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Posts posted by afrancis

  1. Hi border collie folks,


    I was here years ago with my two previous border collies, including my Skye-dog who lived 5 1/2 years after a diagnosis of lymphoma. With chemo and care, she lived to 14 and we said goodbye last summer. I miss her terribly. Her pic is the black and white one below.

    Anyway, I am familiar with the bc crouch and eye, but not to the charging and growling. My new dog is primarily bc, with lab, Rottie, GSD, Staffie and whippet thrown in!

    She is very exuberant, which likely comes from being kept in a crate for most of her first two years. We adopted her from our local Humane Society last Labour Day and she has been blossoming.

    However, our primary challenge is the crouching and then charging new dogs...esp little dogs, which I believe is perhaps from her somewhat limited sight hound DNA, or perhaps just pushy dog. She is not aggressive, rather wants to initiate play.

    I have been teaching her 'slowly', even holding her back or walking alongside her with a treat in my hand to have her approach new dogs with respect, but sometimes she gets away from me.

    Do you think I am approaching this correctly or is there something else I should be doing? I could certainly leash her up, but the locations we go to have walking trails and many dogs, so leashing would make her walk a lot less interesting.

    Thank you for any insight you may have!

    Ailsa, with Scoutie



  2. Ailsa


    Justa suggestion for the diarrhea you might try Biosponge from Platinum Performance. It will not conflict with that you are u

    sing and goes well with probiotic. Basically helps eliminate the toxins produced in the gut. Good luck


    C Crocker,

    Thanks a bunch for this suggestion. We're nearing the end of our Flagyl course (and Skye's diarrhea seems to be resolved, but it is good to have this in case it rears its ugly head again) so I have just ordered some of this product - looks like it has some great testimonials! Thanks again! Much appreciated.

    Ailsa, with Skye-dog

  3. Hi Julie,

    You're awesome. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and very kind offer of Kat, Jill and Willow's harness. I'm really touched.


    It's hard to say all that is the case when you're operating on little sleep, lol, but here's trying.


    Yes, I think the medication you're talking about is Cerenia for nausea, and Skye did get a 4-day course of that beginning the day after, so it's finished now. But she is on Flagyl (metronidazole) for her diarrhea, and I'm giving small meals to help bring her gi system back under control. I'm hesitating stopping the Metacam right away as it has helped with her mobility so much up until this episode (and we have been diarrhea-free) and now I feel it is the thing that will help her over this hump. But, I am putting a call in to our vet tonight/tomorrow to talk about it. So many things to consider.


    I also should have said that yes, we purchased a help-me-up harness for her several months ago and it has also been a life-saver for us. At times, she wears it a lot although I must admit not 24/7 since this episode as she has been spending most of her time lying down and I want to give her a break from being confined in that way. It is incredibly helpful -- as are the accessories I also purchased (supplemental leashes to help steady them or put over your own shoulder to help carry a portion of their weight.) So your offer isn't needed but still greatly appreciated.


    I can't imagine how you coped in your trailer, getting in and out, and manoevering all the dogs around Kat, and then moving beyond the suggestion to euthanize. I actually had a similar experience with our long-time holistic vet, who before Skye's vestibular episode, saw her and when he heard some heart arrythmia and seemed to have trouble feeling a strong pulse, said she was ready to check out. That took me completely by surprise and I immediately went to our other vet, did diagnostics and discovered her heart was fine after all. She's not checking out yet!


    Your 14 year olds (Twist?) situation sounds similar to my Skye and her back and back leg troubles. What are the nutraceuticals you use Julie? I hope she's doing well with your plan. BTW, I also give Skye something called Duralactin, whether it is helpful or not is unknown. But I do know that when the rehab/physio tech came the other day and did some needle-free acupuncture on her, she was blissed out.


    Thanks again for all your kindness,

    Ailsa, with Skye-dog

  4. Hi Julie,

    Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, the four days is just the amount of time to see some significant improvements (which to me means no more wonky eye movements, less head tilt and nausea). In terms of serious improvement (i.e. walking without support and not falling over while doing so) is definitely more than that. She walked tonight around the ground floor for the first time, with me holding her back end, so we all cheered! I'm hoping she will walk again without support and some sense of balance for Christmas -- that would be my best present.


