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TxMom

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Posts posted by TxMom


  1. Just wanted to pop back in and thank everyone for the advice and observations! It's been a couple of weeks now with no repetition of symptoms despite continued (or increasing) heat and both off-leash "walks" and games with the frisbee, ball, etc.

     

    I think it must have just been a one-off reaction to unaccustomed heat and I jumped to conclusions and scared myself. I feel a little silly, but I definitely prefer that to any alternative possibility here! :rolleyes:


  2. Hmm. I'm torn between hoping she doesn't have it, and hoping there's not a worse explanation for what we saw. We'll keep an eye on things, and do a little (careful) experimenting to see if it can be induced by certain activities... and see our vet if needed. I'll update if we figure anything out.


  3. Your videos were the ones I saw that I thought looked like what happened to Livi -- thank you for sharing them!

     

    Walking off leash isn't exactly an accurate description -- we walk, and she gallops all over the place, disappearing into the woods and popping back out, dashing off around the barn, making a loop around the field, etc. She really tears around... I get a kick out of watching her because she looks so happy. She's not always in sight, but she seems to circle back to check in with us regularly and she comes quickly when we call her. I don't know if it's enough to induce an episode of BCC, but it's not insignificant in terms of exercise and excitement, I don't think. Maybe I can get some video to show her level of excitement.

     

    It's been in the 90's lately, and somewhat humid. I did wonder about overheating, but she recovered awfully quickly... what I read seems to suggest that those sort of symptoms caused by heat exhaustion would be fairly severe and require a much longer recovery period. I'd also be sort of surprised because this is a normal routine for us since February, although granted it's getting hotter as we get further into summer.

     

    As far as mental state, we were walking along and we'd put her leash on because we were going to go up to the road to get the mail, and suddenly she was just sort of aimlessly bumbling around. She knows the route and usually leads the way. She completely lost track of where we were going and what we were doing; just wandering a few steps this way and that, then we noticed she was stumbling and her rear end fell a couple of times. I didn't try any commands, just guided her back into the house.

     

    I'll try a game of frisbee with her and see if it repeats itself -- that's been her favorite toy lately. I wouldn't want to regularly cause that sort of thing, but given her quick recovery and lack of ill effects, I'm willing to do some experimentation for the sake of pinpointing the problem and how best to manage it.


  4. It's been a long time since I've posted here (I usually just lurk), so I'll start with some background. We adopted Livi from rescue when she was 3-4 months old. Her mother was a Border Collie from somewhere in rural Texas, and her father was a traveling man. The neighbor's Aussie was mentioned as a possibility, but as she's grown up all I see is Border Collie. Livi and her brother ended up in a shelter when the owner didn't find homes for them, and from there to rescue. They went through a mild bout of what was believed to be parvo (they were supposedly vaccinated, but tested positive for parvo). The rescue saw them through and kept them long enough to be sure they were completely recovered and off all medication. Since we've had Livi she's been healthy. She's 2 years old this summer. Until February we lived in a suburban neighborhood so although she did get regular exercise, it was somewhat limited. Playing in the backyard, running around weekly or so in the field where we took training classes, and we had started a couch to 5k program together (very light running on leash... really just trotting for her). In February we moved to a place on 14 acres, which means Livi has a lot more room to run and explore. She's in and out with me wherever I go, and of course if I'm walking out to the barn she's running every which way along my general trajectory.

     

    Wednesday evening, we went for our usual walk down to the river and back around sunset. It's a little less than half a mile if you follow the path; quite a bit more the way Livi does it. She was running around as usual, and when we got back near the house she started staggering a little and her rear end seemed floppy. She mostly stayed on her feet, but if she tried to turn much at all her back legs would sort of fail to follow and go out from under her. We got her back in the house where she had water and cool tile to lie on, and she was fine. When I saw it I immediately thought of what I'd read here about Border Collie Collapse. I looked at older threads and watched a few videos and that looks exactly like what was happening.

     

    We haven't taken her to the vet yet since she recovered so quickly and completely and we have what seems to be a very likely explanation for what happened and no useful treatment for it -- but should we, to rule anything else out? I'd thought we'd see if it happens again and I can get a video. I don't want to neglect medical treatment if it's needed, but if there's no real reason to go in I'd rather not. (This isn't "just a dog" thinking -- I'm the same way with my kids).

