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AK dog doc

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  1. Thanks, guys! I don't know about I-rod coverage... I'll try (if Tranq isn't available, since I think he does a better job), but it'll depend on available time. We currently have a new-grad Doc, which means there's a certain amount of slack to pick up, so it's hard to say how much time I'll have. Now, everyone cross your fingers that I don't do something stupid, like get pneumonia....!
  2. I think you have to decide on a per-case basis. I think it's much worse to leave a dog loose if it will harm itself (by, say, eating things that might take it to surgery or kill it) than it would be to crate it. I also think that if you have a dog that OTHER dogs might injure (as in Julie's example with the epileptic dog), crating is smarter than taking a chance on coming home to a gruesome disaster. Of 4.5 Bc's I've had (one a BC cross, hence the 0.5) I could leave 3 out without worrying TOO much (although one day I came home and on entering my bedroom wondered how it had managed to snow INSIDE my house... Oh, wait, that's DOWN FROM MY COMFORTER, thank you very much for that $150 replacement cost). Two I would not trust - one, an inveterate ingester of toys, the other an epileptic who has severe pica following her seizures. For like 8 to 10 hours. Non-stop. (This has actually turned out to be an excuse to take her every place I go, because I have to, you know, monitor her for seizures and pica. Really. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) So she is either in my truck, at home with me, at work with me, or (if it's not appropriate to leave her in the truck), at work without me, stashed safely in a run. That mainly only happens if the weather is extreme or I have to be someplace for a long time that she can't go (like a veterinary meeting or something.) Since I am down to one BC right now, that works out fine. When I had more, I generally took them in the truck. I had a capper on the bed and would fill the bed with straw if it was cold (although there is obviously a temperature limit, and once you pass that, dogs stay home.) I could also segregate a dog into the cab if needed. That said, there is one other thing I tried to be aware of: My 0.5 BC and my male BC didn't always get along. Because I had to crate the male to keep him from suicide by ingestion, and he was already jealous of the 0.5 BC, it would have been a Bad Idea to leave the 0.5 BC loose to wander tauntingly back and forth in front of his crate. So if one was crated, they both were, or I excluded the BC cross from the crate area. This was in order to prevent death, destruction, war, devastation and horror (and also incessant cheap shots and sniping), and it worked pretty well. If I had more than one BC right now I'd re-make the decision based on the dogs and dynamics that evolved with those dogs. I don't think crate training is cruel - in fact, it has been a Godsend at times - but I'd just rather have my dog(s) with me. They're social, I'm social, we need our hanging-out and doing-stuff time. But I am responsible for making the decisions to keep them safe, and a crate can be a giant help with that, so long as it is a bedroom, and not a prison.
  3. It's possible it's cerebellar abiotrophy (a defect of the cerebellum, which controls rate, range and force of motion). However, A) I am NOT a neurologist, but a general practitioner, and B ) without more history and/or workup, I can't even speculate as to whether or not it will get worse. If she was born like that, it may not progress at all. If it's an acquired disorder, it could - or it might be treatable and/or curable. Can you have a neurologist look at her?
  4. No - my boss is, and we can't spare us both. I met Eileen and her husband at Martin's open house (where I found moose #1 for them and a little gang of other people who had never seen a moose.) That one was browsing among the naked birch trees up on a ridge and admittedly didn't look musch like a moose from down at the house. It kind of looked like a big brown rectangle. At first the ghirl from Switzerland looked at me like I was high when I pointed it out and claimed rashly that it was in fact a moose. But eventually it moved and people could see it was browsing. From where I was standing, I took it to be a big bull, but it might have been a huge cow. Still, it was a bit of a distance away, so not as impressive as it might be despite its size. (I had passed another, "better" one on my way to the open house, perfectly posed against blue sky, but hey - a moose is a moose, right?) Moose #2 was in my neighborhood, handily displayed on the corner of my street, up close and personal. She was still there on the way out again, bedded in. I also cannily tracked down Hobo Jim (Alaska's State Balladeer). Hobo's website is rarely updated with his tour information, but he always sings for I-rod, so I knew he'd be here somewhere. He was at the Willow Trading Post, a little dive of a bar with great food and a floor so uneven that you don't have to wait to get drunk to feel like you are. He is SO much fun live. He's an excellent showman, and has tons of little anecdotes and Alaskan and I-rod history that he slips in between songs, so it's quite an education - and very funny. Also, certain of his songs are a) politically incorrect, so perhaps not on any of his CDs, and MUCH more entertaining in person, either from audience particpation or Hobo's antics on stage. I've seen him play so hard that he breaks a guitar string mid-song. Rather than stopping, he keeps singing while he yanks the old string out and puts in a new one (with the audience carrying it when he needs to bend his head away from the mic.) At any rate, Willow is a bit of a trip (as they say) this year: The TP is buried snow about 3/4 of the way up its windows, and the sign that says "Willow: Dog mushing capitol of the world" is only about a foot above the snow (the sign is normal street-sign height). There was moose #3 in the parking lot while we were eating diner, but I could not be torn away from my excellent steak to go look at it. Anyway, Hobo Jim did not disappoint (me, at any rate). He never does. He sang all my favorites except Mackinaw Mush (and may have sung that one, but we had to leave around 10 or 10:30 because Eileen had Iditariding to do, and I had to work the next day.) It was a great evening for me, but you'll have to ask Eileen for her impressions. I don't want to try to tell her stories for her - and I'm sure I couldn't do them justice anyway.