    And in terms of meds causing diarrhea and gi upset, yes, most definitely. She's been on gabapentin and amantadine for many months now and her poop has been fine until recently, so I'm sure it's the Metacam that is causing the off-balance. It's all about trade-offs about now I guess. But I have always felt that the poop is the window to the overall health so I am not willing to continue with it and will nix the Metacam if we need to. Diarrhea is not fun.


    Gentlelake, thank you so much for your kind sympathy and support. She is my beloved girl, the funniest most lovely and biddable border collie (everyone says that right? lol) who just wants to be in my company -- what more could you ask for? I just want the best for her. Geez, 14 1/2 *is* quite old to me lol! and almost 18 is virtually ancient! You're doing something really right for your beasties. Yes, the old years are priceless, heart-breaking, challenging and bittersweet all rolled into one. I read about people who dump their old dogs at the pound when they start failing and I just can't for the life of me comprehend it.


    Thank you again,


    Ailsa, with Skye-dog

  5. Denice,


    Thanks for your reply and concern.


    Yes, our vet for the last almost five years has been primarily holistic and did not favour using pharmaceuticals at all. For Skye's immune support during chemo we added high omega-3 fish oil, l-glutamine, probiotics -- I also home-cooked with all human grade ingredients, adding a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement. We also did customized homeopathic protocols, added other supplements like Flexadin (glucosamine etc.), Wobenzyme, several other joint supplements and something for her 'soft' heart. He upped the ante to include laser therapy and neural therapy, and then we added acupuncture. Honestly, we've been down the benign road already and then tread very carefully by adding gabapentin at low doses.


    But none of this was actually continuing to help her spondylosis/lumbar sacral disease. So we sought out physio (swimming) and then when I was concerned about it causing her to have a heart attack and there was no one trained to react if she did, we switched to this other vet who, as I said, specializes in pain management. We first just upped the gabapentin, added the amantadine and did physio, including underwater treadmill and proprioception exercises. Then this summer we moved to include Metacam as she needed more relief. Believe me, I don't like it either but it was going to be a carefully watched trial. There was some gi crisis, so we left it and moved to Onsior (used just for cats in the US, I believe), ok'ed for dogs in Canada. This seemed to up her liver values, so off we came, rested and now we're trying Metacam again, as we believe the gi upset actually had more to do with a rich meal than the med. As of today, we've added Duralactin and turmeric to her repertoire.


    I do feel as though we are feeling our way as my first dog left at around 10 after having IMHA as a response to a mass in her chest. I've never had a real "old" dog before and my god, it is challenging.


    Alfreda, thank you for your kind words. Yes, five years is a miracle although I am on a group with other dogs who have lived longer than that, either on their first remission or successive ones. Since I lost my first dog one month after diagnosis of IMHA, all I asked for was more than a month with Skye. We've been very blessed.


    Your experience with first Rio and then Wryly (my first dog was Riley, I guess I'm more of a traditionalist ;) ) is just heart-breaking. Yes, most lymphoma diagnoses end up with 12-18 mos of remission or life, but it is never enough. Some dogs with lymphoma never see a few weeks, it all depends on the variety, stage or type (I am now the expert on canine lymphoma that I didn't want to be)...


    In terms of the vestibular, I've been told you turn a corner at around 4 days, where we are now, and then it largely resolves in two weeks. It IS hard being patient. I've also heard that its largely idiopathic (someone joked that means either the pathologist is an idiot, or there is no known cause). That is supposed to be the vestibular you want them to get, rather than the one that is caused by a brain tumour or stroke.


    Thanks very much for your good wishes all. We all appreciate it tremendously.


    Ailsa, with Skye

  6. Thank you Maralynn. Yes, she is a miracle girl and very, very special. Yeah, I feared that her multicentric lymphoma had either slid sideways or at some point metastisized but x-rays, ultrasounds, etc. sees no cancer. But of course i live in fear.