     

    I'm also trying to think about what to do going forward, if this is BCC. The exercise that presumably led to her collapse was just her accompanying us on a walk. There was no encouragement or pressure for her to run as much or as fast as she did -- she did it because she wanted to, and she loves it. I can put her on a leash to prevent her from running, but that seems like overkill. Maybe I can let her run halfway and then put her on a leash the other half to reduce the length of her exercise. But it seems like with BCC, I can't just let her self-regulate as I've always done. She does generally reach a point where she slows down -- loses interest in chasing a ball or frisbee, or just walks along with us rather than running every which way. She'd keep going if I encouraged her, I'm sure, but since she's not working or anything there's no reason for her to continue past the point of enjoyment. I'd had thoughts of doing agility with her when we got her, but now that we live out here she seems to get the exercise and mental stimulation she wants and I'm happy with that. We walk around sunset, so it's still hot (Texas in June), but we try not to be out much in the real heat of the day. I haven't found it terribly oppressive yet this year... but I've lived here all my life, so heat is just a way of life.

     

    I'm also wondering if I should suggest the rescue mention this to the person who adopted her brother just so they're aware. Again, I thought I might wait to see if there's another episode or if this was just a fluke, but given that it seems to be genetic it seems like it might be worth passing along.

     

    I suspect what needs to be said has already been said in the older threads I read, but I just wanted to post in case anyone has advice, particularly on management, or even just to mention it in case it helps someone else.


  5. Enrollment for this class is still open through 2/15: http://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/11124

     

    It's only $65 for the "audit" level, and there are a lot of foundational skills that I'm sure would be helpful. I think it's a reworking of a class I took with Livi last year (it was "puppy genius" then and specifically targeted for future agility dogs, but a lot of the syllabus looks the same or similar).

     

    Or there's this one, which I wanted to take but decided to skip since we're moving next week and I didn't figure I'd have time to keep up: http://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/7438


  6. We had a similar situation waiting for Livi to come home. She had gotten ill shortly after being pulled from the shelter and tested positive for parvo. They treated it immediately and it seemed to be a mild case. So they told us about her after she'd recovered, then their policy is to wait an additional three weeks after pups come off of antibiotics just to be sure (especially with parvo). Those three weeks seemed like an eternity! And yeah, I think I approached weirdo territory with all of my e-mails too.


  7. This summer I got to do my first shelter evaluation and, when the rescue decided to pull him, I got to drive up and bring him home to his foster family. His name is now Rook, and he's up for adoption. Just wanted to share him here because he strikes me as a really decent dog. He's young and needs some work, but he seems to have a solid, easygoing temperament. He's with All Border Collie Rescue here in Texas, but they're willing to adopt out of state.

     

    http://www.allbordercollierescue.com/rook-2016


  8. Going back to the home visit question, the rescue I volunteer with is mostly looking for the answer to one question: would I be willing to let my personal dog stay in this home? Sure, they check things like fences and potential hazards and how everyone behaves and whether or not the application was honest. But mostly they just want a general feel that you're decent folks with a suitable home.

     

    I would guess that "my" rescue would be at least skeptical about an e-collar. They advocate positive training methods, and e-collars are one of those things that are often abused. On the other hand, they might be willing to hear what you have to say and make an individual decision. If there's concern from the rescue you're applying with, maybe you could ask if they'd be willing to observe you and Cal working together and make a decision based on what they see.


  9. No useful information for you, but she looks great! And wow on all the training experience! I'm hoping to pursue therapy work with Livi someday, but she's still a brainless teenager so we've got a while to go. Slowly, slowly.

     

    That picture of Cal reminds me of a dog we picked up for our local Border Collie Rescue back in July -- mostly black and very fluffy! It's a good look. :)


  10. I agree with GentleLake -- my dog would be quite overweight if she ate 3 cups of food every day. She gets closer to 1 cup of food daily. Perhaps you could start slowly decreasing the amount you feed him every day and see if that helps with his weight over time. We had to do that recently with one of our cats. It took a few months to do it gradually, but he lost the extra couple of pounds he'd been carrying and seems healthier and happier for it.

     

    If you're seriously considering euthanasia or giving him up, perhaps you could contact a rescue organization that would make sure he gets any medical and behavioral intervention he needs before adopting him to a home where his ongoing needs could be met. I know of Border Collie Rescue and Rehab (based in Dallas) and All Border Collie Rescue (based in Houston). Both of them have volunteers all across the state. I adopted my Border Collie from All Border Collie Rescue and I do some volunteer work for them -- I've found them to be highly reputable. If anything happens to me, Livi will go back to them and I have no qualms about that because I know she'd be in good hands.