  5. She's not done having it yet! She's flying up the trail all the way to Nome and the finish with my friend Lori (who owns SkyTrekking Alaska). I was able to find her two moose - three, if you count the one in the parking lot at Willow Trading Post - and Hobo Jim. We all should cross our fingers that she gets to see some good Aurora activity so her trip is complete. I'm going to TRY to do I-rod updates in the Coffee Break section - but you'll have to rely on Eileen for the accounting of her own adventures.
  6. Thanks, Julie and Ruth! @Julie: I will tell her that. Right now she thinks her name is "Raven-Raven-butt-needs-shavin'" because we had some unfortunate matting issues (her tail now looks like a comb with half the teeth missing), so she's had a lot of practice with "be-still-GOOD-dog!". Also the ever-popular "get-in-the-back-GOOD-dog!" since it's winter, which, as everyone knows, means COFFEE DRIVE-THROUGH KIOSK SEASON!!! EVERY 40 MINUTES!!! AND GIMME A BISCUIT FOR MY OXIOUS OBNOXIOUS DOG OR I'LL STAB YOU WITH MY STRAW!!! (accompanied by wild-eyed slavering). Raven is fairly certain the way to guarantee the dog-biscuit portion of the program is to lean over my shoulder with her front feet perched on the door at the open window, or possibly to actually attempt to enter the kiosk through ITS open window, all whilst looking freakin' adorable. After all that effort, she'll be excited to get just a plain old "Good dog!" without having to work for it. @Ruth: Many of my patients suffer from an acute version, which consists of just such antics as you describe, usually occurring while I am attempting to listen to their chests with my stethoscope. I hear it can cause headaches, fat lips and black eyes (in the owner, of course). This can also lead to embarrassing questions and remarks (such as: "Well, I know you didn't get that black eye from a man, because you'd be in jail for murder" and "Date with OJ Simpson?") so there should be some sort of insurance compensation you ought to be able to claim from your insurer, IMO. I'd be willing to write you a doctor's note, but those people have NO sense of humor.
  7. This whole thread is cracking me up. I think the "whelping" thing must be a semi-common misconception; we have clients every so often who are sure that "whelping" means "some form of vocalization, regardless of species, and often indicating pain or distress." Sometimes clients come up with misnomers that they don't realize are misnomers: they want to get their dog spaded (spayed); one time their dog had a nostalgic gaze (nystagmus); their dog had leprosy (epilepsy) and Noxema (eczema); their dog is a tomb-lilly (cryptorchid). Other times they've forgotten the word and know it. I had a client once tell me a sheep expert had told her her sheep had some disease... some disease called... called... she exclaims in exasperation: "Oh, drat, I was SURE I'd remember it! It's something like 'oxious naseous'." Er...? I rack my brain. I can think of nothing whatsoever that sounds like oxious naseous - nothing that sounds even close, in fact. But in the weird way of brains (or at least MY brain), words pop into my head. "Actinomyces pyogenes?" I ask her hesitantly, thinking: That is not even CLOSE, you dork, why are you even mentioning it? Imagine my surprise when she goes, "YES! That's it!" It's my favorite disease now. Every diisease that I'm having trouble diagnosing, every nebulopathy and mystery complaint, every obscure disease, is oxious naseous. I should point out that Raven sometimes has a variant known as "oxious obnoxious", characterized by repeated attempts to sit in my lap while I am driving or trying to eat, knit or read. It occasionally causes seizure-like activity - in the owner, mind you, not the dog - in which she slides her muzzle under my chin and then shoves it abruptly upwards, evidently in an attempt to make me pet her - or ditch my truck, whichever. Fortunately it can be cured my means of judicious swearing, although if you laugh while applying this treatment, it inactivates the cure. Maybe I should start working on a vaccine...
