Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Daisy’s follow-up vet visit

First off, I can’t tell you how moved we all are at the outpouring of prayers, positive thoughts, and support we received from everyone. You all mean so much to us and it really helped to feel that support. The pet blogging community is the best in the world. 🙂

I don’t know which of our lovely blog buddies told POTP about Daisy’s injury, but some wonderful person did and they put her up on their site. Whoever you are, we send you lots of love and thanks for being so thoughtful. We met some beautiful new friends through POTP, and we visit the site every day to give back the strength and love we received. If you haven’t been to POTP (Power Of The Paw), you can click the link to get there and help other pets and pet parents through difficult times.

Well, we have good news, okay news, and not-so-great (but not terrible!) news from the follow-up visit with our vet.

The good news: Daisy is out of the woods with the paralysis risk. However, if this happens again, she’ll face the same risk. The vet said he looks for any signs of forward movement and no signs of worsening, and he was pleased that she looked slightly improved and definitely not worse, but not enough to make him smile (that’s his tell!) except when he was sweet-talking her. Also, her attitude is much improved and she doesn’t look scared all the time – only when she feels pain. She’s taking an interest again and actually chewed her Nylabone today! She was also able to eat by herself from her food bowl instead of having to be hand-fed. 🙂

I couldn't take a picture of Daisy when she was at her worst because I don't want to remember her that way. But here she is yesterday - still not her little sprightly Daisy face, but better than before.

I couldn’t take a picture of Daisy when she was at her worst because I don’t want to remember her that way. But here she is yesterday – still not her little sprightly Daisy face, but better than before. This is one of her long lie-down breaks she takes when she goes for a quick “taking care of business” trip outside.

The okay news: She has a slipped disc that’s causing most of the back pain. She’s walking better but still taking very tentative steps and can’t roll onto her back – sometimes she can lie on her side, other times she can’t. When DD or DH come into the house and she gets excited, I have to hold her back but she still starts yiping. I think her muscles must tense with excitement and that causes her pain.

"I remember the days when I could romp over grass tufts..."

“I remember the good ol’ days when I could romp over grass tufts…”

The not-so-great (but not terrible!) news: She will have this problem for the rest of her life, and it is considered a degenerative condition. She’s not allowed to do any more jumping – since her leg injury, we’ve only let her jump up onto things and not down specifically because we wanted to prevent back injury from the impact of jumping down. Guess that strategy didn’t work! So DH is building another ramp for her (he already built one for the car) to get up and down off the couch, and we’ll be watching her closely. We’ve had our couches barricaded since her ACL/meniscus tear anyway, so eventually we’ll just open up one small spot and put the ramp there when we allow her up with us. But that won’t be for quite a while.

We will be checking into acupuncture to see if that will help. I’m just hoping that after this has passed, she’s not left with any pain and can run like a nut again. 🙂

Our next follow-up vet appointment is in two weeks, and we’re hoping for a big smile from him then. Thank you all again for your prayers, kind messages and good wishes, we’re sure they helped Daisy improve, and they definitely helped us!

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Daisy the Nursemaid

One of the many comforting things about having a pet is how empathetic they can be when we’re feeling sick or low.

Daisy’s quite the little nursemaid. Recently when DD was sick, she decided to lie on the sleeping bag on the floor – Daisy immediately snuggled up behind her and didn’t move until DD did. Part of her always has to be touching the person she’s with.

I won't leave DD until she feels all better!

I won’t leave DD until she feels all better!

If DD moved, Daisy checked on her and moved right along with her.

Daisy’s sympathetic expression coupled with the way she curls up with us and won’t leave our side always helps us smile, even during the most miserable times.

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

 

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Monday Mischief: I Got ‘Em Back!

Daisy insists on taking the blog over again today. There’s no fighting a strong-willed Havachon!

Hi blog buddies! Daisy here.

So many of you had such wonderful suggestions on how I could get back at my family for taking me to the groomers. FleaByte  said that when my family’s not looking, I should chew up their stuff, and Long Life Cats and Dogs, Doggy’s Style,  The Misadventures of Misaki all agreed that I should  find some poo outside and roll in it – great idea!  One of the funniest suggestions came from Scrappy, who said I should take a picture of my family early in the morning, before they have a chance to get ready – that’d fix them GOOD! LOL!

