Posts tagged ‘Pack news’

Tracing our roots….

Our very good friend Chris found some really cool Corgi books that she didn’t need anymore and gave them to us! One was a WHOLE book of Corgis in Australia in 2002. But wait! It also has New Zealand Corgis and we have some family ties to New Zealand. Imagine our excitement when we found the pages of the kennel where our ancestors came from – Stormwey. So just to have a little fun, we thought we’d show everyone how we are related to at least 3 of the Stormwey Corgis in our new book!! We also found out Megwyn can trace her ancestors all the way back to 2002! Follow the lines – green is Mic, blue is Moli and purple is Megwyn! Totally cool stuff. (the female biped is a geek)

First, Mic!

Now Moli

And last but not least, here is Mic and Meg’s connection!

State of the Mic-ster…

My husband and I have known for quite a while that we have a senior dog.  But it is the rapidity with which it happened that still amazes us.  I mean, I know I am a bit oblivious but it seemed like we were seeing no signs of aging at all and then one morning we had an old dog.  A year and a half ago we began noticing Mic having some tremors – mostly in his back end.  Soon enough however he was having tremors head to tail, or bunny butt as it were.  Not continuously but intermittently and with varying degrees of severity.  He never seemed to mind.  I describe it as his Katherine Hepburn impression or Doggy Parkinson’s.

He started having a great deal of difficulty going up and down stairs. He also had developed foot drop in his left front paw.  We would come home from even short walks and he would have bloody knuckles.  We found a great product called ‘Pawz’ which look like balloons and are semi disposable booties for dogs (avail at Petco).  This fixed the bloody knuckles but not the underlying problem.

We had him in to the vet and Dr Wachtel discovered on exam that he did seem to be having pain.  Spine and hip x-rays later, he has spondylosis and arthritis, especially in his left shoulder.  So we started on a round of treatments to see if that would help.  We also had him tested for DM just in case and he did come back at risk but his symptoms don’t really follow the natural progression of DM.  We did anti-inflammatories, tramadol , prednisone.  All of which seemed to help with his energy level so clearly he was in pain; none made any difference in his tremors or foot drop.

After a couple of months of suboptimal response and concerns about chronic medication use, we saw our vet again and asked about acupuncture.  She was enthusiastic and recommended a holistic vet who not only could do acupuncture, but was a practitioner of Chinese medicine and would, she hoped, have other meds for Mic’s ailments.  Her top choice was Dr Dennis Thomas ( http://www.drdennisthomas.com ) – a doc others had recommended as well.  I won’t go into detail about his practice because you can just go to his website or Facebook page (Heart to Heart – Holistic Health Care for Pets) and get much better info than I could possibly summarize.  Long story short, 4 acupuncture treatments and no more foot drop!  Now Mic and Moli go monthly for a treatment and are on Chinese herbs as well as a raw, home made diet.  So from first hint of aging to acupuncture maintenance was about 9 months.  Which is 3 month longer than we even thought he was going to live.

When Mic started deteriorating before our very eyes, we thought we would not have him for six months.  But we have been given a great gift of renewed health and vigor for him.  He is still a little old man, but he is doing well. He does have some doggy dementia and that has brought out some challenges that I will go into some other time but we are just grateful for all the time we have had with him and hopeful that we still have some quality time ahead of us.  Thanks, Dennis.

Regarding the diet – I was reluctant for a whole bunch of reasons, not the least of which was Mic’s propensity to bloody diarrhea with diet changes or indiscretions. BUT it has been great and really is not that much more effort to prepare.  Moli is on it too.  We tried to convince Megwyn that it was a great improvement but she is having NONE of it.  Maybe when she is out of adolescence and doesn’t want to eat doggy junk food any more. Ha!

Now off to feed the mutts and hit the sack.    Hugs and slobbery kisses from the Rat Pack and the Brat pack.  (Keep watching for explanation….)

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State of the Cain Pack May 2014

As I mentioned in writing about Maddie’s illness, I had always planned – or perhaps hoped is a better word – to write about all the Cain mutts when I started this blog.  So here I go.

Today is really just going to be a state of the pack address.  Mic and Moli have been feeling a bit slighted because I have only begun to publicize their antics.  Moli, my drama queen, is especially annoyed since she felt like she was on her way to stardom last summer after taking third in a photo contest.