    And yes, pumpkin has been part of her daily diet, as diarrhea is one of those things that any lymphoma/chemo survivor knows lots about. She is very sensitive and I know that this whole thing has made her acutely upset; not least of which because she can't yet manage going outdoors to toilet :(


    Denice, yes, that's what I thought too but she is under the care of a vet who specializes in pain management and rehab, and he deals with a lot of geriatric dogs. She hasn't shown any signs of gi upset with just the gabapentin and amantadine, but the Metacam obviously had added more to the pot....and I'm not entirely sure that this isn't the culprit, althought I'm hoping not as it has been helping her mobility. Yes, she takes Denamarin for her liver and gets regular blood tests to look at her values. It is a balancing act right now.


    To be honest, the tramadol I gave is probably expired so I'm not sure it's had any effect. I have a message in to my mobile vet to see if I can nix it and maybe just give gravol instead to help her settle at night. My instinct tells me that once the diarrhea is resolved, her nights will improve.


    gcv-border, thank you. Yes, we have travelled many roads in terms of ensuring her quality of life is not compromised so that is my priority. Some say vestibular is even harder to navigate through than chemo, and I can actually agree with that as it is testing us in a way we haven't been before....I wish the same -- that senior dogs didn't have to fight any of these battles.


    thanks all for your input. It's very much appreciated and I'm hoping that the Flagyl (which I drove for an hour to pick up on a Sunday!) does the trick and she starts to feel better tomorrow.


    Ailsa, with Skye

  7. HI All,


    I've been a lapsed member for years now but thoroughly enjoyed participating when Skye was younger. She is now 13 1/3 and besides being an almost 5 year lymphoma survivor, is also struggling with spondylosis.


    She had her first episode of what we quickly realized was vestibular disease on Wednesday evening (the 25th Nov). She has been on daily cerenia (a 4-day course) to prevent nausea, has been drinking well, eating moderately well, but her soft poops that we have been struggling with before this episode have now turned into full-blown diarrhea. For the last four nights we have been up almost every few hours or this last night, pretty well all night, encouraging her along. She had two episodes of diarrhea but each was preceded by at least an hour of hysterics because she could not go outdoors and she was pretty freaked out by this. She has a help-me-up harness and we are using this to manipulate her (she is now moving from her bed in the living room, with our assistance, to the kitchen) but the whole issue of eliminating is causing her great distress (as it is us as well!) Just emailed our mobile vet and asked for Flagyl, since I think this is required at this point.


    She is on 800 mgs Gabapentin three times daily for her spondylosis, as well as 100 mgs Amantadine once daily, and Metacam. I have been giving her 75 mgs of Tramadol for the last several nights to help her along as well.


    I guess I'm just looking for encouragement and support at this point. She is our hero as she will be celebrating five years in remission from lymphoma in late February. I hate to see her struggle with one more thing that affects her mobility as it is already pretty challenged with the spondylosis.




    Ailsa, with Skye-dog

  8. Hmm, no the only thing I wish to "shame" is you for assuming this to begin with. My intent was to bring to the forefront the issues with the dogs from pet stores, name the "breeders" and their dogs that are selling to pet stores to begin with. My comment "the deed is done, you love your dog" was sincere. With all the talk lately on the boards about "ACK" and "pet stores" my thoughts were to dig deeper (breeder etc..) and "see" who these wretched breeders are! "I" want to know who is selling to pet stores.....oh nevermind.....asking for truths I see is asking for too much. Bringing these issues out in writing could help others but hey why bother.

    Apologies. Let me re-phrase.

    I think asking about issues so far will only act to expose the owners' level of experience with pets -- i.e. novice -- and therefore act only to shame them.

    What I meant to say was that they would likely feel ashamed if they realized they had made a mistake in buying from a pet store and, as a result, would be reluctant to share any resulting health/behavioural etc. problems. I believe there is little intention here to shame anyone and I'm sorry if you felt I was shutting your idea down. I didn't mean to do that, only wondered how to approach it effectively so that (i) people would answer, and (ii) people would consider the bigger question and start asking pet stores where their puppies came from.


    Obviously I think it is a good idea to have discussion, esp around subjects that are hot-button issues. But I think noobies are also quick to feel guilty or self-conscious; look at the threads of "I got a border collie and now aren't sure whether I can give it what it needs/I need to re-home it" and especially in the context of a forum with so many highly experienced and informed dog owners.