  8. Take her in. If it's nothing, you'll rest easy. If it's something, earlier is better for treatment. If cost is a concern, ask about costs before diagnostics. Just my opinion... my medical opinion, in this case.
  9. FWIW - and speaking AS a vet - I'd rather know if there's a problem. For the most part my time is involved with doing patient and client care one-on-one, and I would not know about things that happen at the front desk unless someone tells me. I typically don't charge out my clients - that's the reception staff's job, and I usually have another case I need to get to. I also don't answer the phones very often, so unless someone mentions to me they had a bad experience or noticed a problem, I'm usually not going to know. Even if you decide to change vets, I'd let them now what the issues are. And, if they are responsive, you may not NEED to change vets. JMO.
  10. I don't get it either. It's a HUGE marketing success, really... being able to sell mixed-breed dogs for two or three times what either papered parent would go for. (Although maybe that in itself is a bit of a marketing ploy, as well, in certain hands.) Regardless, I just do not get it how everyone and their brother suddenly could charge these massive fees for what are (however nice the individual dogs may be) basically mutts. Unfortunately there is a major "ka-ching!" factor in these dogs. I had a client a few years ago who had paid over $2000 for a labradoodle. She told me during the exam that she was going to get another one and breed labradoodles. It took me a while to make her understand that if she wanted to breed labradoodles, she needed to get a lab and a poodle; the whole F1 cross and independant assortment of genes thing was a bit over her head. Eventually, however, I got through to her that two F1 crosses when bred together would NOT produce a uniform puppy crop that all resembled the F1's. She was pretty disappointed to hear that. She DID, however, decide not to breed labradoodles, which was the most important part of that communication.
  11. Also on the sam-e, it should be given on an empty stomach and followed with food an hour later (the amino acids in the food aid in the metabolism of it, and the empty stomach increases the chances of it a) exiting the stomach before breaking down, and b ) hitting a more alkaline pH in the stomach than in a fed animal, also in the interest of having the pill exit the stomach before being broken down.) FWIW, I've had pretty good results with that protocol (although I generally use Denemarin, a combined product; Denosyl is the single-product sam-e).... my assessment of efficacy being based on clinical response and repeat bloodwork.
  12. A very small bit. Hormones act in tiny amounts, so it doesn't take much tissue to potentially create an issue. If the remnant is ectopic (as in, was not originally part of the ovary proper, but was instead a little nub of renegade ovarian tissue located elsewhere), it might be tough to find. If it's a little bit remaining on the ovarian stump - well, that's in a known position so there's a reasonably good chance of success there. As for the argyria, a couple of things: One, not all people appear to be equally susceptible to that effect; Two, it may have something to do with the specific product used; and Three, it may be dose- and duration-related, and may or may not involve combination with other products. However, argyria is apparently irreversible, and I personally prefer not to take a chance that I'll spend the rest of my life looking like a 3-day-old corpse (it may not be much of a face, but I like it the color it is now; I'm vain that way). I'd also prefer that I am still able to assess color on my patients' gums, scleras, (etc), so I'd prefer not to have THEM have it, either. Since (at the moment) there do not appear to be good predictors of who will and who won't be affected, I'll pass. That's just me, though. You should of course do as you feel best, and your vet can see your animals and I cannot, so I'm in no way advising you what to do there. I'm merely reporting my results on testing. So far, I've had 100% failure on colloidal silver. I have, however, been able to affect the bacterial lawn with water (in what appears to be a simple matter of dilution). I of course do not know if that was a factor in the cases of which you speak; nor do I know if your vet has run any objective tests to assess efficacy. If you and your vet want to use it, I can't object to that. I'll hold my dissenting opinion in view of MY results with it, but when it comes to what your vet advises you to do or what works in their hands, I have no dog in that fight. Do as you think best. Anne, wiht the amount of pus you're describing, I seriously doubt it's a vaginitis. I don't think that amount of pus would be likely to occur without uterine involvement. JMO, of course.
