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Everything posted by MrRipley

  1. Is she on any meds at all now to prevent recurrence?
  2. Thanks everyone for your comments. His last dose of doxy is this Thursday. Someone else had told me about that TickL group, I will check it out. It was a chlorinated pool he was swimming in, but the yard is partially wooded, so sure, there could have been wildlife residue around. We hadn't been to a farm in weeks. I'm actually not sure if they cultured the joint tap, or just examined it and saw cloudiness? I will ask when I go back to the vet. Kingfisher, I read through both of your threads, wow! I am so glad your guy is doing better. Ripley did not have any of the GI symptoms other than inappetence, and did not have any discharge or ulcers. As of today, Ripley has been on the 5mg of prednisone 1x/day for 4 days now and is doing great. We have a re-check on Thursday so I will post another update after that. I don't know if we'll redo the tick tests again, as badly as I want a solid diagnosis/reason for this, we're already $5000 in. Crazy I know. It's one of those fancy specialty animal hospitals. Another thing I'm going to have to start looking into is getting a rabies vaccine exemption for him, because I'm terrified that a vaccine may trigger more autoimmune issues. Exemptions are allowed in PA.
  3. My 8 year old bc Ripley suddenly fell ill a few weeks ago and was hospitalized for nearly 3 days with a fever of unknown origin. The only symptoms he showed at home was lethargy and loss of appetite. (Lesson learned -- do NOT attempt to determine if your border collie should go to the vet or not by asking him if he wants to play frisbee!) Before bedtime I realized something was very wrong and I didn't feel comfortable waiting till the morning, so off to the emergency room we went. Bloodwork all normal other than having a low platelet count. Negative for all tick diseases, including RMSF and babesia. Negative for lepto. Chest x-ray normal. Abdominal ultrasound normal. Spinal x-ray normal. His joints were not visibly inflamed, but because his fever was still high and he still seemed uncomfortable, a joint tap revealed inflammation and he was diagnosed with immune-mediated polyarthropy. I was told this is a common secondary condition to a primary infection, but without a definitive diagnosis of a "primary condition," they can't be sure if the immune condition is primary or secondary, or whether it will go away, or relapse. He was retested a week later for all tick diseases and they were still negative. Regardless, he is being treated with 4 week course of doxy. He has been on prednisone (5mg 2x/day) for 3 weeks, and yesterday we started dropping it to once a day, which I am both very happy and nervous about. [Edited to add:] His CBC was normal, including platelet counts, at the 1-week recheck. The vet kept asking me if he showed any lameness leading up to this, but he didn't. There was a weird thing that happened a couple of days before. On Sunday, he was swimming at a pool and running around like a nut and he wore two of his paw pads off. I doubt this had anything to do with the illness, but obviously he was limping and in some discomfort due to that. By Tuesday night we were in the ER. This dog has never been sick and barely been hurt a day in his life. He's been feeling good now for nearly 2 weeks, despite losing a lot of muscle mass, unfortunately. Possibly side effects of the pred. Has anyone had experience with anything like this? Thanks, Heather
  4. Interesting! We usually have either a separarate crating area at indoor shows and at outdoor shows, there are designated tenting/crating areas. Some people use X-pens under their tents. A LOT of people leave their dogs in their cars but most use crates if they leave them in their cars. My dog is comfortable either being crated in the car, in the crating area, or in my tent. So it sounds much the same, actually. At a normal weekend USDAA trial we could have as many as 200 dogs, maybe more because many people bring unentered dogs.
  5. Mum, what do you do with your dog(s) in the UK while you are walking the course, volunteering, using the bathroom, etc?
  6. USDAA even awards yearly Top 10 points for NQ runs. The number of placements (for Top 10 points) at the Masters level depends on the number of dogs in the class. So it's possible to place and earn points in a class even if you don't earn a Q.
  7. It just depends on the individual dog and the situation. I crated Ripley till he was nearly 5, because I did not trust him with my oldest dog. Now that she has passed, and I know he'll get along find with my other dog, he is free in the house with no problems (although I close off the bedroom and bathroom doors). When he was crated, it was a roomy crate, and he loved going in there as part of his routine when I was getting ready to leave the house. He LOVES his routines. As others have said, when I'm not home I don't expect my dogs to do much other than sleep, so I don't see crating as much of an issue if it needs to be done. Of course he had a water dish in there too. Now that he is free during the day I don't see any evidence that he does anything besides sleeping anyway. I don't have a dog door or access to the outside.
