's blog will be random health ramblings so I can track things to see if I can notice any kind of pattern. Wish us luck!


Faithey is going to the dermatologist tomorrow. She has some skin lesions.. which funnily enough have decreased significantly since she was taken off of the salmon oil - coincidence, or allergy trigger? Her ears are still bugging her, and she's still breathing loudly, so hopefully Mr. Dermatologist can help us figure out what her issues are. She sometimes acts like she has lost her "zest" for life, but sometimes she's just fine, so this has been one frustrating road for us. We at first thought it was an orthopaedic problem, but after treating her with metacam for a month and putting her on cetylM and cosequin, I'm convinced that although she may have orthopaedic problems, that's not the "cause" of her loss of zest. I sometimes wonder whether she doesn't have some kind of auto-immune disease that's making her feel like crap. I feel bad that her ears are bugging her right now, but I thought about it, and thought that A) should he determine he wants to do allergy testing tomorrow he'll be abe to because she's been off "steroids" for a while and B) He NEEDS to know what happens as soon as she's off of the ear medications. That way, it won't be a description. I hope I made the right choice. We'll soon find out. Whatever Faith's issues are though, I'm glad she's still her sweet little loving self, and thankful she is how she is, because truthfully, her issues could be a whole lot worse.


Kosmo, on the other hand, is an entirely different piece of work. This past week he has completely ripped off half of his ear hair on the one side. It's been a really bad week for us. I've gone to the vet on this issue several times and she's convinced he has allergies. We tried Novo-Hydroxyzine and it did nothing for him. He keeps scratching his ears and it seems like when I talked to the vet she'd say "well, there's something there, but it looks pretty good." Hmm okay well then why is he scratching his ears like mad??!! I eventually got frustrated and left it. I had "the talk" with Avi (daddy) this morning regarding what to do with Kos. I often wonder if he doesn't have some kind of SM or Chiari Malformation pain going on. What I find so interesting in my experience with SM/Chiari Malformation is that just as every person presents illness differently, it seems as if every dog does too. Sure, there are those classic SM signs such as air scratching, but I've learned that every dog presents their case differently. I worry about Kosmo because he seems to constantly be scratching his face, but he doesn't really fit many of the other "symptoms". On the allergy side, he doesn't have runny eyes or tear stains which I would think if he had allergies would be one of the first things he would show. I suppose he could suffer from allergies, but on a more serious note, he could be showing signs of neurological discomfort. This is where the road has taken us, and there is a theoretical fork in it which I suppose we'll have to decide which side to go down.

This morning when I Avi was getting ready for breakfast, Kosmo was "squinting." Not so much squinting full on, but his eyes were not open and bright like they usually are. It was like he had a headache and they were 1/4 closed. If I said his name, his eyes would open fully again, but I wonder if he didn't have a headache?


Lets say he hypothetically has neurologic pain (which could honestly be completely true) - at what point does an owner say "ok this is affecting his quality of life so lets get it checked out." Does Kosmo show enough signs and symtoms to warrant further investigation and a possible medication for the rest of his life? That is one of the questions I've been struggling with for a while now. While I know that Kosmo is my bouncing, happy, fun, I love my life dog, I never have been able to get rid of "that scratch." But on the other hand, even after "that scratch," he reverts right back to his flower sniffing happy go lucky self. What is the "cut off point" for this kind of thing? It's very frustrating and I still don't have an answer.


On the other hand, lets say it's allergies like my vet said - he honestly did get really scratchy on that GI food he was on a few months ago. Avi says his scratching is worse in the spring/summer than in the fall. I know we did have a pretty good period (and his best looking ears ever to show for it!) this winter. How come the anti-histamine didn't work? I was thinking about it and we haven't tried him on Benadryl yet, so I suppose for now, that'll be our next step. With Faith going to the dermatologist tomorrow, it'll be interesting to see if I learn anything new that will sway me in one way or another.


Right now I feel like a helpless sitting duck.


If you've made it this far, congratulations.. ;) Thanks for listening to my Tuesday Ramblings post. It's somewhat therapeutic for me to be able to get all of this "out," and I suppose someday I'll be looking at it and trying to draw connections. If you have any wisdom or words of advice, feel free to leave your thoughts. :)

Botanical Gardens

Posted on 7:59 PM by sara | 3 comments

Today was a different-doggy-day for us! Mom decided this morning that she was tired of being cooped up and doing school work all the time, so she put in a call to her good friends Kodee and Becky at http://barknabout.blogspot.com/ (man, I've really gotta figure out how to say "DOG" and someone can click it!) and we met up at the Botanical Gardens on our end of town! We'd never been there before. It was a beautiful day outside- sun was out, breeze was blowing and best of all, we got to see our friends!!!

Mom complained she hadn't had a photo opportunity with us for a long time so the first thing she did was blackmail us ...















We walked and walked around the park, sniffed some flowers, and got to go swimming!! A little bit anyways.. Mom pulled me out when she seen me drinking the water.. hey, a dogs gotta drink, too!! Anyways, then we sat down by a nice picnic table. We first noticed how our little friend, Becky has grown!! She's so pretty now! I (Kosmo) would be into her if I hadn't realized I'm 28 and she's 7.. Yuck!! Anyways.. I still think she's totally cute, but would much rather her suitable sister, Kodee, if you get my drift.. ;)
Let us NEVER forget her beautiful sister Kodee!! Kodee was great today.. I seen her sneak a kiss into my mom and I've never seen her do that before!! I think she finally thinks of us as her extended doggy family ;) Pawesome for me!
After some walking and talking, the paw-rents had a crazy idea to try to get all 4 of us lined up together for picture taking opportunities. We can't figure out the silly reason why they feel this is necessary, but they know treats are always our weakpoint, and it's not fair, but they know we'll eventually give in.. :-( They seem to be fairly happy with the results though
After a fun day of pawin around, we were TIRED!! Mom picked Faith up and she fell asleep backwards in her arms just like a little baby does.. Hmm. .. . . Suck Up!!

We're sorry we haven't written in a while, but hopefully now that it's summer time we'll be updating a little more often! We miss swapping doggy stories with all of you and hearing the new innovative ways you've uncovered to butt-sniff!! Tah tah for now!
~ Kosmo
We can't figure out how to mess with the layout of this post because we're very technically challenged and we need to go to sleep. So like I said, TTFN and sorry! Hopefully someday we'll figure it out!