But I got them back with an even more sinister plan….I caught kennel cough at the groomer’s place. Yep, I was honking and coughing and whooping all night last Monday, and since I sleep in the hall between their bedrooms (so no one can get up without me knowing about it!), I kept them up for hours on end. ::evil laugh::

I sacrificed a lot for this revenge. I didn’t feel too good; I could eat but I was a little sluggish and Mom said I had those big doe-eyes like I didn’t know what was happening to me. Oh, I knew alright! ::sinister chuckle::

But it kinda backfired on me a little, because Mom took me to the vet the very next day, and I got a shot. Poo. But on the positive side, I get to take pills twice every day for 10 days, and Mom gives them to me in peanut butter – woohoo!!

I just kinda stared off into space with glassy eyes for the first few days after I started taking my pill….I felt so doped-up, I could swear my family was moving in slow motion. It was a pretty wild ride! 😉

Now, you might ask how a pup who’s up to date on all her vaccines managed to get kennel cough. Well, Mom asked the vet the same thing. He said that the Bordatella vaccine protects against 3-4 of the most common strains of kennel cough, but I was tricky enough to catch one of the 30+ less common strains!

I’m feeling much better now; in fact, I stopped coughing as soon as my wonderful vet gave me that shot and Mom gave me my first cough pill when we got home. But I’m not allowed to run or play chasing games for 10 days…..another little glitch in my plan. Oh well, sometimes you have to make sacrifices! 😉

(Special “hi” shout-out to 00frog, if you happen to read this!)

We’re part of the Monday Mischief Blog Hop! Join in the fun and meet some new friends!

46 Comments »

FDA Warning: Toxic Treats From China = Russian Roulette With Your Pet’s Life

We’re interrupting our usual Crazy Daisy silliness because of a new FDA warning about the dangers of pet treats imported from China. We don’t want any fellow pets or pet lovers to suffer the devastating effects of these potentially toxic “treats”.

It’s more important than ever to check the small print on that bag of treats or pet food you’re buying to make sure it wasn’t made in China. Apparently, giving your pet treats made in China is like playing Russian roulette with your pet’s life.

It doesn’t get any scarier than that, my fellow animal-lovers.

The 12/03/2011 Natural News article (you can read it in its entirety by clicking on that link) said there’s been an “uptick in adverse event reports” regarding pet treats made in China. “MSNBC reports that at least 70 dogs so far this year have been sickened or killed by chicken jerky products imported from China“. 

And those 70 are only the ones vets reported – how many more illnesses and deaths went unreported or unattributed to poisonous imported edibles?

Seriously, we have to stop this madness. Imported glass roasting pans have exploded when taken out of the oven (it happened to a friend of my mother’s), toxic toothpastes and makeup items sicken and kill people, cheap ceramic  glazes (or lack thereof) leak toxins into our drinks, and so, so much more. And now our pets are becoming victims too. But as long as we keep feeding these manufacturers’ wallets, they’ll keep mass producing toxic waste for our ingestion. Or should I say indigestion? 😉

My friend’s dog was horribly sick for a month because one of these slipped past her in a sample packet. She was just lucky her little cutie survived, but he suffered horribly with constant vomiting and diarrhea. And, of course, his human family suffered right along with him.

I’m usually a pretty easy-going sort of person who believes in the “live and let live” motto, but when manufacturers have a total disregard for the health and safety of others, it makes my blood boil and I have to take a stand. So here it is.

Don’t – buy – cheap – Chinese – imports. Your life and your pet’s life may be at risk.

I’m certainly not saying that China is the only country producing dangerous things, but they’re the ones producing an overwhelming majority of it. We have to start discouraging this wanton disregard for life and safety somewhere.

Since we can’t be sure which Chinese manufacturers use dangerous toxins in their products, we can’t take chances with any of them. Sure, there are recalls from even the most trusted manufacturers, but they’re usually unintentional and few and far between. What I’m talking about is a constant stream of deliberately cheap and dangerous goods.

Personally, I’d rather buy one item that’s more expensive if it comes from a manufacturer I have good reason to believe is safe than buy ten questionable items from any country we know exports toxins. How many more warnings do we need before we take action and protect ourselves?

