Sunday, 25 September 2011
Saturday, 24 September 2011
We are having a week of and inevitably this allows me time to review.
I am very happy with the dogs we have on board. All need work including the long term guys and gals. We have two very new people who are both what I would class as rehab. Max an akita with typical Akita problems, like staffies they often don't know who to get their adrenalin kicks and often learn to either dominate or bully in order to get those adrenalin kicks. He is a lovely dog and has reingnited my interest in them. I feel they have a difficult time being a pet as they don't seem to have a default pet setting already built in.
Our second rehab dog is called Bonny or as we call her BonBon. She is a very happy little dog living a happy but insulated life. She is seldom walked for various reasons and therefore has a lot to learn. In the van she is still pretty shut down but on the walks she is really starting to come alive. She of course has no recall or sense of staying with us but luckily Cockers are pretty sociable creatures and want to please.
We do currently unfortunately have an epidemic of fat dogs. I understand it is difficult to recognise your dog as fat and many will think I am cruel to out people with fat dogs. I am employed to protect your dog, to help you and I can not ignore a fat dog, it is simply not safe for us to walk a fat dog like we do a fit dog.
Montanna has done a great job with losing some of her weight and I believe Nanci, Louie and Charlie have lost weight. BonBon, Nell, Tessa, Harv and Sirus are our main focus and I would consider Nell, Tessa and Harvey as obese. so the week we come back will be weight in week. I am hoping both Tessa and Nell have lost some as I know the owners are trying. We are very lucky with dogs as we provide all their food needs with the exception of the odd scavenged food though non of the dogs involved are scavengers luckily. I have had the same problem with my cat and needed outside help to get his weight down and I do understand how hard it is.
Last week we managed to do a little leave training with each individual dog and I throughly enjoyed it, the dogs tried very hard and even the highly motivated dogs managed to ignore the treats knowing there were more and certainly better ones on their way. Some of our guys can't have treats or indeed are not food orientated so we used a reward they prefer which is usually cuddles.
Body handling is something we are very hot on and I am delighted at our progress, our new guys are very good at being handled so we will soon start teeth, feet and bottom handling( oor er missus). Murphy has had a tail abrasion so needed a wrap put on before he goes in the van and this has helped no end in his bottom handling.
We need to test our new guys for noise sensitivity as we don't what to find out once a gun shot goes off and we have a rapidly disappearing bottom!
I hope by the time we come back the new van will be on the road resplendent with her heater, shower and cages installed. We haven't managed to get new cages fitted yet but will as soon as the funds allow. I am also planning something wonderful for our van livery so watch this space…lets hope it works as it has taken an age( two years) to decide! As Sam has failed to pick her name I will be picking one for her.
Well it is way past my bed time so I will head off night night
Friday, 23 September 2011
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
I have really enjoyed the odd snippets of training I have been doing with the boys so with our last show looming I thought I could combine a trip to Pets at Home to pick up extra food with a training session with the lads.
With a lad in each hand I went past the rabbits and guinea pigs without a flicker down the cat food isle before someone asked the ever present question….what are they? Now this apparently is the trigger for full throttle Ibizan attention, lets face it the lads don't do quiet dignity. Whilst Tips tries to wrap his legs around the persons neck Flute tries to act cool before slipping his tongue into any poor unsuspecting humans mouth. They will sit and say hello to people no bother only no one gives me time to get them into a sit, I ask them not to say hi whilst they are doing the kangaroo but by then they are basking in full ' I have only eyes for you' Ibizan charm. All is lost.
Once the cat food isle is a mere memory I try and sneak a look at the shampoos, Sam wanted a groom spray. It is there that a very fit looking fella heads over and asks the other inevitable question…are they Egyptian? Tips starts to wiggle, his whole body squirming Flute meanwhile is working out his target and distances. The fit guys bends down just as Flute launches I manage to deflect him and he lands not at all put off by my side only that left Tips who was now trying to hitch a ride on the guys back….The noise I heard turned out to be fit guy laughing. The more he laughed the more Tips wiggled I simply averted my eyes I hate to spoil a moment. With a sigh I asked if I could calm them down( I swear Flute raised an eyebrow as he was still standing looking a bit put out) when fit guy starts to go all gooey over Flute. I definitely saw four feet on the ground at one point unfortunately two of them were Tips and two of them Flutes.
Just as this finished I looked up and saw a little beagle bitch…now come on Howlett pull it together! Bless them they were very mannerly and all was going well when Tips turned around and stood on his hind legs and barked, when I say barked it doesn't convey the actual noise…..it is much more of a woooow a long houndlike and slightly deranged woooooow. Oh great so not only wild but noisy too. I looked and it took me some time to work out it was actually the advertising boardings he was wooowing at, the huge giant sized dogs looking down from the ceiling.
