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Everything posted by gcv-border

  1. There are quite a few companies that sell a 'base' mix of ingredients to add to raw meat to make a nutritionally complete meal. The one I am most familiar with is The Honest Kitchen. (I have no affiliation with it other than I use its products.) The base mix is a mixture of dehydrated and freeze-dried ingredients which you rehydrate and then add meat at the recommended ratio. I know there is another company which gives you a menu of items (different vegetables and meats) which you choose to make up for your dog. Once you have chosen the ingredients for the diet, they have different powder mixtures (of minerals, vitamins, etc.) that will provide the necessary extra supplemental nutrition for a complete diet. On a side note: with respect to Ca, I came across a powdered eggshell product on Amazon that will provide necessary Ca in diets.
  2. Happy to hear this! Sending Healing Mojo again!
  3. Oh no. So sorry to hear this. Our collies seem determined to break themselves - one of the downsides of having athletic dogs. I am glad that she seems to be taking it in stride. Sending healing mojo to Tess.
  4. Wow. If the reporter stated correctly, there were over 100 dogs IN the house. Yeah, hoarding.
  5. I have searched this topic for the answer and can not find it. I thought I remembered the answer to my question here (or maybe in General), but am not being successful at finding the information. Can anyone provide information on where to send blood for titer testing (parvo, distemper, etc. -- nothing exotic) and the cost? IIRC from the previous info, my vet was charging quite a bit compared to the price I saw mentioned here. Thanks in advance.
  6. My dog also had an undescended testicle (and therefore should never be bred IMHO), and I had no hesitation about neutering him at 14 months of age. He had also developed some minor undesirable male behaviors that I felt neutering would moderate. Since I compete in agility, I was aware that it was best to delay neutering until the growth plates are closed. Based on my research and advice from several vets, I felt comfortable that growth plate closure was complete (or at least 90-95% complete) by the age of 14 months. That was good enough for me. If you want to be sure that the growth plates are closed, you can always get X-rays. As far as other 'problems later on', you should specify what you are concerned about to receive accurate responses. Personally, the behavior you describe may or may not be related to his hormones. It is hard to know without seeing it in person.
  7. Wow. thanks for the heads up - even though I don't feed any of those brands, it is helpful to track this information.
  8. On an added note: length of training session should also correlate to difficulty of task. If you are asking for easy behaviors, the dog can work for a longer time. If one is training a complex behavior, I usually shorten the sessions.
  9. How old is Dallas now? As the dog matures, they can usually train for longer times. I can't give you any specific guidelines (e.g. at 9 months old, a dog should be able to train for 10 minutes). As you have heard before, each dog is an individual. I wouldn't worry about breaking his training into smaller segments. Nor would I worry about him wanting to keep training. In fact, I always want my dog NOT to stop training. My goal IS to stop before he wants to stop. I want to see him hopping around saying "More, More, More". Most often, I can tell if my dog is 'done' training when he starts making mistakes that he didn't before. He gets a little sloppy. For example, I am trying to train weave poles right now. He usually has a good start to the session, then after a few minutes, he decides he would rather pop out at the 2nd or 3rd to last pole in order to try and get the treat sooner. (He doesn't get his reward.) I will set him up again and try weaving again. If he repeats his 'mistake' two more times, I will stop the session. This prevents him from practicing the incorrect behavior, but also allows me time to think if I am doing something that causes his behavior. Assuming that I am not, my theory is that he is not concentrating on proper performance of his behavior. Concentration can be very tiring. I would worry less about stopping before he is ready to stop, than going on too long. I guess I have a hard heart, but I do not worry about him being 'satisfied' in an individual session. As you have done, multiple, short sessions are good. Also, he should be able to calm himself if you are not actively working with him.
  10. Will this man cooperate and throw a few treats at Ben? Associate the man with treats by having him throw super tasty treats towards Ben. But dependong on the distance at which Ben starts to react, he may be too far away to throw treats. So start with the Click to Calm method, and then maybe add treats originating from the scary man.
  11. I am sorry for your loss. I love 'odd little girls'.
  12. I loved this approach to reseeding. I am ready to hike the Western forests that were burned this past year.
  13. He sounds wonderful. Keep up the good work.
  14. Ha Ha Ha! "young ladies" My chuckle for the day. I am glad Gina is doing well, and able to visit your MIL.
  15. Is it true that the airline told the owner several times PRIOR TO the flight date, that the peacock would not be allowed to fly as an ESA (or whatever the owner was calling him)? And yet, the owner showed up, with peacock in tow, to fly anyway?