So we will start with Moli.  At age 10 Moli is by definition a senior dog but you wouldn’t know it to watch her run at the park when she sees some seagulls that she thinks ought to go home to Seattle.  Knock on wood, her bladder has been healthy; she has not had a UTI in almost 2 years.  About a year and a half ago, she developed a chronic dry left eye.  This in direct contrast to her chronically runny right eye.  At 10 months old, she had an imperforate puncta on the right.  She had surgery which did not take but since the problem was cosmetic more than anything else we have just lived with a little bit of a runny eye.  On the left however, the chronic dryness could lead to loss of her eye if we can’t keep things under control.  We have finally hit upon a program that is working pretty well.  She gets 2 kinds of meds – one drop and one ointment – twice a day and a third medicine mid day.  We supplement with artificial tears and ointment and she does well.

Very occasionally she has a little pain in her left rear knee related to that partial cruciate tear she did when she was about two.  We keep Rimadyl on hand and usually only a dose or two of that takes care of things.  She still loves to race around the back yard at full speed, jumping up into the rose beds and down into the hosta garden, around Mic, the patio table and then up the stairs to the upper garden where the vegetables are.  Last year, little Maddie was the tomato thief who would get into the beds and steal tomatoes for the three of them to snack on.  We’ll see if we get more tomatoes this year as Moli is a little more reluctant to jump into the raised beds than Maddie was.

Mic, a year older than Moli, is showing his age a little more than her.  He had developed a tremor in his hind quarters that only was apparent with him standing.  We took him to the vet and he did seem to be a little tender in the back so x-rays were done.  He does have spondylosis.  We did also go ahead and genetic test for DM and he is at risk.  Knowledge is power.  He was put on low dose Rimadyl and was very definitely improving.  We then hit a bump in that HE got an eye injury and because of the array of meds related to that we had to stop the Rimadyl for awhile.  More on that below.  Because of his spinal arthritis and ‘at risk’ DM status, we do not let him do the stairs – if we can help it.  Sometimes he beats us to them however.  He has always dragged his left front foot a little bit but that has progressed a little in his old age.  We noticed that he was getting an area of erosion on top of one of his toes.  One of the vet techs at the eye clinic turned us on to PAWZ and that has been the answer!!  We pop that on and he seems to know how this helps him and he just struts right out wearing his blue shoe.  He does not walk as far as he used to but he, too, loves to run off leash at the park and chase seagulls.  When he is in full gallop, you cannot tell that he is an old boy.

Now, that eye thing.  April 25th started out pretty normal – get up, get dogs up, go for a walk.  On the way home, Mike noticed Mic squinting with his right eye.  A little closer inspection showed an opaque area mid eye so we were pretty sure he’d scratched it on our walk.  A trip to the vet and sure enough, a corneal abrasion.  On recheck the following week, our vet was not happy with how things were healing, so Mic got referred to the Animal Eye Clinic.  He saw Dr Kaiser, who is Moli’s doctor as well.  We love him! Sure enough, Mic’s injury was quite severe – almost a full thickness ulceration of the cornea with severe reactive edema.  He got started on 3 eye meds, drops and ointments, for a total 10 instillations a day.  One oral antibiotic a day and pain meds three times a day.  Wow.  We had planned on visiting Mike’s family in Canada mid May but with Mic’s eye regimen, we felt like we could not leave town.  We used that time off to get the garden in and have the sewer line replaced.  The good news in all of this is that Mic is recovering.  The vet thinks it was a chemical burn and as near as we can figure out, it was probably fertilizer.  He loves to traipse through bushes, brush, low hanging vines and most likely a recently fertilized area had some residual chemicals.  He took pics of Mic’s eye two visits ago.  At the last visit he just took pics of Mic wearing his Doggles and donut (around his neck instead of a cone) because he is so cute.  We go back tomorrow and are hopeful for a good report.

While we were home for a week, we had a visitor.  Our friend Sheila had surgery and a stay in rehab for PT so we took her boy corgi Dylan for a week.  While Moli was not enthused, she did better than we expected.  Dylan is a great boy.  He needed (and still does) some work on leash walking but he is so smart he will be a star in no time.  We make Mic and Moli sit at the door to the kitchen while we are making their dinner.  It took only one time of putting Dylan in a sit and wait for dinner and he had it down.  Mike was so smitten, he did not want to give Big D back to Sheila.  We will just have to have him over for some slumber parties.  Dylan was here for our jaunt with Paul Turner (see Pack in the Press, item 2) and is in the foreground of that picture.

And, as they say, that’s all folks!!  For now.  More soon.  I promise.

Mic close up 2013 Mic & Moli Wish you Happy St Paddy's day (1 of 1) Moli heading