  8. I just keep a basic Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my USDAA titles. I have each event listed horizontally across the top and then each time we Q, I enter the date underneath. I am signed up for the service on the website where I can see all our results, but it usually takes them several weeks to update the records. When I get home from a trial, I record our results on our spreadsheet. That way, I am ready to celebrate when we get a new title
  9. She should have stayed and run, and the trial sec was wrong. I've only entered a handful of AKC trials ever, and each time I pretty much find myself in some kind of odd, unnecessary, awkward moment of drama. It's almost like a running joke for me but it's one of the things that has really turned me off from AKC trials. Anyway, the bottom line is that your friend was put in an unfortunate situation, but she should have stayed and run.
  10. The OP wants a dog primarily to do agility with. I said it early on in this thread, and I will repeat -- I firmly believe that a young rescue/rehomed dog is the BEST way to go if agility is the main activity and focus, and stockwork is not much of a consideration. It's much, much easier to evaluate an adolescent/young adult dog's personality, drive, and structure than a baby. I know many agility dogs where the pedigrees & health checks were all lovely, were raised with careful consideration, etc... yet they have temperament or physical problems that prevent them from excelling at the sport. I know many nice ones too, but I still think it's more of a crapshoot than when you are able to evaluate the actual dog before choosing it. Ripley was found as a stray and brought to a nearby shelter. He was about a year old, underweight, and had a very thick sunbleached coat (it was winter). Let me tell you, he is a NICE dog. If whoever owned him wanted to find this dog, they would have. He was at the shelter for 10 days. So I doubt he had the most ideal upbringing. Yet he loves all people, kids, dogs, toys, and he excels at agility. Don't know if he ever lived in a house but he adjusted quickly. His build and structure is really nice -- he gets lots of compliments He also could be a decent sheepdog if I had the resources and time to put into developing his talents there. I have no problem at all with breeders and people wanting puppies. Obviously I do favor rescues -- there are just so many nice border collies needing homes. And when agility is the main activity, I think the benefits of choosing a rescue dog outweigh the benefits of trying to choose a puppy.
  11. Hi Patrisha, While I certainly have no problem with folks buying a puppy from a breeder, I strongly encourage you to strongly consider a rescue Not all rescues have a lot of baggage. On the other side of the coin, I know plenty of people who did all the right things trying to acquire the perfect border collie puppy -- only to realize when the dog was grown it was not the perfect dog they had hoped for. If you want a dog mainly for agility, a rescue has the advantage of being slightly older (several months to a year or so, depending what you are open to) and you can see their personality and potential much more easily than in a baby pup. If you take your time working with a good rescue (and if you don't like the first one you find, try another) they should be able to help you find a good fit. And if the dog isn't a good fit, they can be returned to the rescue. I tried and returned 2 rescue dogs before Ripley decided to stay with me. I was heartbroken about it but the rescues really want what's best for the dog. Ripley was found as a stray, about a year old, with essentially no basic training or manners (except maybe for a little stockwork). Now he is a very successful agility dog and my perfect companion. I'm not saying he had no "baggage" and his history is a complete mystery, but it was basically a non-issue for us. True to the nature of the breed, he bonded quickly with us and was eager to learn anything new. I'm sure he did not have an ideal start to life but you'd never know it now. Either way, good luck with your search. I don't have much advice to offer in the way of puppies, but if you have any more questions about rescues, let me know.
  12. Yes, it's actually SUNLIGHT that causes ordinary PVC plastic to become brittle -- you can protect it from UV rays using paint. I looked at the Launch the Dog website again and it says their jumps are UV stabilized, so maybe they are ok outside. Maybe it's their contact equipment that I was told could not be stored outside... sorry, not trying to start rumors here ;)/> but yeah I'd still be a little wary about storing expensive plastic jumps outdoors for extended periods. They ARE great jumps though - especially the newer design where the cups lift up and out so they are easier to change. Not to change the subject, but I do NOT like the LTD seesaw -- the design allows for way to much "side-to-side" motion that is especially bad if the dog is approaching on a turn. Hopefully they are working to fix this flaw.
  13. The Launch the Dog jumps are very cool -- there is a venue near me that uses them pretty much exclusively. One negative though, is that I don't think you can store the jumps outside in a location exposed to sunlight. I was told it would make the plastic brittle. It does take longer to change jump heights frequently at a trial. Usually they help deal with this by using only 1 set of jump cups on the jumps where a dog is slicing or wrapping the jump, and leaving extra cups in the jumps that the dog is approaching straight on to expedite the height changes. I have also heard that if you go with non-movable jump cups, it's best to use ones that are spaced every 2 inches (like the clip-n-go jump strips) as opposed to every 4 inches. The more jump cups there are, the more visible they are to the dog.
  14. LOL at the shelter they had my red boy Ripley listed as an Aussie. Nessie is beautiful and she looks all border collie to me. Ripley also got carsick at first. As he settled in to life with me and got used to the car it passed -- now he's a champion traveler and has no problem at all with 12+ hour car rides!
