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Everything posted by juliepoudrier

  1. Baby food (jars of meat) have been my go to fit ill dogs (or cats) for years. Often works when nothing else does. It’s what kept Pip going the last week of his life. J.
  2. My Pip, who will be 14 in July, was dx with early renal failure a couple of years ago. He’s kibble fed, so I immediately switched him to the lowest phosphorous commercial kibble I could find (FirstMate senior weight control). The phosphorus isn’t quite as low as with the Rx diets, but he’s getting slightly lower protein and it’sa *high-quality* protein (vs most, if not all, Rx diets, which use corn as the main protein source). Thinking has definitely changed over the years and my preference is to slightly limit protein, but to use high quality protein, and to limit phosphorous. Pip’s bloodwork values have been holding pretty steady and I’m good with that. Eventually he may require fluid therapy, but even that isn’t a difficult undertaking. I have a friend who managed two elderly dogs with renal failure. I took care of them when she had to travel. She did homemade diets for both, tailored individually by a nutritionist. They both did really well for quite some time. I’ve had numerous cats who required management for CRF. Some went years on special diets and sub Q fluids. Most side effects can be managed. I always felt that as long as my pet still seemed to enjoy life then I’d do what I could to keep them happy and comfortable. J.
  3. Here is the rough coated puppy, Wren, at 5 months. Rather fluffy in my opinion.
  4. Even smooth can come in varying degrees, from slick with no undercoat to pretty darn thick and fluffy. For example (not the best photo, sorry) the red dog Kite in front is much smoother than the white dog (Pip) behind him, who has a big old ruff around his neck (which has gotten thicker with age, he’s couple months shy of 14), but has more coat than the two slick dogs (one barely visible, often referred to as “bare skinned” in the UK) behind the white dog (Birdie and Dove). A couple dogs further back (behind the two smiths who are side by side) is another type of smooth: Corbie is slick on his sides but quite rumpled down his back! J.
  5. I agree with Mark. Most of my dogs are smooth coats because less stuff attaches to them, namely burrs, briars, and the like. Burrs aren’t a huge problem on my farm, but briars are. That said, my newest puppy is a rough coat. Although not my preference, the breeding was something I didn’t want to pass up (closely related on one side to my best ever stockdog), so I’ll deal with the things that attach to her coat. J.
  6. I saw it somewhere else. It’s a great little short film.
  7. Re: low blood sugar. Yes, seizures cause intense muscle activity (tremors) and a dog can be ravenous during the post-ictal phase (post seizure but still not quite normal). I used to be a once-a-day feeder but because there’s some belief that consistent blood sugar levels are better for epileptics I started feeding my epi dog twice a day. Most cases of idiopathic (no known cause—which is most cases) epilepsy develop between 1 and 6. After 6 I’d be looking for other organic causes in addition to considering epilepsy. It sounds as if your dog had a grand mal seizure the first time around. Seizures that occur in groups are called cluster seizures. I understand them to be more dangerous because it can be more difficult to get them stopped and of course the act is dissing repeatedly can raise body temperature dangerously high abs also affect the brain. The somewhat dazed phase after a seizure is called the post-ictal period. That period can vary in length and the dog may appear mostly normal to mostly out of it, depending on the dog. Do not try to handle your dog in the midst of a seizure. They are unaware and can accidentally bite you. If the dog is in a location where it could be in danger then do try to move it, but be careful. You indicated that you have a second dog—be sure to restrain that dog away from the seizing dog. Things like seizures can trigger attacks from pack mates. Also when you leave the house consider separating the dogs. My Phoebe was perfectly house trained, but for her own safety, should she seize while no one was around, she was crated when I wasn’t home. One thing you can do right now is keep a seizure diary. Note length of seizure, any behaviors before onset, any activities or unusual occurrences the day of a seizure. The idea us to see if there's a pattern to the onset of seizures. Seizures, even in idiopathic epilepsy, may have triggers—something that wouldn’t bother a normal dog but that could elicit a seizure in a dog with a lower threshold to that thing or things. For example, your other dog not might be bothered by a flea medication that is deemed perfectly safe but your epileptic dog might