Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Sports Dog

Wake me when football starts ...

But wait, the Phillies are close to clinching their fifth consecutive NL East division championship?! OK, I'm awake!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Be Pet Prepared!

Earthquakes and hurricanes are all I've been hearing about lately ... and I live in Pennsylvania!  Eerily strange, I know, but these two major, often disastrous events are happening to me all within a week of each other.

On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, I felt the earthquake that happened in Virginia.  Even though it was only minor (very thankful!), it was still weird to feel your chair and desk shake and even more scary to see your brick office building move back and forth, especially when you are on the third floor. I don't know how people in California deal with this.

It's all over the news and radio that the entire east coast should be preparing for Hurricane Irene which is supposed to hit where I live late Saturday, early Sunday. We've been through tropical storms before but it seems Irene is only gaining momentum and hasn't even been talked about being downgraded to a tropical storm. Okay, I'm a little scared now.

While I am very fortunate to have a generator and secure home with safe rooms, my thoughts have really been with those who are being evacuated all along the east coast and in New Jersey. Also having the compassionate heart I have, I can't help but think about the animals and pets that will be affected. I remember seeing those haunting images of animals/pets following Hurricane Katrina and recently, with the the Japan tsunami.

I wanted to make sure to pass along some tips and of course to remind people that pets need us too in these disaster times.  I found some great information on the Humane Society's website that is very helpful in disaster situations.  Just to highlight a few:
  1. If you are planning on evacuating, don't forget your pets!  The Humane Society has a list of pet friendly hotels.
  2. If you plan on staying to wait out the storm, be sure to have a pet disaster kit, including food, water, any medications your pet is taking, medical history in a waterproof container, leash/harness, pet first-aid kit, blankets, toys and waste collection items.
  3. Be sure to have your pets ID, in case something would happen where they may get loose.
It's better to plan now and be safe rather than sorry.  For more information on Pet Disaster Preparedness, please visit the Humane Society of the United States of America website HERE for more information.  Stay safe everyone, that goes for humans and pets!!

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart." ~ Unknown

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Follow Up Appointment

On Wednesday night, I took Jada back to the vet to have her three week follow up appointment. As I stated in my previous post, I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't help but dread the worse case scenario. We didn't have to wait long until it was our turn.

Dr. Mary couldn't believe it was already three weeks. Upon her examining Jada's paws, she was happy to see that they did heal a little bit but she still wasn't satisfied with their overall look. I had told her everything that I posted in my previous blogs about how we noticed changes for the positive in the beginning and then last week (and after the steroids were finished) we noticed things were slowly relapsing. I also told her about Jada starting to chew the fur off her paws again.

I got the news I was hoping for and that was that Dr. Mary didn't see any reason to do a biopsy on Jada's paws. She did, however, do a skin scrap and paw smudge, which she looked at under the microscope. This was to check to see if there were any parasites or a common possibility of yeast/fungus on her paws. Jada was negative for mites and parasites, but yes, she has a yeast infection in her paws. Weird!! Dr. Mary said she sees this in many dogs that have theses allergies.

So basically it was confirmed that Jada does have allergies in her paws. She will be put back on the steroids for the same time period as before and I will continue with the Derma-strength vitamins, Duoxo Shampoo and Spot-on droplets. Also, for the yeast infection, a special prescription medication is needed and had to be called in from another pharmacy. I should get that delivered to my house in a few days. All I can remember about that one is that she needs to take it with food. Jada will then have to go back for another three week check up to make sure that the yeast infection is gone. We finished out the vet visit with a much needed pawdicure for Jadie! No more hoochie nails :)

I will caulk this up as a pretty darn good vet visit considering what Jada's paws looked like about a month ago.
Jada giving "paws up" (8/17/11)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 21 - Tonight, Tonight

Today is the day ... Jada's 3-week follow up appointment with the vet for her "allergies" on her paws.  Jada is all done with the recommeded treatment of meds, so now it's up to Dr. Mary to tell us what to do next.  Did the meds really work?  Do we stick with this treatment?  Does she really have allergies?  With all those questions and more, I also have all sorts of emotions going through my head at this point: nervous, anxious, worried. I am just hoping that everything goes well and that we can avoid any biopsy being done on her paws, which I think I would be crushed if Dr. Mary tells me this tonight.  Of course right before we have to go to the vet, Jada's paws are looking a bit beat up, but mostly that is because she chewed the hair off the tops of them ... not a good look Jadie!!  As for the pads, I think they look 90% better than 3 weeks ago. No infection or sores, but they still look raw and dry. I'm optomistic that will get better with time.

Here we go ... wish us luck!!

Jada's "excited to go to the vet" look? ... naw, actually she has no clue yet she's going!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 17 - Chewing

In my previous post, I mentioned that Jada had begun licking at her paws again. I think this is most likely due to the excessive rain we had this past week. When I examined her paws today, the pads looked good, showing no signs of irritation or open sores. However, the tops of her paws are starting to look very raw.

I am pretty sure the rain is the reason for this flare-up, but moreso the reason behind the itching. This is resulting in her chewing the fur off her paws. While I still think the open sore infection was worse, I was just hoping with the medication it would have soothed the other symptoms and pretty much, ended this issue.

