Thread: Leslie's girls
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:03 AM
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Squirt's Mom Squirt's Mom is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bauxite, AR
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Default Leslie's girls

Hi Ya'll,

I need input and reassurance (if ya'll agree) on some decisions I have made and implemented for Squirt and it's time to update on the other girls in the house.

Squirt is doing really well. I went to my hometown last weekend and Squirt wanted to go with me! For the last while, when she would see my bags she would go slinking off and hide. This time when she saw my bags she got excited, started wagging her tail like crazy and bouncing on her front legs which is how she used to act when she knew we were taking a trip. So she got to go with me and really enjoyed the ride, visiting, and spending time with her mom all alone. She didn't have any negative reaction to the time on the road at all! My sister-in-law has a Brussels Griffon that she breeds and now has a new male Brussels in the house. Squirt was so funny playing with him...until he tried to mount her. After that she kinda scooted around things with her butt against them so he couldn't get to her. Then when he would try to mount Lucy or Sophie (their Pug), Squirt would let him know in no uncertain terms that was not nice! Poor fellow...he was glad to see us leave every time!

Ok...my decisions....for one, I have cut Squirt's melatonin in half. While I was sick a while back, she missed several days of her meds and Jim said she seemed more alert and active than he had seen her in a while. So as an experiment, I took her off the melatonin for a week just to see for myself. It was true. She was more energetic, alert, and involved. Of course, I know the melatonin has a sedative effect so some slowing is to be expected but it had gotten to the point that she slept more than I wanted her to or thought she should. I had started to worry that the lethargy was coming back but it seems to be the melatonin dose. So I have started giving her half a cap in the morning and half at nite...an equivalent of 3mg/day VS twice a day. She has been getting this dose for a little over a month now and I don't see any signs returning. In fact, she is more like my Sweet Bebe she used to be before the Cushing's diagnosis and surgery. However, I do want to know what ya'll think about this dose change, so any thoughts, suggestions, advise, etc are appreciated as always.

Another decision I have made about Squirt...in light of her observable status, I have decided to take the money for her testing and use it for Goldie (explanation later in post). I am very curious about her cortisol levels but that isn't reason enough to put her through the stress (or the expense at the moment as much as I hate to say that ). As a very cut-n-dry refresher - Squirt is not on Lyso or Trilo, only melatonin and lignans plus supplements and herbs; her first ACTH post was 18.2, the second was 32.8, then the surgery, and the last ACTH was 14.2. So with that reading, her behavior, and the lack of signs...am I making the right decision here? I feel I am, but want to know what ya'll think.

Ok, Goldie. Goldie's teeth are terrible! She has dual canines and quite a bit of tarter and plaque. We have known that from the beginning but didn't take any action, one because she was a rescue and the plan was to find her a home but....we know how that went! For another, her mental state was so bad for so long that the less stress the better. Well, now she is one of the family, she has settled in quite well, is much calmer tho still quite skittish, and has been to the vet a few times so it isn't as scary as it once was. Her breath is really, really bad, she is coughing and panting quite heavily over nothing more and more, and in the last few days has started throwing up what looks like mostly bile. I am concerned about her heart and digestive system if there is bacteria in her mouth, which I fear is the case. So at the moment I think her health is the priority of the gang, including Squirt. Ya'll agree?

Other than this issue, Goldie is doing quite well. We have learned that she will let us know when something is wrong. Once while we were gone, one of the tables got knocked over that had some plants on it. Goldie would not settle down, running from the kitchen to the LR, barking like mad, until we followed her and saw the mess. Then she was ok. She has done things like this several times since, usually over some mess Crys has made. Jim and I have practiced putting her harness on quite a bit since she ate my hands up that time plus she now wears a collar at all times. She is still Jim's baby girl and loves him to death...to the point that she is driving him nuts! She follows him everywhere and wants him to be in sight at all times, preferably she is in physical contact with him at all times! Goldie has staked out her man and heaven help you if you try to touch him! LOL In general, she is quite protective and territorial. We have to watch her now whenever someone comes in the house other than us. She is apt to nip ya, especially if you approach Jim! And she's sneaky about it...she will leave the room only to come up behind and BAM! she's nipped your ankle. Goldie will always be a tad bit psychotic I'm afraid. Bless her heart.

Goldie and I are making progress, slow but steady. She lets me pet her all over now, even her legs, privates, and rolling over so I can rub her belly. She lets me brush her some, pull stuff from her hair, and wash her face. Jim and I have been working on passing her back and forth between us and I can pick her up sometimes now, but she growls the whole time until she is on my shoulder. She's funny...she will growl while she is licking me and wagging her tail when I rub her chin and neck sometimes. Jim and Gary have been out of town for a few days from time to time and she is kinda lost without Jim at first. She will sit in his chair and whine, looking so sad. But then I guess she decides the crazy old lady is better than no one and she will become quite loving toward me. Well, loving for her. She will sit in my lap when I sit, falling asleep there if I sit long enough, she follows me around the house and tries to keep the other dogs away from me like she does with Jim. But she doesn't show the same depth of attachment and bond she does toward Jim. It is really cute how she snuggles against him and acts when she sees him. Goldie expresses her love for Jim very openly and frequently. She doesn't do that with me but I am very grateful for the bond she has with Jim and the progress she had made overall. She is no longer the screaming, quivering little mess she was when she got here.

