Crazy End to May

May 29, 2022  •  1 Comment

Well what a month it has been too!   End of vacation :-(, dogs, vets, parrots, spring in MT and all that brings.  So let me catch you up on the past week or so (with some fill in as I've not written all that has  gone on in the weeks since we returned from our trip.


She is doing pretty well.   The food conversion is actually going better than I thought.  She's not quite as enthusiastic  about "chop" for breakfast as I'd hoped but she is now diving into the new pellets in the evening.   Still adding some "yum dust" to her chop in the mornings.   She isn't eating a lot but then I have also realized that I think she's a bit overweight (lack of exercise much like her Mom) as well.   Not to worry, she is eating and seems to be much calmer as well.  I'm taking the win on that one.    I did bake her up some birdie bread today (Sunday - and it is rainy and cold out) and will see if she likes that.

Yesterday a friend came over to help me with some heavy lifting chores and also then helped me get Iago out and do her  nails.  They were too long and way too sharp to be able to handle her to train or even move.  Sadly it does require toweling her at this point.  Friend was in charge of making sure she didn't bite me (keep track of the covered head) and I realize now that was a bad move on my part.   I was distracted enough with her worry of getting bit and my worry she'd get bitten that it resulted in MY getting bitten.   Lost a chunk out of my thumb and blood was everywhere.  My bad and my friend was a champ running to get band aids and clean up the blood bath after.   No worries, I'll live and by evening it was feeling better.   Lesson learned but we did get her nails dremeled.

Next item was to switch out her cage.  I loved the big one I got her except that it really limited where I could position her in the house.   I still had the old cage in the rafters so after some heavy lifting (again thanks Robin) we got the cage assembled and Iago in it.   Smaller and shorter but allows me to mover her around more and  also reduces the height which will help in training.  Never fear the old cage had to be disassembled to get it outside and I'll finish that and stash it for the time being.    The thinking is that she 1.  will be getting out time with me  for training and 2.  am still looking to get that aviary - but DANG they are expensive.

We did one really short touch session in her cage today through the bars with a target stick and clicker.   I'd say it was  a moderate success.  She reverts to that pissed off territorial stuff quickly (and let's be honest she's probably still pissed off about yesterday).     I'll take what progress we get.   At this point am not going to push it for a few more days as she adjusts to her new cage and to the new location in the house.    Meantime I've got her somewhere too that I can monitor Thing 1 and Thing 2 (Josie and Oliver) so they aren't at the cage harassing her either (lessened substantially by the new feeding system).


My silver handsome dude turned 12 this week!    He "celebrated" with a haircut (for the  one actual summer day we had) and he walked (he says "forced marched") 5 days this week.  I'm continuing to see issue with his mobility and loss of muscle tone so he is walking with Epic and me down the road and back most days.   I see his stamina  getting  better already.   He continues to do some inside stretching and rehab type work but I really think the walking helps him most.  He's never had a LOT of stamina and well, he's 12.   And he's still cute as all that....



Oh my so much to catch up on.   You know he was broken when we went on vacation.   I also spent that time observing a lot and determining what things caused his right front pain and lame issue.    We returned home and my vets and I (had to find a new full service practice as well) decided that a CT scan would be helpful to figure out why his neck was giving him so much issue and affecting his leg.   Kudos to my rehab vet Cathy who has been working on him diligently for months, my person chiropractor Terri who has also been helping adjusting him and finally Michelle and the staff in Great Falls at Big Sky Animal Hospital  that did the scan and are now my full service vet clinic.   Not ideal 90 miles away BUT I found out (and confirmed directly) that my local vet clinic that I've been a client of for YEARS with all my dogs decided to no longer do ANY after hours vet care.  I was pissed to say the least that they didn't even bother to notify their existing clients!   

So, CT scan.....the results came back and in a nutshell both Cathy and Terri were bang on in the location of the issue (in his neck vertebrae C5 and C6).   They saw "mineralization" on both of those but couldn't say much more than that.  With the help of Cathy and Michelle (who are also friends of mine) and Google I found some information mostly indicated for doxies and long backed dogs where this happens and mostly in their lower backs.   This mineralization is causing "root nerve" issues which causes the pain (read if  he moves wrong it irritates the nerve(s) that go down his front leg).   Was of course freaked out when I read that this is similar to herniated discs in humans and "can result in a ruptured disc and/or paralysis".   We cannot determine 100% if there is issue with his spinal cord but as he shows no neurological issues at this point probably not.   

