Category Archives: Uncategorized

One Day at a Time . . .

Every day I worry this will be the day my dog will not be able to get up, this will be the day his back end gives out completely, and every day my dog struggles, but still manages to come out ahead.  He may slip and fall, he may wobble, he may shake.  But he still gets excited when it is time for a walk, and he still tries to spin in circles, and he still tries to forge ahead on the leash.  He is still living life, and I am trying to help him enjoy that life.

Living with a dog with mobility issues is exhausting.  Going for a walk is not just putting on his leash and making sure I have a poop bag anymore.  It is putting on his boots, strapping on his harness, getting him into a cart, and then making sure he does not try to pee on a tree and tip the cart over (because he will!).  Then we get home and I have to unstrap him and take off the harness, and the boots, and follow him into the living room making sure he does not tumble before he gets to the carpet.  I put medicine on the scrapes on his feet, and give him his medicine.  And make sure he got water and is comfortable.  I am tired, and I miss the days of grabbing a leash and going, but if he can do it, so can I.

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Hell on Wheels . . .

Hell on Wheels . . .

More to Follow.

Owen’s Bucket List: Play in the Snow

Full disclosure, Owen hates snow.

I think this one was inspired by my childhood, and the memories I have of snow days outside with the dogs.  Sadly, no more snow days, although Owen is actually okay with that.

This is what happened when I tried to make Owen play in the snow.

This is the face of a dog who does not like snow.

Lady, why do you hate me?

Are we done yet?

 

I’m leaving.

He quickly retreated into the house to glare.

So we modified this one just a bit.  Instead of playing in the snow, it is hiking in the snow, and instead of snow, it is a frozen lake.  Owen, the boyfriend and I went hiking on Lake Ozonia in February, and it was simply beautiful.  No words needed.

Owen’s Bucket List: Play with Kids

I will admit this is a loose interpretation of play with kids.  When I selected this one for the list I forgot a key point.  You see, Owen does not play.

But he does enjoy children, which is kind of surprising because he typically avoids things that are loud and move unpredictably.  At the birthday party of a friend’s son this summer he surprised me by not being miserable.  In fact, he seemed to enjoy himself.  Maybe it was the pirate theme.  Pirates are jolly.  Owen likes pirates.

Owen particularly enjoyed the little one above, he was covered in frosting.  Although he did try to take the leash and walk Owen.

It is not every day you meet a dog taller then you little guy.

Owen’s Bucket List – Steak

Owen is a lucky dog, and not jut because he lives with me.

He also lives with the boyfriend, and the boyfriend, unlike me, eats meat.  Owen loves the boyfriend.  He especially loves the boyfriend when the boyfriend finds an old T-Bones in the freezer and decides they are too old for him to eat, but still okay for the dog.

Owen was moving so fast he was a blur on camera.

So I took video.

One item more item off the bucket list!

Two Months . . .

So, two months since the last post, there is no single reason, but things got stressful, and I became a hermit for a bit.  And then things started to happen, and I survived, and I started to miss writing, so I am back.

A brief bulleted list of events to update you follows:

  • I have contemplated quitting my job more times then I can count but am still sticking it out!
  • Ella got fleas and her flea allergy hit with a vengeance.  Cons, she looks really funny without hair on her back end.  Pros, the flea meds did not trigger a seizure!
  • I started a new knit project, and then stalled and it has sat untouched for a month, but have determined to finish it by Thanksgiving.
  • I did not meet my goal of getting my Ice Cream Pint Cozies in the stores for Christmas, whoops.  Next year?
  • I am moving.
  • I got a Kindle Fire, and a new problem with time management.  
  • Owen may have Cushings.  Yeah, that one is not fun.

NSAIDs and Owen: Aspirin

Before I adopted Owen he went to the vet and was checked out.  At the time we had no idea the extent of his issues.  I simply knew he was an older dog with unstable legs, his hips seemed fine (although we did not do x-rays to confirm) but he had some arthritis.  It was recommended that I continue with the fish oil, start glucosamine supplements and give him daily aspirin, 81 mg twice a day.  I did, and it helped a little but I stopped when Owen had a round of stomach issues.  Stopping it did not seem to make a major difference in his life so I did not start again.

Aspirin is a basic NSAID, it is a blood thinner and it does not block pain so much as prevent it.  It is not heavy duty, but it does its job and for mild arthritis is a great option.  For dogs buffered aspirin is best since it is gentler on the stomach.  When Owen was diagnosed with hip dysplasia we discovered he was well past the point of a twice-daily aspirin, and he went on to Deramaxx.

But now that I cannot get Deramaxx and discovered that Owen cannot tolerate Rimadyl I decided to give aspirin another shot.  The tramadol was killing the pain but Owen was not moving as well.  He was dragging his leg and sometimes stepping on the top of his leg.  I did not want him struggling, and even if he was not in pain, he was not physically as well as he was on an NSAID.

I spoke to my vet (he is a different vet then the one who initially put him on aspirin) and he was cautious about going on aspirin.  Long-term use of aspirin can actually cause the joints damage, causing the cartilage to break down faster.  It can also cause liver damage or ulcers.  It simply is not a good idea long-term, but since we were looking for a short-term solution it was worth a shot.  I got the okay to give Owen half of an adult buffered aspirin twice a day.

I noticed a difference right away, Owen began to move better and he seemed to be more active.  Unfortunately I also noticed some stomach issues.

Be warned, descriptive language follows.

Owen has a sensitive stomach and the littlest thing triggers mucus in his stool.  When it is bad he has bits of blood in the mucus.  It is always red so I know it is in the colon or small intestine and not from stomach bleeding, which is a relief, but it is still irritation.  When the aspirin started Owen was grooming his back end much more, he became red and irritated there, and he had some blood and mucus on the outside of his stool.  I stopped the aspirin and started to give him some raw goats milk to see if I could reverse the damage quickly.

I cannot say for sure the aspirin caused the bleeding, and if I am honest I have to say I suspect that it did not, and that it is more likely the Tramadol is causing some constipation issues or a food sensitivity.  But whenever things start to get worse intestinally I tend to go back to basics and get Owen better, because Owen bad is very bad, and my carpet cannot handle it.

Either way, the aspirin is not worth the risk at the moment, although it does help.  If Owen were not such a sensitive dog I would probably continue with it, at least short-term.  As it stands I may still give him one every so often, but no more daily aspirin for now.