As if this wasn't enough for my little girl, she got sick this morning, throwing up some yellow substance. I noticed she was in a bit of distress and her stomach expanded bigger than her body. She was fine the rest of the day but I was still worried. With talking to some friends, I think it was because I gave her the antibiotic on an empty stomach. She usually had breakfast before I gave her the medication but today was different because she slept in :)  I know I get sick when I take a pill without food. 

On a positive note, I did see that more of the black color has returned to her paw pads. I even had a difficult time telling her left paw from her right  paw (the worse of the two paws) when I was watermarking my pictures. If it wasn't for her dew claws, I wouldn't have known which was which.
Right Front Paw ... came a long way since Day 1!!

Left Front Paw

Caught in the act ... but you can see the chewed off hair.

Jada thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers! She's a trooper :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 15 - It's A Wonderful Jada

Since Saturday through Tuesday, we had a ton of rain.  Don't get me wrong, we definitely needed it but since then I've noticed a difference in Jada.  The difference being that she has become obviously irritated with her paws again.  She was a real trooper going outside in the pouring down rain (I actually try to stand over her with my umbrella!), but it was when we would come in and I would dry her off, she would run to the living room carpet and immediately start licking her paws.  I wonder, could this all be weather-related?

This morning was also the last day of her steroid.  I'm thinking that maybe since she is weaning of the medications, the symptoms are gradually coming back.  I will probabably give her a bath in the Duoxo shampoo again before we go back to the vet next Wednesday to see if that helps.

After doing tons of research since Jada's medical intervention, I wonder if her health issues, in general, could be contributed to the fact that she is a purebred and the genetic illnesses.  Regardless, I don't want to make this an argument into purebred vs. mixed breed; but for the fact that I'm just happy that I have Jada and I'm the one taking care of her and getting her better.  I don't even want to fathom if someone else would have picked Jada for their puppy, would they have taken care of her the way I have?  Or would they have given up on her the first sign of sickness?  It breaks my heart to think about the "what if" scenerios and "what if" Jada's life was different and I wasn't apart of it?

I MUST NOT THINK LIKE THAT ... okay now that I had to wipe that terrible thought from my mind, I'm going to give Jada some hugs and kisses.  It's definintely a wonderful life, especially that I have and care for my Jada girl.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thunder Dog

Over the weekend, I went to Barnes & Noble to pick up some books I had been wanting to get for some time. Usually before I go, I check out their website to see what other new books are out that might interest me. There was this one book that immediately caught my attention called "Thunder Dog" by Michael Hingson. The tagline says it all "A Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero." With that said, I can only imagine that not only will I curl up with a hot cup of tea, blanket and Jada with this book, but also a box of tissues! I'm so anxious to start reading!!

My book!!  Even got it in hardcover :)

For more about Michael Hingson and the Thunder Dog book, you can visit his website: The Michael Hingson Group.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 9 - A Week Later

It's been a little over a week since I took Jada to the vet for her paws and things have been going very well. I've noticed that she is getting better.  One thing I didn't blog about but that was one of the regimen is the Douxo Spot-On droplets, given on Days 7, 13, and 19.  I would take the pipette and give each paw a drop, rub in and the medication would spread around her paw to the needed areas.  I was afraid she would lick this, but thankfully she left her paws alone.  She will get another dose of that treatment throughout the next 2 weeks.  I've also started to wean her off of the steroids, now down to every other day.

As far as her changes, the obvious is that Jada has not been licking or chewing at her paws. The first day I remember watching her and yelling maybe once or twice her name and she would instantly stop. I think she had a feeling that we were trying to help her get better. She also stopped limping, a very good sign.

The other changes were more subtle. A few more days after the start of the medicine, I noticed that Jada wouldn't hesitate to go into the grass as before.  She reminded me of a donkey and someone trying to pull it and it would just sit there and not budge. Well imagine an 8-pound min pin doing the same thing and you have Jada! I also started to see her scabs healing on her right paw pad, the worst of the four. Also, the black color was coming back and the hair on her back paws were slowly growing back. I also noticed she wasn't scratching or rubbing her belly on the carpet.
A subtle difference, but a step closer to getting better!
I have to say that last week, I felt so overwhelmed and unsure about everything. I had no faith in myself that this could work or I could do this, but I knew I had to, for my Jada girl and because I love her. It's amazing a week later seeing these results from this treatment.  I'm just hoping that her paws will get back to normal and that the biopsy will not be needed on her paws.

Still looks yellow, but I think it's because of the lighting (This was taken on my Blackberry) ~ 8/5/11

Scabs are almost gone! ~ 8/5/11

Sleepy Jada, still in bed! ~ 8/5/11
Two more weeks to go until Jada goes back to the vet for a follow-up!  Keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming ... I believe they are working :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"It's Just A Dog"

I'm sure we've all heard this phrase at one time or another, even the cat people or just pets/animals in general.  So when I came across this poem, I just had to share ;)

It' Just a Dog

From time to time people tell me, "Lighten up, it's just a dog," or, "That's a lot of money for just a dog." They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent or the costs involved for "just a dog."

Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."

Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog," but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog," and, in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand phases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."

"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.

"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.

Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

So for me, and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past and the pure joy of the moment.

"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog" but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a human."

So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog." just smile....because they "just don't understand."

- Anonymous

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Walking the Dog

Cutest picture ever  =)