Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

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

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: Evil Carrots!

I don’t know what happened in Daisy’s little Havachon tummy, but twice now she’s thrown up after eating a small piece of carrot. Obviously, carrots must have an evil conspiracy against Havachons. 😉

evil carrot

Every night when I’m making a salad, I give her a tiny slice for doing a trick. She LOVES that; she stands at my side, looking up at me with those beautiful expectant eyes. How can I resist?

But twice lately she’s thrown up shortly afterwards, so I’m thinking we should go off the carrots for a while, if not permanently. I don’t like to see the poor little thing looking like this:

Ugh.

Ugh.

Double ugh.

Double ugh.

Has anyone else experienced their pet suddenly not reacting well to something they’ve eaten for years?

We’re part of the Monday Mischief blog hop!

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Daisy Eats The Wall

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. What I should have said was that Daisy ate a few chunks of the wall.

I was a baaaaad puppy....

DH is extremely handy around the house, and right now he’s replacing the shower walls in the master bath. He’s stripping the shower walls right down to the beams and even replacing the sheetrock with cement board, which is supposed to be better for bathrooms as it’s more resistant to mildew. (He’s not one to do things in half measures!)

Of course, Daisy has been ultra interested in all the unusual things being carted in and out of the house, plus the sounds of drilling, sawing, and hammering. Some sounds have her watching like a hawk, others have her running for the hills (especially the loud electric saw).

The first day of work, DH got pretty far. He stripped everything and replaced the sheetrock with the cement board. It was a very humid day and he got pretty tired from all those hours of work in such humidity. So, once the cement board was in place and he’d spackled all the joints, he decided to leave the cleanup for another day. All the bits and pieces were out of the way, so we could use the rest of the bathroom normally.

Daisy's Motto: Chew first, ask questions later!

I had a bad feeling about this.

I was working at the other end of the house when I realized things were too quiet. No Daisy. No eyes boring into me, no sleeping puppy at my feet, no sounds of Nylabone destruction.

Alarm set in.

I called to her. No response. Did DH remember to close the bathroom door when he finished working in there?

I raced to the other end of the house, and there was Daisy, standing in the middle of the bathroom, tongue flicking. O-M-G.

I don’t know how much debris was on the floor of the shower, but I know that one large, thick chunk of sheetrock was gone. It was about the size of a large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. And there was that tongue, flicking with satisfaction.

I panicked. I pictured waking up the next morning and seeing Daisy’s limp body with froth covering her mouth. Or watching her get more and more lethargic over the course of the evening. Or vomiting up a storm. Should I just call the emergency animal hospital and see if she should get her stomach pumped as a precaution?

I'll just give Mom my Sweet Face and she'll forgive me anything!

Instead I consulted Ol’ Reliable – the internet. I looked up “dog eating sheetrock”, and shockingly, there it was – plenty of references. What I found out is that some dogs actually chew walls – intact walls – because of a lack of calcium in their diets. Imagine that!

There are also dogs who do it for attention or because they don’t have adequate chew toys.

So why did Daisy do it? Because it was there. It was small, on the floor, and therefore hers. She doesn’t normally chew intact walls (thank goodness!), but anything on the floor is fair game to her.

So from now on DH has to either clean up after himself when he’s doing a project or shut the door behind him. And I’ll try to panic less when he inevitably forgets to do either. 😉

UPDATE: Daisy was fine after her sheetrock snack. No after-effects at all. In fact, this silly puppy keeps running up to the bathroom door (which I now keep closed tight!) and sniffing hard underneath it, clearly wanting to return to the scene of the crime. What a nut!

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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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Dog Toy Bacteria Danger – Wash or Waste?

Daisy has one toy that has survived her sharp teeth for several months – it’s the only “veteran” in her toy collection. Clearly the best made toy we’ve invested in!

This is the toughest toy I've ever had!

It’s a small stuffed ring with little squares of material protruding from it like stumpy spokes. Every other “spoke” is filled with a crinkly material that makes a crunchy sound when Daisy bites it. Daisy LOVES anything with sound to it.

Lately I noticed that when she plays with this toy, the stuffed ring gets saturated. Not just wet – saturated. It’s pretty gross. Thinking about this, I became concerned about the bacteria that could be growing inside this toy and could possibly make Daisy sick.

Yup, it sure can.

Apparently, stuffed dog toys are notorious bacteria breeders. Your dog can get any number of symptoms from diarrhea to gum issues because of the bacteria growing in toys, and even if your vet gives Puppy an antibiotic to clear up the problem, poor Puppy will just keep getting re-infected if he/she keeps playing with that dirty toy.

It’s been suggested by companies like Hartz that chewing ropes and stuffed toys can “harbor all sorts of microbes”. (::shudder:: ) A US government study found that bacteria can be killed by microwaving bacteria-producers like sponges, and some dog toys can be microwaved safely too.

To keep your dog from ingesting potentially hazardous bacteria, Hartz recommends cleaning these types of toys:

  • Chewing ropes – these can be microwaved for one minute, but it’s recommended that you keep an eye on the rope just in case, and use protective covering on your hand when removing the hot rope from the microwave. An alternative is to run the rope through the hot cycle of your dishwasher without adding detergent. The water is much hotter than running hot sink water over the toy, which won’t kill bacteria.
  • Stuffed toys – wash in your washing machine on the hot water setting; flimsy toys may not be sturdy enough to withstand a wash cycle, but a better made toy will. They should also be able to go through the dryer.
  • Any toys that are breaking or that your dog can bite chunks off should be thrown away. We had a Nylabone that Daisy was able to destroy within a few days at only 4 months of age. However, we found a hard plastic Nylabone specifically made for tough chewers, and she’s been working on that for 2 months. She’s only just now starting to take small shreds off it and make good-sized dents in it. She’ll be getting a new one in the near future!

I put Daisy’s ring toy through the hot water wash with her bath towels and blankets; I use one of the “free and clear” detergents with no perfumes, dyes, etc. to make sure nothing irritating gets left behind. That magical ring went through the washer and dryer and still looks like its ol’ self! And it was only a $4 toy!

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