  15. The only venues that I know of that truly allow training in the ring during competition are DOCNA and UKI. In these venues you are allowed to turn your run into a non-qualifying run and put your dog back on the contact obstacle. In UKI, you are allowed to bring a toy into the ring to reward your dog.
  16. I'll sell you mine for a million dollars Seriously though, I do know ONE person who gets puppies (bred from mostly the same lines as her own), raises them, begins foundation training, and then, if I guess they don't exhibit certain specific amazing qualities, will sell the dog to a fellow agility competitor. I don't know how much she charges but I don't think it's extreme. It's definitely a "horse person" mentality. It doesn't bother me that she does this, although I never could! I'd get too attached. But this is really, really uncommon. Besides maybe a breeder holding on to a prospect for a while before deciding whether to sell the puppy, I haven't heard of this. Sometimes dogs are rehomed but I don't know about a lot, or any, money changing hands.
  17. RIpley likes to lay like a frog. Not all the time, but often, usually when he is chewing a bone or sometimes while napping. I worried at first but had him x-rayed and his hips looked fine. I also get him routinely checked/worked on by a physical therapist and a chiropractor because I want to keep him sound for agility. I call him rubber band man because he is so flexible. He's an amazing athlete and (thankfully) stays very sound. He does have an overall good structure but I think his flexibility is a good thing. He's very cute! Good luck with him!
  18. Bimmer's BC Rescue is in northern Virginia. Contact them -- not all their dogs are listed on their site. http://www.bimmersbcr.org/ It's a very small operation but they do get some nice dogs in rescue.
  19. Which just goes to show another reason why the marketing ploys behind designer dogs (and labra/golden/doodles in particular) are ridiculous. Breeders of mixes like to say that the pups will be the best of both breeds -- how can they guarantee they won't be the WORST of both breeds? Both in health and temperament?
  20. Very nice highlight video! Looks like you had a good videographer. I try to get most of our runs on video too, but the quality is not usually very good! I take what I can get
  21. I used it to train Ripley's contacts. I liked the method, although I wound up fading the box very quickly after putting it on the a-frame, because depending on his striding and approach, he would sometimes hit the PVC and startle himself. I know that the whole point of training this way is to help them get a consistent striding, but I didn't WANT him forcing his body to get into position - as long as he took two strides down I was happy. So I began rewarding just for running the downside. Sometimes I used a hoop about 2' away from the downside or upside that he had to duck under to help him keep his striding in check. I also used the clicker for hitting the yellow (after we removed the box from the frame) and followed by throwing a toy or treat.
  22. I have used a product called Skid Tex from home depot. I mixed in more than the recommended amount so it was nice and rough. I eyeballed it and mixed it in a smaller container than the paint bucket. It worked well. I also have used Contactacoat which are rubber granules made specifically for agility equipment, if you wanted to go the rubber route.
  23. Sadly, I have noticed this sentiment mainly at AKC agility trials. Eh, whatever. I don't personally enjoy AKC agility for a number of reasons, but one of the things I DO enjoy about it is seeing the variety of breeds competing that I don't usually see at a USDAA trial. I also see a lot different breeds being quite competitive and beating border collies - Port Water Dogs, Goldens, Labs, GSDs, Tervs, Malinois, Poodles... to name a few specifically. My first 2 agility dogs were not bc's -- Anna was a black lab-ish mix who was not really built to be an athlete (and not adopted with the intention of doing agility) but we learned together and she became great fun to run. Sadie is a sheltie/bc mix who I DID adopt with the intention of training her in agility... she is now retired due to anxiety issues that we never really overcame. Ripley is my first border collie and I definitely adopted him with agility potential in mind. And I definitely have to say it is more thrilling, way different, and a huge rush to work with him. I worked very hard training him, but he is naturally easy to train. He loves being engaged with me in a way no other dog has. He craves a very close relationship with me and I find that very appealing, whether we are participating in agility or not.
  24. I like trialing on varied footing. I think if you and your dog are used to running on different surfaces, it's not a problem. Of course, there may be times when situations are dangerous (too wet and slippery or muddy, or with deep divots but I've actually never encountered that) but generally I think it's fine to allow your dog to adjust to different footings. There's a place where a lot of local trials are held that is a horse venue -- sand and dirt -- that I am not crazy about because it's SO hard. And ROCKS in it to boot. But outdoors on grass, indoors on field turf or dirt, is all fine. I've found that indoor places that have turf -- it really depends on how much rubber pellets they use that will determine if it will be slippery or not. There is also a place nearby I have trialed at where they have turf with NO rubber pellets -- this is pretty slippery and if I trial here I use Firm Grip on Rip's feet. Another thing I have noticed is that depending on the handler's style, there can be problems on certain footings. Handler/dog teams that tend to be jerky in style can slip a lot on certain surfaces, whereas handlers that can communicate where they are going significantly farther downstream... the dogs are able to adjust better to the surfaces.
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