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  1. Gentle Lake, Thanks for the feedback, greatly appreciated. I've heard the same about ducks and have avoided researching further based upon similar feedback. Another option I'm considering is guinea hens although I've heard they are loud and may not be suitable for a neighborhood although they mow through bugs and flock well like sheep. Has anyone raised guinea hens? I laughed out loud at your description of your rooster. I don't plan on raising further chickens would like to avoid the hassle of a rooster where possible!
  2. My dream of owning a ranch is still out of reach but I've considered raising chickens to herd in the mean time. Does anyone else have experience? I'd plan on keeping 4 chickens and and allowing them to explore the backyard during the day (I work from home). My plan would be to have the dogs move the chickens around the backyard gently as well as encourage them into their coop at night. My border collies have worked sheep and a little bit of cattle, know their manners around livestock, etc. If this is a good idea - is there a preferred breed of chicken?
  3. Thanks to everyone that has replied so far. You've offered me invaluable insight that is helping me immensely. @GentleLake Thanks for the reply and my condolences go out to you during what I can only imagine is a tough time. The following link helped me during some dark times in my life and I hope it helps you as well. To answer your question, their prognosis is 3-6 months if we do nothing but the frustrating part is they haven't provided a prognosis with either of the first two paths and only speak in general terms. To your point, I plan to have a more direct conversation looking for answers soon.
  4. Recently had one of my dogs (10yr old American bulldog mix) diagnosed with thyroid cancer and wanted to get some help on deciding how to move forward based upon everyone's experience. Unfortunately, the cancer has already metastasized to the lymph nodes and lungs so it will be terminal but I've been presented with a couple of options after working in depth with Texas A&M Small Animal Vet Hospital. Initially I noticed some atrophy on the right side of her head and her third eyelid exposing itself more than normal. Despite how it looks she doesn't know anything is wrong with her as her exercise, mood, and appetite remain unchanged. Option 1: Radiation therapy over two weeks Context: This would require her to live @ the hospital for a week at a time (two weeks total) and be put under for the radiation six times over that time span. During the initial triage we also found she had a 2/6 heart murmur which would require a cardiology work up before proceeding. Option 2: Chemotherapy indefinitely (Palladia) Context: The oncologist doesn't have many specific examples of Palladia efficacy with thyroid cancer although they claim an 80% success rate (palliative) for three to four months. It would require frequent blood work to ensure no harm is being done to her liver / kidneys. Option 3: Do nothing I've already asked if there are any alternatives to Palladia but have had very bad experience with doxorubicin with my first Border Collie, Tate. What approach have others taken when presented with similar options? The hospital is 2hrs away and the radiation approach seems extreme when considering quality of life over the rest of her time here. I'm accepted our fate, just trying to find a good balance as we move forward together in this phase of our time together.
  5. Such a great topic! I'd be interested to know how you all selected the land / plot that you ended up on. What criteria did you use? I recently moved back to where I grew up only to find out that my dogs have a hard time with the humidity we get out here. This has me looking elsewhere in the US for greener pastures and lower humidity. For those of you on a farm - did proximity to sheep / cattle trials play into your decision at all? Anyone willing to share their experiences about making the transition from suburban life out to the farm? Thanks in advance. This information is fascinating to me.
  6. Did you continue working Willow once the murmur was found / her heart enlarged? Both of my boys are still within the normal limits but I'd rather not work them if that means shortening their lives. Especially when dealing with whether you can push a dog or not to keep working after a bad gather, etc. How to tell the difference between the dog not wanting to work for you and not being able to?
  7. Great to hear a first hand account of the drastic difference this treatment can help supplement.
  8. Sue R - thanks for the reply. Sending good BC vibes Megan's way!
  9. Both of my boys have been recently diagnosed with heart murmurs which has been confirmed as mitral valve regurgitation referred to as myxomatous mitral valve degeneration (MVVD). Luckily we seem to have caught it early as both of their hearts are within normal range despite the confirmed diagnosis. Took them to see a cardiologist @ Texas A&M and the experience was great. During the visit the cardiologist referred to a recently completed trial that I did some research on below: There have been two veterinary medicine trials within the past couple of years that have proven that pimobendan (vetmedin) can significantly increase a dog's life span and quality of life as compared to an ACE inhibitor (like benazepril / enalapril) which have been the gold standard prescription once a dog has entered the CHF stage (algongside other supplemental drugs like furosemide, beta blockers, etc). This was discovered in the QUEST trial. https://www.epictrial.com/epic-trial/faqs/#whatisquest Not only that, but it gets better! Following the QUEST trial they then posed the question, "Well, if pimobendan is this effective at elongating and improving a dogs life that has entered CHF - does it help stave off CHF in a dog with MVVD that is pre-clinical (not showing symptoms like coughing, fluid build up, significantly enlarged heart)? Turns out, YES IT DOES! https://www.epictrial.com/epic-trial/faqs/#whatisepic Here's the cliff notes of the latest study which is very promising: "Prolongation of preclinical period by approximately 15 months represents substantial clinical benefit." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27678080 Would be interested to hear if anyone else was aware of this new information and what you all think. Hoping to pass this on to give you & yours a better shot when dealing with MVVD / CHF. Here's a link to the full EPIC study that went in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jvim.14586/pdf
  10. Looks like the recommendation is 1/4 tsp per 10lbs - is this what you guys go by?
  11. Thanks for the suggestion - I will look into seeing if anyone offers acupuncture therapy near us and give it a try.
  12. Nothing has seemed to work out for our dog Tate. He was diagnosed with hip dysplasia by our vet after getting x-rays as I've posted on here before. First we were prescribed a NSAID that I can't recall the name of at the moment and also tried Cosequin + Fish oil capsules which I can't tell if they are working or not. We decided to try the Adequan route and were very pleased with the initial success - he seemed like a brand new dog during the loading dose phases but once he was transitioned to once a month you could tell he was back to discomfort. What's next? He's 6 or so and we just don't want him to be in pain - has anyone tried other alternatives?
  13. How bad were Hope's hips prior to you deciding to go ahead with the FHO surgery? What type of mobility did she have prior to the surgeries?
  14. Our Tate has mild hip dysplasia and has reacted well to the Cosequin / Fish Oil regimen we have him on - I'm wondering if Dasuquin would improve his quality of life that much more? Says it requires vet prescription on the website which wouldn't be hard because we just had x-rays done not too long ago - but is it worth it? Has anyone made the transition for their dog from Cosequin to Dasuquin and noticed good results? Thanks in advance.
  15. Also, Tate has started the following daily regimen: 37mg Carprofen 1000mg Fish Oil 2 Tablets Cosequan Are there any additions or subtractions I should look into?
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