And while we’re on the subject, the Natural News article also advised that we avoid any pet foods/treats with the irradiation symbol, which looks frighteningly innocent and has an earth-friendly appearance:

Radura Symbol

Natural News reports that radiation is used to blast “pathogens and viruses” out of pet foods (how and why did they get in there in the first place?!), but instead it can render pet food toxic. Several pets in Australia died from ingesting irradiated pet food; there’s a link in the article where you can read about such cases. Unfortunately, some US manufacturers use this process too, so look for the Radura Symbol and steer clear of any pet products that have it. Better safe than sorry.

My goal in writing this is NOT to point the finger of blame, but rather to help keep our beloved pets safe. If we know there’s a risk with anything, we need to pass that information along to help others so we can all make informed buying decisions. And that’s all I’m hoping to do.

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Daisy’s “Garbagitis” – A Scary Weekend Story

WARNING: Don’t read this if you gross out easily!

We had a fun-packed weekend planned. Friday night was a a great start to the weekend UNTIL…

“Mom, Daisy has diarrhea!”

DD discovered Daisy’s “Hershey squirts” that evening, but we figured it was just one of those “Havachon things”. Soft stools occasionally come with our pup’s sensitive tummy.

But then it happened again.

And again.

And again.

And it became much worse than just “soft stools”.

To the internet I flew for information. “Diarrhea in dogs” is what I googled. All the medical sites were the same: “every dog gets it, stop feeding the dog for 24 hours, it usually passes in two days’ time. Call the vet immediately if you see blood.”

Whew, we collectively sighed. No blood. Nothing major to worry about.

Until 11:30 that night, that is, when Daisy began whining urgently and I discovered bloody diarrhea in her crate.

I picked her up; she was trembling. Which made me start trembling. “Blood!” I called out, sounding the medical emergency alarm.

This was not our happy little girl.

I brought Daisy into the family room and covered the entire floor with multiple layers of old sheets we save for painting. We had wee-wee pads out too, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I wanted all the bases covered, so to speak.

Thank goodness for foresight. Poor little Daisy tried to limit herself to the wee-wee pads, but she just couldn’t make it there every time. I stayed up all night with her, cleaning up her explosions and cleaning blood off her little pink bottom after every bout she had.

By 2:oo AM splatters of wet blood had replaced diarrhea, for the most part. Why do these things ALWAYS have to happen in the middle of the night???

It was happening about every 1-1/2 hours. In between bouts, Daisy napped on and off, but I couldn’t. I kept the “Mother’s Vigil” going, making sure she was breathing and not showing any other signs of distress. I really wanted her to be treated by our own vet because after that terrible experience with Bad Vet who almost killed her when she was only 2 months old, I didn’t want to take her to the 24-hour emergency hospital unless it was absolutely necessary. I decided the tipping point would be if blood ran from her backside or if she started going more frequently.

Fortunately, neither of those happened. All night I tried to think of what she could have ingested that could be tearing up her intestines.

I called the vet the minute they opened at 9:00 Saturday morning. They squeezed us in at 10:45, which felt like an eternity, but I certainly appreciated getting the appointment on his busiest day of the week. After a thorough examination and loads of questions, our wonderful vet diagnosed her with “Garbagitis”, a term vets apparently use when a dog has ingested bacteria that causes diarrhea. He said it could come from anything she may have licked, inside or outside. And apparently some small dogs’  insides bleed easily, and that’s all it was – nothing was tearing her up, it was just a reaction to the bacterial irritant.

He gave her a shot to calm her intestines, which also had a calming effect on her. Two prescriptions later, and we were headed home with hope in our hearts.

Daisy slept all of Saturday and all of Saturday night, except for a few more bouts of bloody diarrhea, which the vet said to expect. They came much, much farther apart, though.

On Sunday, Daisy started taking an interest in her toys again and wanted to play like her old self! It was like someone flipped a switch and brought our Daisy back to us. We were thrilled!

I’m happy to report that as of this morning (Monday), Daisy has been “garbagitis-free” for an entire day (or, as DD says, she’s a “poopless puppy” LOL). No problems Sunday and none as of this morning. She couldn’t be given any food until Sunday night (48 hours without a bite, but she didn’t care), only a little water. Now she’s on a diet of 1/2 jar of beef baby food and 1/2 jar of rice. We slowly start adding a tablespoon of her dog food to that mixture tomorrow and keep giving her the pills. By the end of this week, she should be back to her normal diet and finished with the pills.

I'm all better now! Let's play!!