    I think asking is a good idea; but I wonder if most of the answers will be from people whose childhood dog came from a pet store rather than their present-day dog. Then again, I hope lots answer and I'm proved wrong :rolleyes:


  9. Hi Blake's Dad,

    I seemed to remember another thread on this same subject a while back:


    Two things: sounds like Blake is very bonded to you especially and really enjoys your time together. So in that regard, he's got it made :rolleyes:

    I would change "cage" to "crate" -- just a little thing, I dunno, sounds a big more humane :D

    And could you take him out for a short spin before you go to work for 4 p.m.? Esp if the rest of the family is unlikely to have him out during the time you're away? I also think having him uncrated when in the house and supervised is probably, at 8 months, fairly safe. What do others think? Esp if he's in a room or two and not given full run of the house.

    Sounds like you're a wonderful owner.


  10. I think those who purchase a puppy from a pet store aren't motivated to ask about papers, breeder, sir, dam or origin. The only question might be, "Do I get a guarantee?" and "What's his/her name?" But you have made your point just by asking.


    I think asking about issues so far will only act to expose the owners' level of experience with pets -- i.e. novice -- and therefore act only to shame them.


    Honestly, I think there are a lot of really good, honourable, well-meaning people who buy a pet from a pet store, even today. Understanding the perils of this kind of commerce is something that you learn as you become more socially and pet aware. I don't even know what drove my mother and sister to go to the pound many years ago and adopt "Kipling" (showing a sense of responsibility -- hopefully this was passed on to me) but having zero experience with dogs, zero intention of training, and zero preparation (showing a certain level of cluelessness...hopefully I learned from their mistake)


    Of course this forum is a really good place to start, but unfortunately not everyone does research before they act (I have been known to be guilty of this :rolleyes: ). The more new pet owners we can educate once they do come here about the pet production industry, the better.




  11. thanks for the information :rolleyes:


    Cherry and i do at least 1 hours walk every day, and we go to dog park once every week.


    She likes to chew on everything, furniture, carpet, curtain, door....etc , except her toy and ball.....

    no matter how hard i try to attract her attention with toy or ball, it never works.....


    every morning when i waked up, there is always a suprise waiting for me in the back yard or in the house.

    she is such a little destroyer...

    Welcome to the Boards as well!


    If you are new to puppies, it can be a road full of frustration, joy, excitement and stress -- especially when the puppy grows into a teenager!

    I strongly recommend that you do some reading about how to raise a happy, healthy dog. A very good series of books is by Ian Dunbar, called Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy (no, I don't get a commission :D ).

    You can buy them online or order from your local bookstore.

    Online: http://www.dogwise.com/search.cfm


    There is a wealth of information and really sensible training tips in these books. At the very least, see if you can get a crate to start crate-training your puppy so you don't have any more 'accidents', since as was already mentioned by Sue, some can be deadly :D .


    Do let us know how you get on.


  12. Get Ian Dunbar's book called After You Get Your Puppy and read the chapter on Socializing on Walks; see http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB721


    Essentially, your pup should be encouraged to sit and wait patiently to meet strangers. Dunbar encourages you to take treats with you on your walks/outings and pass them along to strangers to offer your dog; this will build upon the training exercises you do at home and help your dog become polite with everyone.


    What I also thought was particularly interesting was teaching your young dog restraint/calmness when on walks. Usually we think of walks as social times when physical, mental, emotional etc. stimulation is encouraged in order to tire a young dog (esp a border collie) out. But Dunbar says that you should take some time-outs on your walks to sit and read with your dog at your feet. This way he/she learns to respond to your silent commands of 'settle'. They can experience the world as it goes by rather than run up to it.


    I'm sure others may have more ideas for you too,

    Good luck,


  13. Chuck, the younger rescue dog, while he continues to be an otherwise nice dog, his cat killing tendencies surfaced yesterday when he attacked one of my friend's (his foster) cats and left a couple of puncture wounds.


    This is a little disappointing, but I don't think its a setback --- just narrows his possibilities of potential homes.


    In the meantime, the old guy, Bob, has perked up, loves to eat and his coat is coming in nicely and he is actually ambulatory to the point of trotting occasionally ---- and he seems happy.


    Sorry to hear about Chuck and his escapades. Poor kitty.

    But good to hear about happy Bob :rolleyes:

    However, m.u.s.t. s.e.e. p.i.c.s.