Will be having long continued conversations with my vets but basically, some dogs if in stage 1 are confined for 4-6 weeks can get over it (read "over" not cured), other option of course - surgery.   My gut at this point says I really do not want to be doing neck/spike surgery on a 9 year old dog with all the possible complications that brings AND that is is at best 80% successful, serious lockdown recovery and rehab after.   Chances even with surgery are good he'll not be 100% again anyway.   Other option is continued rehab (walking, evaluating, acupuncture, sound wave, chiro, maybe laser) on a regular basis.  It also means the the things that I KNOW make him relapse (cause the nerve pain) are officially off the table forever.   This thing is not cured but I also don't want a bad relapse or worse cause something to rupture.  


Those of you that know Epic or of Epic know that too is not ideal but I know we have the ability to still give quality of life even though in his head if he feels good "do it".    He is officially retired from competition anything (because what we hoped to do was Rally and it involves jumping).   Walks are on leash with a bit of off leash maybe towards the end when he's tired.  Sleeping is heated.   No more fetching.   Training way more calm....when company comes, when the UPS  truck goes by, when we go up back to play (that will be the hardest).   Pain management as needed.    No more dock diving and probably no swimming as that required he pull his head up and back and THAT  my friends compressed those discs.   More trick training and training of stretches to just keep him limber.    Maybe time to get him off "visual mode" and into scenting mode....maybe tracking?  Dunno.    No jumping in and out of the truck (Mom gets to DIY a ramp now for him and Sterling.

Is it ideal - no but he doesn't know that and my responsibility is to keep him safe (even from himself) and comfortable.  Keep the conversation going with his  vets and go from there I guess.   Yes it is the shits!

Josie and Oliver and Louie

They are all doing great.   Oliver is back in jammies today as it turned cold and wet again.   Josie may be looking at a bath tomorrow if the rain continues (shhhhh).    Louie at 16 just keeps trucking along.  He has some serious old man moments and times he is fussy but generally eats, sleeps and poops.   Thing 1 and Thing 2 haven't been on the bike in a week or more due to weather and we ALL need to get back to some training games.

Till then rainy days at our house look kinda like this!


Everything Else

I eluded to a busy day Saturday (of the Memorial Day weekend) and thank goodness we did all the outside type stuff as rain is in the picture for the next 2 days off.   Bummer but the gardens are happy.

My lovely friend Robin came out after I ran to town, picked up food and dropped off food (for Tinker).   In prep I had moved the pickup truck dog kennels out of the back room and back out to the garage (they are about 150 pounds so no small feat.  I'd also gotten in the back of the truck to pull everything out.  In the process found a mouse nest and the mouse (ICK!!!!!!!!!).   That then led me to taking out everything in the front of the truck as well to make  sure there  were no other nests or riff raff.  The mouse didn't bail off the truck that  I saw so I'm guessing she's  still in there somewhere.   Double ICK!    Got the back emptied out and Robin and I headed to Power Townsend where I finally found  a propane grill I could afford (my old one  bit the dust this winter).   Got it home (still in the box however) and put the kennels in the truck, the tools and the generator  all lifted in and  ready to go.    The kennels were getting no use in the house and can ride in the truck and still have stuff put in them, be used for the dogs  or even for Iago.  Time will tell.

Reloaded all the inside stuff as well so that is complete.  Whew!

Then we did the bird stuff which took the rest of the afternoon (see above).

I've managed over the week to get the back lawn mowed but not the front (and now the back needs it again).   Got the tree guys to come out and bid removing my big double pine tree that is on the west end of my house...YAY.   Appointments, work, and all matter of other household stuff.   Got one gallon of paint to have on hand to work on the outside of my house  as time and weather permits and still have things to get fixed in the trailer before my next trip.  

Never a lack of things to do!    The trees are just now leafing out and the lilacs in town are blooming while mine barely have buds.  But my iris out back are blooming like crazy (amazing what a tad bit of fertilizer will do) and the daffies out front are done and I'm fighting a losing battle with the lily of the valley which I stupidly planted 25 years ago!  Oh well.  Picking rhubarb is next on the list though.



That's the week in a nutshell - haha.   Hope you all are well and happy!   BuhBye!


Far Side(non-registered)
Happy Birthday to Sterling! He is a handsome boy! Sorry about Epic's issues....older dogs just like older people. I tell ya if I had it to do over again I would be a Vet, this area has no one on a Saturday or Sunday anymore. You have to go 90 miles and the office visit is 300$ up front. Heck at that rate you could just work weekends and have the rest of the week off, as we both know stuff happens on the weekends. It was a good sense of peace of mind when our old vet had his could call his home on a weekend. He retired. No one wants to work anymore!
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