Needless to say, our fun-filled weekend didn’t quite go the way we had expected. But that doesn’t matter as long as our little one is back to her normal, silly little self! 😀

21 Comments »

Sniffle…Cough…ACHOO! Can Dogs Catch Our Colds?

I’m sitting here sniffling and sneezing with a nasty winter cold. Ugh. Not surprising, though, since I always seem to be around lots of people who don’t mind sharing their cold germs. Very generous indeed!

Ack! Keep those cold germs to yourself, please!!

I got concerned that Daisy could catch this thing – it’s a strong one, and from what I’ve heard, they’re lasting anywhere from 2-4 weeks this year. Now THAT’S something to look forward to…{said with extreme sarcasm}.

Anyway, from what I’ve read, it seems that neither colds nor the flu can be transmitted from human to dog, or vice versa. Dogs can catch their own kind of cold, but they can’t catch ours.

Thank goodness.

There was an exception, apparently, with the 2009 H1N1 flu, which was transmitted to some dogs, cats and ferrets(!). Since we don’t know what flu strain will actually be prevalent each year or whether it can be transmitted to our pets until it’s too late, here are a few precautions you can take:

~ Don’t shower your pet with germs. Cover coughs and sneezes.

~ Wash your hands frequently (a good practice anyway).

~ Make sure to keep your pet out of the garbage where he could get hold of  your tissues (yuck).

~ Restrain from close cuddling during the flu’s most contagious time – while you still have a fever.

Essentially, you just give your dog the same consideration as you would anyone else. Pretty simple.

I’m gonna go lie down now. Stay well everyone!

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Frightening Increase in Dog Diabetes – Don’t Let Your Dog Become a Victim!

It makes me sad to think of my poor fellow pups with diabetes! Help protect us with good diets and exercise!

Who’d have thought? Doggy Diabetes? Yikes! I was shocked when I heard that the same disease that’s been escalating in humans is also escalating in dogs.

Did you know that 1 in 10 dogs gets diabetes…and that number is increasing? That’s plenty of reason to find out more about this awful epidemic.

While heredity can be a factor, the good news is that we can take steps to lower the chances of our dogs contracting this nasty condition. What’s the number one controllable thing that puts dogs at risk for diabetes? BEING OVERWEIGHT. And with the holidays upon us, many dog owners like to treat their dogs to extra holiday goodies.

Most of the time, dogs are overweight from love. Sounds weird, but people like to treat their furry friends to all kinds of yummy things, and, sometimes, far too many of them. But sometimes dog foods are the culprits as well.  The Dog Diabetes Guide breaks down the carbohydrate threat lurking in dry dog food and gives alternative feeding solutions.

The site also says that spaying a female dog can lower its chances of getting diabetes; another article lists the top 10 breeds that develop the disease. The Dog Diabetes Guide also states that cortisone and hormone drugs can trigger diabetes, especially in dogs that already have risk factors. The site is chock full of great information and gives many other causes as well as treatments and much more.

It’s important that we dog owners watch our dogs for symptoms of diabetes – after all, it’s not like they can tell you they don’t feel well! The signs are similar to those in humans: frequent urination, excessive thirst, shivering, weight loss without eating less, lethargy, and sweet or fruity breath are among the most common.

Just like doctors warn humans, diabetes is a “silent killer” – take proper precautions diet-wise and be aware of any changes in your dog that may be warning signals. Diabetes can be managed if it’s caught early!

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Thanksgiving Tips: Keep Your Dog Healthy!

We all like to include our dogs in our holiday festivities, but many well-intentioned dog lovers and their equally well-intentioned guests have unintentionally hurt their loyal canine companions by “treating” them to some Thanksgiving goodies. This can result in making dogs sick or causing unhealthy weight gain; and before you say “it’s just one day out of the year”, remember that at least two more “food holidays” are coming up over the next month, not to mention all the pre-holiday parties!

I think I'll stick to my turkey dog food and curl up with a good toy!

DogChannel.com has a wonderful article about keeping dogs safe on Thanksgiving, and besides cautioning dog owners about feeding dogs “people food”, it also covers things like making sure candles are out of your dog’s way and securing trash bins so Spot doesn’t feast on your guests’ castoffs and hurt himself on trashed bones.

It’s a short article, but packed with great information!

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Pet Cancer Prevention Month: What You Can Do To Keep Your Dog or Cat Healthy

Help protect us from cancer!