  14. Her TPLO and knee surgery is scheduled for this Friday. She won't be able to work or run freely at least for another 6 months. She sat and watched Cooper work in the last 7 months. It's going to be a long 6 months for us.


    Please send me positive vibes. We have another hill to climb. The bright side is that at least we know exactly what is going on and hopefully the surgery is going to fix her.


    That really sucks. I'm so sorry that Jazzy and you have to go through this. My Riley went through TPLO surgery when she was about 7-8 yrs. and it was tough. So big-time positive mojo vibes coming your way from us. And yes, I'm sure after this round there will be no turning back! Get it all over with now and it'll be smooth sailing ahead... :rolleyes:


  15. Wow! I'm jealous. Whereabouts in Ont are you?


    Don't have working experience, but many on here do and will give you much more solid advice than I. But I would bet dollars to donuts that they'll say exactly what you said, ie.:


    We would need to go to dog training as collies are new to us. Would you suggest stick with 1 puppy go to training classes and then grow together as a partnership. Then in a few years time when the dog is 5 years old or so get another puppy allowing the working dog to help in the training of the new one?


    Whether you'd even need two dogs with 30 sheep, others will be able to tell you. Maybe not.


  16. Melanie,


    Is there a lip curl, a growl or a snarl that Jett exhibits before she flies off the handle? I find that when Skye reacts to another (almost exclusively over guarding issues, and 99% of the time with another female), there is a subtle sign. At this point I can usually defuse the situation. Then again, this might not be as easy with an adolescent :D


    It also occurs to me that Jett is picking on Fly because she can. Of course, that doesn't help you unless you can convince her to defend herself. Has she ever been put in her place by another dog, esp in Fly's presence? I found that my dogs were a lot less likely to start a fight after they had experienced being on the losing end. To this day, Skye defers to GSDs after being tackled by one.


    If only Solo would referee. Sounds like he could keep the peace :rolleyes:


  17. However, I am continuing to walk Sam as I have done previously as most of the time he is walking a few yards in front and then stopping to wait for me, or he is exploring in bushes and having a sniff about. Furthermore, one of Sams favourite locations is a dirt field approximately 40 minutes walk that he thoroughly enjoys, you may be able to see him digging and running around chasing his tail in the field in the third video.



    Your pup is very cute and seems super-responsive and smart. My experience with raising Skye has taught me the importance of positive reinforcement. Here in Canada, 'clicker training' is very popular but although I have never used the clicker, I have used a word to 'mark' and reinforce good behaviour. It is 'yes'. I noticed that when you stopped your Sam came to you and sat, which made you chuckle (it made me chuckle too :D ). I would 'mark' that really good behaviour as soon as it happens to make sure that Sam knows he's 'done good'. This kind of positive reinforcement, IMO, is the best reward for pups that are learning as well as older dogs who LOVE to know they've pleased you.

    The other point I was going to make, and something that I've worked on with Skye for a l.o.n.g. time, is recall when there's a distraction (it was a bunny this morning). Since that's a bigger challenge, I marked that when she was young with a treat -- now only a 'good girl' and party.

    I don't mind Skye chasing something if its safe, but I want to be able to call her off if its not. I mention this for you because I heard what appeared to be ATVs or motorbikes in the distance that Sam seemed interested in. We have them as well in one of our walking locations, and they can be a real hazard!


    P.S. In regards to the counting, I would try without counting out loud because before you know it, Sam will know when ten is and anticipate it! Without the counting, you'll keep him guessing :rolleyes:

  18. I really feel bad for the guy even if he did pee on my shoe. LOL.


    It sounds like he warned you when you first met him! :rolleyes:


    How wonderful that he`s with you now! He looks like an absolute sweetheart. I second what Sue says about taking it easy. But I truly believe he KNOWS he`s been rescued and won`t do anything to undermine your opinion of him (except for the peeing :D )

    Good luck with him and the little guys and keep us posted,


  19. Boy, put me on the list too of people addicted to both this Board and to Jin, the Marvellous Stoic Hero Puppy (he reminds me of my first bc, Riley, the way he sits up in the front seat of the car, looking all around).

    I am overjoyed that he`s back with you Ranger Steve and will require that we get regular updates on his exploits :rolleyes:


    P.S. All the best to you too Mary and hope your recovery is speedy and relatively pain-free.

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