  13. If it's an open pyo (stump or otherwise) you absolutely can treat it with antibiotics (I'd advise systemic, personally). If you're trying to get through a trial or something like that and it's an open pyo (is showing discharge), then using AB's til you get past your trial (or lambing, or whatever event(s) you need the dog for at the moment) seems quite reasonable, so long as the dog is repsonding. If it IS in fact a pyo and not some other process, then yes, they should be looking for an ovarian remnant. You would definitely expect a recurrence in 6 months or so. Pyometra happens AFTER the dog goes into heat, which requires some remant ovarian tissue, so the next time the dog goes into heat would be the next time you'd expect to see a problem. Recurrence rate on pyometra approaches 100% on the subsequent heat(s) UNLESS the dog is bred and achieves a pregnancy (obviously not going to happen in a spayed bitch). Unfortunately when the pyo signs occur it would generally be too late to do a vaginal cytology or check hormone levels since the estrus would already be over. If you were to note signs of estrus (vulvar enlargement, males being "romantically" interested in her) in about 4 to 5 months from now, you COULD do a cytology then and see if she looks like an estrous bitch. One problem: even if this pyo is open, the next one might be closed, so it might be hard to tell she has it at first; that would mean she'd be at risk of getting pretty sick before you figured out what was happening. I'll have to dissent on the colloidal silver. I know a lot of people believe in it, but - apart from the argyria risk, which is enough to put me off it, regardless - I've twice run tests on it here. I plated out a bacterial lawn, applied colloidal silver, and assessed response. Both times I had ZERO inhibition with it. Zero. Distilled water is as effective. I also did a test once with lavender oil; this was on a really nasty, multi-drug resistant ear infection containing at least three and possibly four different bacterial populations. No antibiotic I tested killed all of the poulations. Some killed nothing, some killed one or two poulations, but nothing killed all of them... except the lavender oil. That wiped out everything - and the incubator smelled really good! (Unfortunately, the dog wouldn't tolerate the lavender oil topically, so it ended up going to surgery anyway.)
  14. Well, I have access to one such professional board. AK is not a big HW area (lowest incidence in the U.S.), so it's less of an issue for us (although I have treated 2 HW positive dogs in the last year, and another doc at our clinic has treated one.) In ALL of the above cases, the infestations occurred in dogs who were NOT on appropriate HW prevantative. One was a stray found by clients who were vacationing in AR; the other two were compliance failures. I don't have followup on all of them as not all of them are my own patients, but where I do have followup, treatment has been effective (as in, patient doing well, with no further evidence of infestation.) There are a couple of threads about "resistance" of heartworms, both to preventatives and to treatment in HW positive dogs... but if you read the threads in question, it is NOT clear that there is resistance actually occurring. There are several issues being brought up, including compliance failures in dosing the prophylactics, differences between various treatment protocols for adult HW, differences in type of testing used to determine if the dog is HW positive, differences in the FDA reporting guidelines since 2003, and the fact that exposure may be significantly different recently than it has been in the past (in part due to the number of hurricanes and the resultant shift in mosquito populations and associated epidemiology.) What that indicates to me - and several of the boarded experts responding to the thread - is that more reporting is going on, which may be part of the PERCEIVED increase in cases; and that patient exposure to HW is different (and increased) in recent years, in effect "overburdening" the meds as normally given in the standard protocol. This is not proof of "superworms" that are resistant to the meds (to prove that, specific studies would have to be done; in one thread on HW, a study was said to be underway at Auburn, but no results were posted, and it will probably be another year before publication). One point to bear in mind: If you have a drug that is 99% effective, there are ALWAYS going to be the 1%-ers who fail the protocol. Even if the drug is STILL 99% effective, if you have higher exposure rates and parasite burdens (because of a change in mosquito population dynamics), there is going to be a larger total # of animals who are not cleared of the entire parasite burden. This has nothing to do with drug resistance. It has to do with parasite burden and exposure. As a BTW, the threads on this subject are from early to mid-2009 or before. I found nothing in 2010. I will not be attending the sympsium in Memphis (I know! Shocking!) - but I'll be interested to see what the final data are when the dust settles.
  15. Not on the laptop; the desktop goes at a glacial pace, but DOES have Adobe; maybe I'll try it from there... sometime when I'm in no hurry!