have a “sensitivity” to an ingredient in the same medication that results in a seizure. Caveat: sometimes you’ll be able to identify triggers (the diary helps) and sometimes you won’t. There is a canine epilepsy group on Facebook if you happen to be on FB. There used to be a listserv group as well but I don’t know if it still exists. At any rate, I’d avoid foods and anything else that you think could be triggering (mice and mouse poop are unlikely; some feed ingredients could be possibilities) and pay close attention to the things that occur with your dog in the day leading up to a seizure. (I know you can’t predict seizures, so you just need to take mental or physical notes daily for a while, again looking for patterns). And although we’re all social distancing, more than one seizure—and especially cluster seizures—merit a vet visit or at least a consult. Usually, by the time you get to the vet after a seizure the dog appears normal and the bloodwork is unremarkable. BUT, just in case there is an organic cause to the seizures you should have bloodwork done so you can rule out disease or metabolic issues as a cause for seizures. Finally, there are a lot of medications available to control seizures. My dog was put on phenobarbital and was completely controlled for the rest of her life. Many vets don’t like to prescribe it now in favor of newer meds that might have fewer side effects (Pb can cause liver damage over the long term), but I also hear of people struggling to get seizures under control with some of the newer meds as well. My epi dog was on Pb for years. We did bloodwork yearly to check Pb level in circulation and liver function. I kept her on liver support (milk thistle, Denamarin, “liver support factors”—there’s lots of such neutraceuticals out there) and her liver enzymes stayed fairly normal over the years, and she was on a fairly high dose of Pb from age 4 to 12. Anyway, work with your vet to figure out the best way to manage/control the seizures and it’s best to do that sooner rather than later. If you have questions I’m happy to try to answer! J.
  8. Gentlelake gave plenty of good information. I’d also add that *mental* exercise (tricks, obedience, etc.) will wear out a pup faster than any amount of physical exercise. And you’re right to worry about the health ramifications of extended exercise in a young puppy. Their normal mode of exercise is short bursts of activity for the most part. Taking them for hours long walks or other exercise is probably going to put undue strain on growing joints. J.
  9. I’ve been working from home since mud-March. Fortunately my work is easy enough to do from home. I work for a university and everyone is home for the foreseeable future. I think the dogs are happy because I’m home. It means more long walks for them. I’m on a farm in a very rural area and I think there’s a lot of denial out here, unfortunately. My housemate goes out a lot, which makes me crazy because it puts us both at risk. That said, we have livestock, chickens, a bunch of baby plants In the greenhouse and a garden that’s ready for them to be planted in, fruit and nut trees, grapes and berries. We may not be able to easily get staples and paper goods, but as the summer goes on we should be able to feed ourselves relatively easily. I may go a little stir crazy at times but I don’t miss my long commute and I’m finally getting enough sleep at night not having to get up at 4 a.m. to make the drive into Richmond. As long as my job doesn’t become collateral damage I’m hoping to just weather this storm. And I hope all my friends and family stay safe. My home office “help”:
  10. You should post this question under the “General Border Collie Discussion” section. You’ll get some answers there. This training section is for training working stock dogs. J.
  11. A friend of mine just posted on Facebook about their dog with diabetes. Is your dog intact? Apparently female hormone fluctuations can be a culprit. In that case, spaying the dog resolved the issue. Under treatment diabetic dogs can lead normal lives. Are you checking her blood glucose regularly? J.
  12. How is Ziva doing? My Willow had suspected mitral valve prolapse. She was on Enalapril for years and pimobendan for a period of time (on two different occasions). In the middle of all that she also battled mast cell cancer, which eventually went into remission—this is why she was off vetmedin for a while, was unemployed and had to cut expenses during cancer treatment). She did not develop congestive heart failure that I know of, at least not till the very end maybe. We monitored heart enlargement with radiographs every 6 months to a year. Her murmur was a grade V for years. As her heart enlarged it impinged on her trachea, which caused that characteristic cough. She lived to be one month shy of 17, the longest lived of all my border collies. J.