  11. Not sure what's the normal material for a waterproof mat or how big you need it, but JoAnn Fabrics sells PUL (polyurethane laminate) cloth that's waterproof. Mostly people use it to make cloth diapers. The edges don't fray so all you have to do is cut it to size, no sewing. If you download their app or subscribe to their e-mails you'll regularly get coupons for 40-60% off, which makes it pretty affordable depending on what your other options are.

     

    Good luck next month! I'd love to hear your wish-I'd-knowns afterward, because with any luck we'll be there eventually. :)


  12. I'll definitely keep an eye out for any other sporting dogs coming through and let you know what I see. But like GentleLake said, the process does take some time. If you're interested, you might contact them and just be up front about your timeline. If nothing else, you could get pre-approved in case the next one along is right for you. But honestly, they're looking for a specific type of home for a dog like Maissi and while those aren't completely uncommon they're also not a dime a dozen. It might take them a little while to find the home she needs, and a month and a half isn't that long. Also, they don't do first-come-first-served; they'll send her to the home that seems best for her -- so the only reason she would wait for you over another adopter would be if they felt you were the best home for her. And in the meantime, she's in a terrific foster home and definitely not languishing. Not to pressure you or anything -- I admire your restraint in waiting to contact anyone. I had the hardest time waiting when I knew I was almost ready. :)


  13. She does remind me of Wink and Kolt! I haven't met her in person, but she's being fostered not far from me. I don't know if she's actually a mix or if they just say that because they don't know for sure. They do adopt out of state if anyone wants a sports dog... B) Actually, this particular foster tends to get the high-energy dogs with sports potential and he takes them with him to the activities he does with his own dog, so although he can't guarantee anything he gets a pretty good idea of potential.

     

    Frogs & Dogs, I know you'd have to work out transport and you might have better luck finding something closer, but if you're interested you could definitely start talking to ABCR about either Maissi or whoever this foster gets next. Might be a good way of getting at least a semi-known quantity.


  14. I found a good local pet store that doesn't sell junk. When I go to buy food I always go check their discount shelf first. They sell the almost-expired stuff at 50% off. A well-informed friend in the pet store business tells me that dry foods are generally good for at least 6 months past their expiration date. At 50% off, I can afford the premium brands that just aren't in the budget otherwise. If there's something good at 50% off, I buy it. If not, I go with my default brand (which isn't junk, but it's budget-friendly). Livi often gets fancier foods than my budget would allow otherwise. It also makes sure she gets a variety of foods.

     

    Opinions may vary on the expired food thing. I'm willing to feed slightly expired or past-prime foods to the human members of the family as long as nothing seems off, so I don't feel guilty doing it for the dog too.


  15. Recently I noticed some brown tartar near the gum lines on Torque (almost 9). Nothing bad, but I didn't want it to get any worse. I gave him (and Kiefer too of course) a rib bone (~6-7 inches long), and then a second rib bone about 10 days later. I didn't check his teeth until another week had passed because I didn't expect to see a dramatic change. Wow, was I surprised. Perfectly clean teeth!!! Yippee.

     

    I had the same experience with Livi recently. I noticed some tartar and gave her a turkey neck. Next time I noticed her teeth, they were all nice and white. She's young and we do turkey necks, etc., regularly so, like you noted, this wasn't a bad buildup and if it was it would probably require more to get her teeth clean. But I was really pleased to see a visible difference!


  16. He also told me that if I take calcium, I should also take D3, and I should take K2. He said D3 tells your body to use calcium, but K2 helps your body to use it where it's needed, rather than on your artery walls.

     

    This is something I'm going to have to look into. I take D3 for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I need to do more research about what else I should take with it. :blink:


  17. I carry a locking pocket knife with a decently sized (3+ inches) blade. It comes in handy a lot, but I don't consider it much of an option for self defense (or defense of my dog). I'm told a knife is hard to use effectively for self defense without a lot of training. Unless you know what you're doing, you're likely to only cause superficial wounds that will escalate things rather than end them, and you're likely to get hurt yourself in the process. Hopefully also superficial, but eventually blood loss adds up. I would imagine in the case of trying to use a knife on a dog, you'd get your hand bitten pretty badly. Maybe worth it if there aren't other options, but it sure wouldn't be my first choice.

     

    Anything that allows distance is your friend. If things were serious enough that I'd be willing to try stabbing with a pocket knife (deadly force), I'd rather use a gun. More effective, and it'd keep me out of tooth range. Realistically, though, I think a big stick would be most appropriate for the vast majority of incidents.

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