  16. That's when I'd snatch the camera out of her hand, smash it, and go help the sheep. I'd invite her - in fact, encourage her - to file a police report to recoup the cost of the camera, because I'd LOVE to see what they had to say about her allowing the barn to burn with live animals inside it while she stood by filming it for her own entertainment. I'd also be THRILLED to discuss it with the local paper and every farmer, pet owner and veterinarian in the county. Bless your heart for having the grit to bite your tongue 'til you had the pups in hand, Diane, and bless Tess's heart too, for helping you when yours was ailling. Things like that restore my faith.
  17. If you want to be sure, wait 'til the dog is a year or so old. That said, I did OFA-style films on Finn at 11 months and all growth plates were solidly fused. Oh, and textbook-perfect hips (and eyes), too, but since he didn't have enough under the hood to make a good stockdog, he's neutered anyway. We're all much happier now. Some of the dogs had a lot of trouble living with Finn's testosterone. Finn himself seems LOTS happier without it. And my consumption of Clorox Clean-up wipes went WAY down. As a P.S.: I can't open the Sanborn article that Luisa posted, and I'd very much like to read it; can anyone point me to another source?
  18. What a BYB is to me is anyone who is intentionally breeding for any purpose apart from improving upon what their dog(s) already have in place. Motives like money, "wanting another dog like this one", "my mom/dad/sister wants a pup from them", color, looks, the whole stupid "miracle of life" argument (which always makes me want to suggest the parents then show their kids the miracle of death by going to a shelter and watching them euth pups who HAVE no homes, to which population the miracle-of-lifers may just have added)... those aren't good reasons to breed, IMO. If you have something in your dog which would be worthy of preservation, or could improve the breed as a whole, that's a different consideration. Very often still not a reason to breed, but at least a different consideration. I'm not sure where I stand on people who have truly accidental breedings (not "I let my dog run loose and now she's pregnant", but "I confined my dog but something went wrong unbeknownst to me" cases.) In some of those cases, there was a reason the dog wasn't spayed while pregnant to prevent the litter; owners overseas, discovered late-term pregnancy on return; unobserved breeding where owners realize dog is pregnant late in gestation; owner knows dog is pregnant or has been bred, but intends possible future intentional breeding so doesn't spay; etc. Some of that is grey-zone for me. As for looks... most puppies are cute. Being cute is part of the gig; it's a given, not a reason to breed. Most adult dogs are beautiful. Comes with the territory: A given, not a reason to breed. I have three dogs from what might be considered BYBs. One was intentionally bred (three pups, one of which died; owners kept one pup and I took the other, in part becuase I really liked the bitch AND the male temperamentally; in part because I was looking for a dog at the time, and I was well acquainted with both parents' health and temperaments, as I'm their doctor.) The other two were accidental breedings: One BCxBC where the bitch was let outside by the three-year-old and the owner looked up from her kitchen sink only to see the dogs tied; one BCxWhippet where the owners were slightly too confident that a 6 foot fence would keep the dogs safely separated. The BCxWhippet I got as a yearling rescue (owners of the BC bitch kept him but both owners developed health concerns - one orthopedic, the other neurologic - when he was about 9 months old and could no longer safely cohabit with him. For the same reason, they also spayed their imported working stockdog - his mother - around the same time). The BCxBC... I think that breeder felt she was breeding two good dogs together to produce other good dogs, but I'm not sure what her criteria were for deciding that the dogs were good enough to be breeding-worthy. In part there was a perception that they had working ability, but this was not rigorously tested. Three litters were produced by that pair of dogs, 14 pups in total. The bitch is lovely, and I adore her, but I'm not sure how good a worker she would be with real work; some evident natural ability, but the work she was asked for was minor so I don't feel like that's a real assessment. In the BYB cases, I would consider the breeders to have acted in a generally responsible manner about the fates of the puppies they produced; they would both have taken the pup back in case of a problem (in the BC case, they DID take pups back, twice, when the then-adult pup's circumstances changed, and they re-socialized the dogs and re-homed them successfully.) One pup from the BCxBC BYB dogs was bred (not sure how many pups, if any). There were no breedings from any littermate of my other two BYB-source dogs. (Since the BCxWhippet was truly an accidental breeding and the bitch was spayed after that, I'm not sure if that qualifies them as BYBs, strictly speaking, since it was unintentional and one-time-only.) I do also have one stockdog, as most of you know, from Julie's good working bitch Twist. I trust that everyone here can guess the intentions of that breeding. I have never bred a dog (accidentally or otherwise) and all the dogs I currently have are now spayed or neutered. I have a number of clients who I think are BYBs. I always counsel them to think about the reasons they're breeding and advise them they need to be willing to take puppies back and so on, and in cases where health checks are a good idea we talk about that as well. I also tell them to set aside $1500 in case they need a C-section. That cools a few jets, let me tell you. Oh, and the person who brought in her Labradoodle and told me she was going to get another and breed them...? Once I explained to her what happens when you breed two F1 crosses together she got a lot less enthusiastic. She paid about $2000 for the Labradoodle (YIKES!) and her eyes were practically spinning around with excitement over the huge piles of money she was going to make by breeding two Labradoodles together.... until I rained on that particular parade. I'm such a spoilsport. No matter how hard I try to get people to see reason instead of dollar signs, some people aren't going to listen. Some do, though. Some people WILL do the health checks, and will decline to breed if they come back poor. Some people have a romantic idea about someday breeding their dog and A) never get around to it, so eventually spay or neuter, or B ) have a reality check when the pup enters its "terrible twos" and reconsider, or C) do actually listen and decide that breeding is not for them. I think I reduce the number of BYBs in my small little circle of influence, but I certainly don't think I eliminate it entirely. I do at least try to get people to think about WHY they're doing the breedings they're doing, and to consider the consequences.