  13. As you probably know, great hips in the parents don’t guarantee good hips in all puppies. Genetics is a funny thing that way. Also there is an environmental component, meaning if a pup is predisposed to CHD certain activities as a pup (whelping area without good traction, lots of travel up and down steps, any repetitive activity that puts pressure on the hip socket) can contribute. I can’t help with the total hip replacement question. I know if a working dog (years ago) who has FHOs done on both sides and she went on to a long, normal working career. J.
  14. I just had my 14 week old pup at the vet yesterday and she weighed in at 16 lb, or a little over 7 kg. If anything I’d say she’s a little chunkier than I’d like. A thinner puppy puts less strain on growing joints/growth plates, and that’ll serve you well in his later life. If he’s energetic and active then he’s probably just fine. J.
  15. I wouldn’t worry terribly about the occasional groaning while repositioning. If he acts sore at other times or has difficulty getting up then you may want to revisit the possibility of a problem. For now I’d just observe and not worry overly much about the occasional bit of groaning. J.
  16. Is there something different about the first part of your run? J.
  17. Interesting. Honestly, though, I'm not going to run out and change diets based on this report. Like Jovi I think it makes sense to read additional research. I also wonder if lifespan plays a role (that is, humans live longer and therefore have longer term exposure). It seems as if every time we turn around there's another reason to feed or not feed something. I don't think anyone can look at our agricultural system and say that anything that comes out of "factory farming," be it animal or vegetable, is entirely healthy. I aim for a balanced diet and hope for the best (that old age gets them before something else does, basically). That said, when I lived in NC I had a neighbor who used round up liberally. They had a little cocker spaniel who developed weird skin lesions that no vet could ever accurately diagnose, beyond that whatever it was didn't respond to treatments and eventually killed her. I mentioned the round up to them then because I had my suspicions given the amount of the chemical they used (showcase yard). I really think it cost them that dog's life. J.
  18. Curly coats are more common than you might imagine. I have a friend who bred a regular roigh coated male to what I would call a medium coated female and a couple of the offspring were curly. J.
  19. There's nothing wrong with starting to learn with the dogs you have. That's what many of us did! J.
  20. There are actually generic color tests now so you could definitively determine if she carries merle. As the poster above noted, merle is dominant, do if she had the gene she should display the pattern, cryptic excepted. As for breeding, unless you can breed to improve the working border collie, I would suggest not breeding. There are scads of lovely, even tempered, smart border collies out there who add nothing special to the gene pool. If she likes to work stock and proves herself to be an excellent stockdog, then breeding might be worth considering. J.
  21. I agree with GentleLake. The younger dog may settle down with more exposure; the older dog may turn on with a few more tries. The key will be if he is willing to take direction/corrections from the trainer. He, at least, doesn't sound like a good candidate for you to learn on (just because the barking/seeming chasing will make it difficult for you to learn because you'll be worried about the stock, whereas an experienced trainer may well have the skill to redirect his instinct to useful work). The older dog may surprise you. Sometimes dogs who start slow will quickly change to being a little "wilder" once they gain confidence. The real point is that you can't know if either dog is worth training without at least a few more exposures to stock. J.
  22. My dogs all do it. I think it's just like us scratching our backs against a door jamb or similar. We do it because it feels good! Rolling in poo is another story, but suffice to say that the dogs think it makes them smell good. Ugh. Here's my good old man Pip after a good roll in the red dirt. J.
  23. Find toys she likes that aren't easily destroyed. Most of my dogs just hang out relaxing when they're out in the yard, but a couple will entertain themselves by playing with toys. Favorite toys are jolly balls (both the kind with the handle like horse owners give their bored horses and also the hard plastic kind that has a smaller soft ball inside). One of my youngsters will roll the latter type around the yard to play. Another form of outdoor entertainment: digging (which you may it may not appreciate) and chasing one another (which doesn't work with only one dog). A dog who likes balls might enjoy a tether ball. Just keep an eye on whatever toys you leave out there so you can remove them if they get damaged/chewed to the point that they could become a health hazard to your dog. J.
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