  16. Best of luck to Bonnie and you. I am always impressed by the lengths to which dog owners will go to provide a full life for their beloved dogs.
  17. So dogs, in addition to chimps and crows, can use tools. 😊 I am glad her paw is healing.
  18. Are you going to be participating in any rigorous performance sports such as agility or flyball (or herding)? If so, I definitely recommend delaying the spay as long as possible to allow the growth plates to close. Otherwise, it probably would be a good idea to spay her by 8-9 months if you are not going to monitor her closely to prevent visits by male dogs - or if she decides to leave the yard. I have heard some strange stories about how determined some dogs are once the hormones are raging. One male dog destroyed his crate, ate through a door, went up 2 flights of stairs to eat through another door and then destroy the crate holding the female. BTW, my female had her first heat at 14 months.
  19. Have you considered a rescue? - a young dog between 6-12 months old. Based on your description of your situation, the highest priority is a dog that will get along with the resident dog. With a rescue, your dog can meet with candidates, and you can get a read on if they will get along. Puppies are a black box. Even though a pup will be raised with the resident dog, there is no guarantee that they will get along.
  20. Concur 100% with both posts above. SHORT sessions. Positive-based training He could be going through his "teenage" phase when most dogs regress in their behaviors/training. Be patient. Be positive.
  21. Thanks for the thoughts. I would not completely dismiss that her floor licking could be partly a stress behavior, but we are a fairly calm household (I know that what I consider calm may not be calm for a certain dog). And I will certainly keep the idea of an Adaptil collar in the back of my mind. Right now, we are working with the theory that the licking may be a sign of an 'imbalance' in her system, and that this 'imbalance' could lead to seizures. Her nervous system may be acutely sensitive to diet (see below). The TCVM vet suggested feeding her meat broth (not bone broth) for a couple of days to see if her floor licking behavior changed. And it did! The floor licking dramatically decreased by at least 75-90%. But obviously, she can not live on meat broth so she went back to the raw diet with additions and changes to the Chinese herbs prescribed based on this new information. Unfortunately, she has had one (or two) more cluster seizure episodes. And they are dramatic - with 10-14 seizures within a 24 hour period. I feel so bad for her, but on the other hand, currently the episodes are spaced about 3-4 weeks apart, and the remainder of the time, she is a happy, normal dog. The TCVM vet has admitted that she has never had a dog NOT respond to a raw diet combined with Chinese herbs. (And my dog is also on Keppra and Zonisamide prescribed by a traditional Western vet. Both vets are aware of the 2-pronged approach, and are fine with it.) The latest approach is a GARD diet. The belief is that her system is so sensitive to glutamate and aspartate (neurostimulating amino acids) that they have to be severely restricted in her diet. I certainly hope it works for her. She has now been on the GARD diet for about 9 days, and the floor licking has decreased significantly, but is still happening at a lower level. If the GARD diet doesn't work, I have one last resort - to get an MRI to rule out (or in) a brain tumor or brain cyst - both of which are low probability. Luckily, I have just heard of an equine facility about 90 minutes from me where I may be able to arrange an MRI for about 35-45% of the cost of an MRI at the vet teaching hospital. (I live about an hour away from the vet school at VA Tech.) Such a learning experience. Darn these border collies that are pharmacoresistant to anti-seizure drugs. With regard to contacting the breeder or sibling owners: I have not thought about pursuing that avenue, but the dog has sort of been passed on, and I am her 3rd home. I do know she has a couple of dogs in her pedigree that are a couple of generations away that did produce some epileptic pups.
  22. I watched a news segment that addressed this issue. It mirrored the NYT article, but also noted that the new 'requirements' should not be too onerous on legitimate Service Animals/ESAs as they should already have the documentation. The reporter also demonstrated how easy it is to get a letter 'signed' by a mental health professional - there is an online service that takes less than 5 minutes to get the letter.
  23. Ouch, I missed the spayed part. I hope she doesn't go to a performance home. But she IS adorable.
  24. Oh, and make sure the TCVM vet is certified - not just one that advertises using Chinese herbs.
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