Right no more of this we can do this. So the next lady they were the epitome of good manners if a little deflated at their fun and frolics being spoilt. The lady looked at me and then at the boys and asked in hushed tones ' ah are you fostering them dear?' I found it quite strange but I thought I would humour her. She continued leaning in as if we were in on a big secret ' I just don't know how people do it, poor little creatures'. Now by now I should have clicked on this was a variation of another frequently discussed issue….I simply let her continue by now I was kind of waiting for a punchline. ' I would rehome them when they are better, look at how starved they are, its a disgrace how people can abuse animals like this when all they need is food and love' ( ahhhh now I get it back to the same old issue. Can you not give those dogs a little bit more food, mind they are skinny aren't they are you feeding them the right kind of food and all kinds of variations of the same…). I think I felt more sorry for the shop assistant who had rushed over to try and save the situation but she was on a loser this lady was on a mercy mission.
So I had to find it in me to gently say that they were in actual fact my adored pups, that I had had them most of their lives and that they were not abused and starved. The shop assistant who had been staking the shelves still had a haunted look as the lady left throwing anxious glances my way when she couldn't distract the woman and get her to let it go…I heard the dear old lady muttering that she would rehome them.
So once I had slunk around and managed to buy what I needed I left hot, sweaty and somewhat agitated with my happy skinny hounds having had a lovely time. Mmmm looking forward to this show sooooo much!
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Monday, 5 September 2011
I am bound to get mixed up and some I still don't understand but I am in good company. The vets who Ella is assigned to ( all five of them) are stumped too.
Ella came in from the field non weight bearing on her near hind. Vet was called after me poulticing her foot thinking it may be a abscess or puncture wound. Vet then put her on antibiotics and scanned her tendon. In time a tap was taken and the tests came back as inflammation. With box rest and antibiotics she improved dramatically and started limited small paddock turn out. After one full day and night Ella came in very lame on her off hind. Vet again was called and a tap and scan taken from the the new sore leg results came back as Sepsis of the tendon sheath. It was around this time I noticed she was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with being handled which is very unusual and she started to swell.
Arrangements were made for Ella to go to Edinburgh to deal with the sepsis. Her swellings were changing and moving about. All swellings were painful.
Once up in edinburgh she was no longer 8/10th lame on her off hind and was 2/10's lame on her near hind and off fore and 3/10 lame on her off hind. Vet said impossible for her to have sepsis with such low grade lameness in that limb. The swellings were still fluctuating.
Further tests were made on that limb and it came back as sepsis. So surgery was booked. Surgery went well then she started to swell with a vengeance. Her neck was covered in abscesses ( ended up being oedemas) and there were swellings on all her veins and arteries the size of oranges in places. She had a heart rate of 60 and a fever with numerous scans it was noted she had oedemas on her lungs and on all her arteries and veins( vasculitis).
Next was colic likely due to the pain from the oedemas and fever. The colic passed with bute and sedation and she was found to reactive to numerous types of antibiotics. She was placed on high doses of steroids to try and get rid of the oedemas. This in time worked. She was then taken off the bute and antibiotics( the ones she could cope with) and bit by bit the steroids. This went well until Thursday night when she colicked again. She was sedated and put on bute. She continued to colic much of friday then by Friday teatime she was much better.
Stomach taps were taken and came back normal. Scans came back with a swollen( 10cm) ovary noted. Could be haematoma , tumour or Abscess. Abscess was presumed so Ella was to be starved for five days with very small slop given twice a day and back on antibiotics. The second scan would help with diagnosis, this happened today. It looks like a haematoma. My worse nightmare which has ended up not being a nightmare at all. A haematoma caused by an oedema would have been the end of the world as it would have meant the condition was still ongoing but it has been caused by a little vein leakage which is fairly common. A haematoma caused by an oedema would have caused a ruptured vein. So we had a kind of diagnosis. Operation to remove ovary cancelled and Ella fed. Needless to say she started to colic as soon as she was fed so we presume it is an ulcer caused by starving her.
So we now have no further vasculitis, heart rate and temperature normal. Bloods coming back normal now and she will be coming back off all meds. She will be rescanned in 48hours to see if her ovary has continued to improve and likely to be scoped to see if she indeed has an ulcer. Then we wait. And wait some more and if she continues to improve she will come home.
No definitive answer, no clean disease and cure but I am likely to be taking my little horse home and there is no reason why she can't come back to full fitness. Will it happen again? Who knows. I have a list of antibiotics that can't be used and we will have a protocol of steroids if it happens again but I can say this I ain't going through this again with her.
Now the hard part. I have found the decision making impossible. I had a firm idea of what would happen but when it comes to it I can't and didn't do it. I felt pressure and felt the disbelief yet it was all in my mind. I felt compelled to explain myself when it was never needed. The responsibility of everything….of life itself( hers) but also to Bruce, to my family and to Ella. What if I hold on for me or what if I give up and call it a day for me?
So I am leaving that all behind. I wanted her put down if it was a haematoma as it meant it was continuing yet the haematoma ended up not meaning that so I have changed what I have said. The vet asked me 'what do you see when you look at your mare?' I answered as honesty as I could….A mare who has a weakness and is bouncing from one crisis to another. What did he reply? That he saw a strong mare who fought not one crisis but three and still kept going, still greeted everyone and had an attitude that good ( food) was just around the corner. So from today I will still worry but all being well she will come home I will rehab her and we will give it our best chance.