November is known for lots of wonderful things: Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, beautiful fall vistas, and for me,  relief from a brutally hot summer! But there’s an even more important event in November, especially for animal lovers , and it’s relatively new: National Pet Cancer Awareness month.

2010 marks the 6th year that the veterinary industry is doing its best to call attention to this horrible illness that affects pets of all kinds. The National Canine Cancer Foundation website says that one of every three dogs will develop cancer in its lifetime and that half of those will die from it. And the Animal Cancer Foundation says that pets – particularly dogs and cats – are developing cancer “at an alarming rate”; up to 60% of breeds are affected. It’s scary. According to their website, the most common forms of cancer being detected are lymphoma, bone cancer, breast cancer, bladder tumors, leukemia, brain tumors and sarcomas.

Not wanting to cast a pall on the upcoming holidays, let’s stay positive and talk about prevention, the single most powerful weapon in your anti-cancer arsenal.

Really scary.

Okay, so what can we do to keep our pets (and ourselves) healthy? According to DogChannel.com, there are several ways to help keep your dog cancer free:

1. Give your dog pure water rather than tap water, which can contain dangerous chemicals.

2. Don’t let your dog become a victim of second-hand smoke.

3. Don’t use cleaning products, pesticides, or other hazardous chemicals in a poorly ventilated area of your home.

4. Don’t allow your dog to become overweight.

5. Spaying or neutering your dog reduces his/her chances of contracting cancer.

They also recommend using natural flea and tick products, and while they’re safer for your pet, they’re not always as effective as chemical products and you need to do a lot more maintenance in your home and on your pet to make sure they’re flea/tick free.

You Can Help Further The Fight.

The National Canine Cancer Foundation‘s website states that they’re a “non-profit corporation dedicated to eliminating Cancer as a major health issue in dogs by funding grants directly to Cancer researchers who are working to save lives, find cures, better treatments and accurate, cost effective diagnostic methods in dealing with canine Cancer.”

The Animal Cancer Foundation website explains their goals as developing and supporting “research that advances the prevention and treatment of cancer for people and pets.” They’re partnered with other organizations who donate all or a portion of their proceeds or organize walks to help fund ACF’s research.

There are other organizations in the crusade against cancer as well – find a way to help one you like and trust!

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Bad Vet Chalks Up More Victims

Before we found our current vet, another vet was recommended to us by a friend, who still uses him. He’s part of a veterinary hospital chain, and before he nearly killed our puppy, we’d never even heard of chain vets.

I'm so happy we don't go to Bad Vet anymore!

We know of several patients at our new vet’s office who also left Bad Vet (and the office staff tells us there are many more) – a few were botched spay surgeries, and others were illnesses that Bad Vet didn’t bother diagnosing, so the dogs and cats were getting progressively worse while this joke of a vet just stood by and collected their money every time they brought their sick pet in.

How could he be so heartless and uncaring?

My friend still uses Bad Vet, and her dog nearly died recently too. Her dog was vomiting violently around the clock for two days straight, could hardly walk, trembled, and had no interest in anything. Not typical of this normally energetic Jack Russell.

She took her dog in after the first bout, and Bad Vet said he could alter the dog’s medication (she’s on an anti-anxiety med and something else for hyperactivity), which didn’t work at all. After the second bout, she took the dog in again, and Bad Vet said there was nothing he could do.

This is exactly what we heard him tell another patient, an elderly man dearly attached to his cat, who he was now told was going to die. He held that cat close as he walked out of the vet’s office, his head bowed down and tears streaming down his face at the morbid diagnosis. I wish I could have found that man after we left Bad Vet and told him to get a second opinion – his long-time companion may have been saved.

My friend took her dog in to see a different vet, and lo and behold, it turned out that her dog has an enlarged esophagus and had to be fed in an upright position to help the food go down. Miracle of miracles, her dog is fine now and running around like a puppy again.

So simple. But a vet has to care enough to diagnose a dog, not just give up on it.

Just like with our own doctors, we need to ask questions of veterinarians, get second and third opinions, and do our research. Just because someone has a degree doesn’t make him/her a good vet, nor does it mean he/she has your pet’s best interest at heart. We are the voices for our pets, since they can’t express themselves verbally. We know them best, we know the signs when something’s wrong, and they rely on us to help them. There are plenty of good vets out there; take the time to find one.

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