  19. FWIW, it cracks us up to say that, too.... but I have (no lie!) had a client ask me in all seriousness if his neutered male is at higher risk of testicular cancer since the dog's father had had testicular cancer. I am NOT making it up. (Me: "Well, since your dog is neutered he no longer has testicles, so I think we're fairly safe on that one." Meanwhile I am biting my tongue bloody to prevent a biiiiig grin from escaping my control...) The Zink article is flawed, the rebuttal article is good; also, all those letters after the rebuttal author's name mean that the author is a boarded specialist. This is someone with additional training and extreme skills. It's also very evident that this is someone who understands how to read a scientific article; it's easy to read things and interpret them erroneously either by accident or to support an agenda or bias. I'd also say that there are things in the Zink article that give me pause (the 30% vs 50% mammary malignancy rate, for one thing... I've never seen the 30% figure in any setting, either in vet schoool, from colleagues, at any meeting or in any literature.... or, for that matter, from my own clinical expereince. Something like that gives me major pause and undermines the credibility of the author immediately.) Mandatory spay/neuter is a questionable concept and a bad idea, IMHO.... there's no way to do a good job of it, it seems like it could open the door for all kinds of OTHER bad ideas, and the people who are compliant are generally NOT the ones creating the problem. In addition, it peeves me to think that the gov't thinks it can make a better decision about this than I can, or that I am incompetent to educate and advise my clients so that THEY can make the appropriate decisions. Luckily I don't live in CA - my head would explode if I had to deal with that. That said... You really DO have to consider the cost-benefit equation for yourself and your own dogs, and it may be very different from one dog to the next. I have no breeders in my house, but the reasons (and ages) for neutering/spaying are different in each case (alhtough I'm confident that it was, in each case, exactly the right thing to do.... both for medical reasons AND for other ones.) Bone cancer sucks.... but so do mammary cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. And so does dying of sepsis or peritonitis from pyometra, and so does a ruptured uterus from pregnancy, or spending an hour and a half trying to resuscitate a litter of puppies and losing them, one by one. All decisions have consequences. You have to make some decisions in life, and IMO it's better to do that in a well-informed manner - which may mean you have to beware those with an agenda, question your sources, do your own research, seek dissenting opinions and weigh the value of the arguments. JMO, of course.