Ruby is doing ok. The Previcox helped her for about 2 weeks then seemed to lose it's effectiveness. So we haven't continued with that for her hips. For now, she is on Glucosamine/Condroitin w/MSM 3200mg/day, salmon oil 1000 mg/day, Vit E 400 I.U./day, and Tramadol 50-100mg 2X/day as needed. The Vit E may be increased as I'm not sure this is enough for 1000mg of fish oil. She doesn't seem to need the Tramadol as much I would think she would. When I see that she is panting heavily, limping more, or just not moving around much, then I will give her a dose. Ruby has slowed down quite a bit since the diagnosis but after seeing that Xray, I don't know how she has been moving at all. She still jumps up on the bed, couch and her couch/bed but not as much as she used to. The getting down is the hard part for her; she puts her front legs on the floor and the back end just kinda melts down. It would be funny to see if you didn't know why she was doing it that way. There have been a few times when she seemed to be having trouble getting to her feet from laying down on the floor but when I went to help her up, she rolled over so I could rub her belly. I'm not sure how to let her know what I am trying to do and how to get her to cooperate. As the arthritis progresses, I know she will get to the point where she will need that kind of assistance. Any ideas?

Ruby still has her good times, tho, when she charges off after a squirrel or cat in the yard and she still wants to play with us, tho we are much gentler than we used to be. She really likes to play kinda rough but we do our best to keep her over-doing so she doesn't hurt herself. When it's feeding time, I have to really keep on her not to bounce and jump on the kitchen floor as it is slick and I'm afraid she will fall. She has started to accept Crys a little bit and they will play together, too. Crys does most of the running and carrying on while Ruby stays in the same general area doing her part. As soon as they start playing, Goldie starts barking and raising holy cain, so with her chiming in, Ruby growling and barking, and Crys barking her fool head off, the noise level gets quite HIGH! It sounds terrible when they start this game but Ruby's fierce growls and barks are apparently part of the game now and Crys has had no new gashes or scars on her head for some time.

Crystal....well what can I say? She is the Possessed Puppy! Not really, but she is full of it and we NEVER know what to expect next with her! She keeps us on our toes to say the very least! Her health is great! Her skin is clear, pink and strong. Her coat is shiny, has two layers now and is a beautiful honey color with light and dark highlites. As for the eating everything, I bought her a heavy plastic basket-style muzzle which she got off and ate. So we now have a metal basket muzzle with thick leather straps that go around her neck, up beside each cheek and over her skull; she figured out how to ram it into the privacy fence boards and yank it off, but hasn't tried to eat this one! Jim has had to repair several parts of the fence, tho. So...while a muzzle may work well for some dogs, they haven't worked for Crys. I have started using it as a training tool instead and it seems to be working. She is so stubborn it is hard to tell what she really has learned at times. When she starts chewing on something she isn't supposed to, I put the muzzle on her for a bit, whether inside or out. The destruction has slowed down quite a bit and her poops haven't been technicolored or full of odd bits and pieces lately. Of course, she has grown up a bit, too, so that could be a big part of it...I hope this is something she will outgrow anyway. I found a WHOLE toothpick in her poop a few weeks ago!

Crys has two crates now, one she sleeps in and one in the LR for when we are gone a short time or when she needs a time out. We went grocery shopping a while back and put her in the LR crate. She had her harness on and when we came back, she had eaten it. That was the only thing in the crate she could eat and I guess she got bored with her Kong. We went to get her a new harness and while trying them on in the store, she was being her usual self and acting a fool...like she had never even been in a harness! Jim had been telling me she needed to be in a choker collar and several other people had made the same comment when seeing her pull while we were out and about. The folks in the store were saying the same thing, too. I hate those collar, hate collars for lead use in general, but Crys is very strong and really does pull in a harness. Several times it has taken everything I had to hold her back and even Jim has had to really work at it. So I reluctantly agreed to try one. After Jim worked with her for a few hours on a leash, walking her around the house and yard, sitting in his chair with the lead in his lap and her beside him, she was a different pup on a lead. She no longer pulls and fights when she wants to go where we don't and my arms/shoulders/back no longer ache after being with her on a lead. I'm no longer afraid she will pull me down or get away from me either. She is amazingly strong! I would love to put her in obedience class but just can't afford that at the moment.

Crys is still a loving girl who loves to snuggle with her mom in the bed and thinks she is the perfect size to be a lap dog. She kisses just about everyone she meets, loves just about everyone she meets, and those she does shy away from we kinda wonder about. And she is sooooo funny! She loves to play with her feet! When she gets after her back feet and legs it is hilarious! I will hear this strange carpet-scraping sound from the LR and go look to find Crys laying in the floor, curled up, dragging herself in a circle with her front legs while trying to grab her back ones. She'll get hold of one and roll on her back growling and gnawing on her leg like it is trying to attack her. It will get away from her and she chases it around til she gets it again. She will stretch out and close her eyes like she is finally tired, then one of her back legs will twitch and start moving up real slow and she will jerk around, teeth bared and growling, and snatch it! She will finally jump up, start running, growling and looking behind her the whole time like, "Holy Cow! they're still there!" I am trying to get this on video but so far have not done a very good job. When I do, I will post it and let ya'll know where to see it. It's really funny!

There's so much more I could tell you about my girls, especially Crys, but I think this had gotten long enough! So I will shut-up, thank you for listening, and look for responses on Squirt and Goldie.

Hugs,
Leslie and her wonderful girls