  20. And presumably, even if it was, you would not be peeing on the floor anyway... Hey, I'm just sayin'.
  21. I wasn't present at the euth in question so I can't say if the dog was painful or not. HOWEVER: IV injection euthanasias are done with an overdose of an anesthetic agent. ALL anesthetic agents - including that one - can cause a transient excitement reaction in a small number of patients. An excitement reaction MAY include movement or vocalization or both. These can easily be mistaken for pain, even if no pain is present. Whether or not pain WAS present in this case, I can't say, but vocalization is not proof that it was, and nor is movement. I always discuss this with clients who choose to be present at euthanasias (PRIOR to going ahead) so that the client is prepared that we see that in a small number... seat-of-the-pants estimate, I'd say about 2% in my experience. You can set an IV catheter so that you can pre-medicate with a sedative (NOT an anesthetic, but a sedative) in the expectations of smoothing out the excitement reaction. That works MOST - but not ALL - of the time. Some animals are more reactive to medications than others, and I've seen dogs vocalize when fully anesthetized. It's unusual, but not non-existant. One word about home euths: That is the single most likely time for something to go wrong, simply because you're working in field conditions without your usual backups. I do them occasionally - but with reservations, because I'm trying to provide the best experience of this for the owner AND the patient that I can, and my odds go down once I leave the hospital. This is hard enough as it is, for everyone concerned, and doing it at home carries the risk of making it harder. You can increase your odds of a good outcome by visiting the hopital earlier in the day and getting an IV catheter put in beforehand, though, especially if your dog has questionable veins. That said, I've been lucky on the home euths. I always take clippers and extra drugs and whatever else I think I'll need, and I'd say 85% of the time it goes well, although of that 85% I bet I need the extra drugs and/or cannot find (let alone hit) a vein about 5% of the time, and a further 5% I have trouble KEEPING the vein - as in, it starts to blow when I begin the injection, and I have to go to another vein. (Usually, though, the dog is asleep by then so it doesn't feel the second injection.) That's as opposed to things going well about 99% of the time in the hospital. YMMV, but that's been my experience with it. To the OP, you might mention to your friend that there IS such a thing as an excitement reaction with anesthetic drugs and offer at least the possibilty that what they were observing was that, and not a pain reaction. I don't know if they'll find that of any comfort - but it's information which might shed additional light on what happened there, at least.
  22. Well, yes, in a sense... but really the difference is in the dog's immunity (assuming a normal healthy dog with a good immune system). The first time the immune susystem sees anything, it makes an initial response, which typically is not as strong as the one it makes when it sees the same agent a second or third (etc) time. Usually it's the same vaccine for the initial one and the boosters, but I don't know if your vet is using two different kinds, one for initial immunization and another for boosters. That said, I don't know why your vet charges differently for the boosters, but maybe you can ask them.
  23. The very one. She's turning into a lovely bitch. Mind you, they haven't started training her for sheep yet - she's due to go into heat any day, and I think they'd consider that to be a potential distraction so not the best start-time for that* - but she's in all reagards a charming, beautiful dog. They tell me nearly every time I'm there how much they love her and they thank me over and over, most sincerely, for helping them find her. She appears to be a perfect personality match for the primary owner. As an added bonus, I was there last night and the owner said she wasn't going to breed her unless she turned out to be a good worker. So, two more converts to the "We will breed no dog unless it's a proven stockdog" fold. *Also, we got almost a foot of new snow and the off-road going is tough for people right now.
  24. FWIW, it isn't hopeless. I have a good friend who has had Aussies forever. She had toyed with the idea of a BC for a long time, but was afraid to get one because "they're too hyper", because "they require constant attention and activity", becuase "they're too intense", because "they're too smart and learn stuff you don't want them to". She also likes a cuddly dog and she was afraid that a BC would be all about what's "out there" and not at all about her owner. I never tried to talk them into a BC or out of one. I just told them what my experience has been. I DID strongly caution them that if they were going to get a BC they needed to get one from working parents and to avoid the AKC and sport lines, because everything they feared in a BC would be more likely in a dog bred from anyting other than working parents. The upshot is that they did in fact get a puppy from working parents - from a reputable breeder who has (and needs) working stockdogs. She's a lovely young bitch, and I've thought many times of dognapping her (except that if the dog ever disappeared, the FIRST place they'd look would be my house, because they know what I think of her.) They LOVE this puppy. However... the owners did one day query me when the pup was about 5 months old because they were worried that she was a bit lethargic for a puppy; she wanted to do stuff when outdoors, all right, and raced the pants off their Aussies, but when she came in she would spend a lot of time laying down or playing quietly with a toy while the owners work at their desks, and cuddling on the couch or sleeping during movie time. I looked at my friend in exasperation. "Weren't you afraid that a BC pup would be too hyper, not cuddly enough, and constantly bugging you for attention and activity?" I asked her. "Well, yes," she admitted. "So here you have a puppy who is always up for activity, but when you're not doing something she's willing to lay down and relax or cuddle on the couch, right?" She nods. "So what's the problem?" I asked. Hm. Turns out there's no problem after all. Imagine that. So it's not hopeless. Don't give up. Not everyone can be reasoned with, and not everyone will learn... but some people do.
  25. SNERK! Hey, that bridge isn't built yet, so I can put it whereeeever you want it. I'm just saying.
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